Tag Archives: pain

Genesis 28; Matthew 27; Esther 4; Acts 27

Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.  Genesis 28:16

Christian or not, there are times in life when it would appear that God is nowhere to be found.  For me, one of those times was during my acute care internship at a large university hospital.  Fresh out of the suburbs,  having just finished the academic portion of my education and newly married,  I found myself working in  various intensive care units of this teaching hospital.  To say it was intimidating is an understatement. Never before had I seen how far a human body could be punished and broken and still maintain a tenuous grip on life. Sometimes it was the result of disease or accident;  other times, the result of violence.  The pain and suffering of patients and their loved ones (if they had someone holding vigil for them) were excruciating.

Type A me was struggling at my internship and my clinical instructor told me that I should have chosen a different field of work.  I was full of selfdoubt and ashamed that perhaps I had just wasted my parents money and the last four years of my life pursuing a path with a dead end.  The peace of God alluded me and in stepped my Esther in the place least expected.

She was a new bride and her husband was a patient of mine in the ICU.  He had sustained a massive head injury and high level spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident.  He had been on life support for a month, was unresponsive and the prognosis was poor. He looked nothing like the beautiful young man she had fallen in love with.  I came in twice a day to treat him and when I did, she and I talked.  This went on for a couple of weeks.

At the end of the long day in which my clinical instructor had  suggested I find a new line of work,  I took a few moments to have a good cry in the privacy of a garden outside the hospital. I felt alone and forgotten by God amongst forsaken, suffering people.  Who should find me, but my patient’s wife. God showed up in the new bride of a dying man to speak words of vision and encouragement. The irony of her consoling me! The internship didn’t become easier, but knowing that God heard my prayers and answered them through this woman dramatically changed my understanding of who He is. It gave me the strength to stay the course.

We are no different from Jacob.  God is always present, but when our eyes are finally open to it, we are changed.  We need to be like the people of Israel and sit around the fire (or computer) and tell one another stories of  how God has opened our eyes to his presence. We can share how He has provided Esthers in our lives. We will be strengthened for the days to come.


Addendum:  It’s thirty years later and I have saved a letter from my garden friend.  Here’s her closing line, “And don’t get too busy to remember to live and enjoy that husband, ok!”  I take take that advice to heart.



Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew

Psalm 123, Psalm 124, Psalm 125, 2 Thessalonians 3

Our soul is exceedingly filled With the scorn of those who are at ease, With the contempt of the proud. Psalm 123:4 

When men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their wrath was kindled against us; Psalm 124:2-3

 Even from those “who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.” 2 Thessalonians 3:11

 Read – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps%20123,124,125;%202Thes3&version=NKJV

             This is the pain I sometimes feel when people, close and far, are being lazy, selfish, wasting time and hard against God’s agenda and the things of the Lord Jesus Christ, “for not all have faith.” 

             At times I wonder, am I working hard enough? Am I keeping on Jesus’ agenda? Am I bringing enough glory to our Lord Jesus Christ? Can I do more for my Master Jesus according to His Word by His Holy Spirit? 1 “to whom much is given, from him much will be required” 2

            Jesus didn’t call me to be lazy or apathetic in my walk with Him, but to follow close after His Heels. Jesus of Nazareth was a mover and shaker for 3 years by being intensely connected in prayer with His Father, Who is my Father. 1 

             “So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He has mercy on us“ and He gives us His Wisdom, Perspective and Power to have His “will be done On earth as it is in heaven”. I need it every moment. 1

             If it had not been the Lord who was on our side…Blessed be the Lord…not given us as prey to their teeth. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 124:1, 6, 8

             Using Jesus’ Vision Glasses, I can overlook what is NOT my mission field, I can pray for them all the same, and then move with diligence into the strategic areas my Commander Jesus has laid out for me for His Handiwork to be done.

             By the Lord Jesus’ training me and being aware that “the scepter of wickedness shall not rest” during my lifetime, I know that – “Those who trust in the Lord …cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

            Dear Reader, Would you please pray for me, yourself, and everyone in God’s Army “that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified“? 

            Jesus, I am glad You dwell within me. 3 You knew it would take that much to make me be able to obey You, out of gratitude and love. Without Your Presence, Word and Holy Spirit, I can do nothing. 1

But the Lord is faithful, Who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 

             Jesus, as I “withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to” the Word of God, only as You lead I shall lovingly “admonish him as a brother” and trust it really is Your work by Your Holy Spirit to change his/her heart for You and Your Good purposes. Please awaken the Body of Christ so they will feed on Your Word and You will accomplish many good things through them and be Glorified for before You return.  

            Thank You for Your encouragement Jesus of Nazareth. I need it so I will “not grow weary in doing good.”  Lord Jesus, I Love You, I Adore You and I Worship You, Forever!  – For Your purpose and glory alone!!

1- Colossians 3:23-24; Luke 5:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 14:5; Matthew 6:10; John 15:1-11

2- Luke 12:48

3 – 1 Corinthians 6:19

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)


Filed under 2 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Psalm 1, Psalm 2, Psalm 10, Acts 16:22-40

There is no power like the POWER of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Word of God!

 Blessed is the man… whose delight is in the law of the Lord…whatever he does shall prosper.    Psalm 1

 Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, Psalm 2

 a great earthquake, foundations of the prison were shaken; “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” … immediately he and all his family were baptized. Acts 16

 Read at – www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms%201,2,10;%20Acts%2016:22-40&version=NKJV

 Psalm 1         Blessed is the man …in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

               The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away, the way of the ungodly shall perish.

                The Word of God makes all the difference. Keep drinking from the springs of eternal life.   If I don’t I start groping for kool-aid, soda, and other placebo thirst quenchers whose sugar, carbonation, and food coloring thwart the effect of pure water and cause skin blemishes, caffeine effects, etc.

              Lord Jesus, You love me soooo thoroughly through Your Word, I keep coming back for gulps, drinking deeply Your Word. Lord, You have made me aware of many people who do not know You, and so they do not trust You nor live in You and Your Word. Please touch them in all the ways that only You can do. 1

Psalm 2         Why do … the people plot a vain thing? The rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, The Lord shall speak to them in His wrath, (So, instead) Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

              This sounds like a local and world news report. There is no difference between yesterday and today. Man’s nature and God never change. But individuals can change through One Way. The Son of God can set each person free! Jesus, please draw people to Yourself to submit to Your Lordship, rushing for shelter by confessing and repenting and thereby free themselves from death to life. 2

              Lord Jesus, help me to keep Your Word ever in the forefront of my eyes, my mind, and my heart. How futile it is, and how harmful to me, to turn away from You, the Beloved Lord of lords. Because the pain of being aside from You hurts more deeply and sharply than ever before, You’ve trained me to keep short accounts – so my repentances are quick U-turns back to You. Oh how sweet! Thank You Jesus! Please help me bear fruit in keeping with repentance!

Psalm 10       The wicked in his pride persecutes; For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He renounces the Lord, does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account. But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand.

            The Lord is King forever and ever;  Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

              More current newspaper information! Yet, How reassuring Your Actions are to me, my God! What a safety and security You are to me! By Your righteous right hand, display Your glory that the wicked would fear You and turn and be saved from eternity in hell! 3

Acts 16:22-40              They threw them into prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks. (While) praying and singing hymns to God, there was a great earthquake, and everyone’s chains were loosed.  And the keeper, said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And immediately he and all his family were baptized, and he rejoiced.

            How big is my God? How much to I Look at Him? Praying and singing hymns while “trapped” in circumstances and situations? Do I remember the “earthquake” when Jesus rescued my soul from hell? The other earthquakes that changed my perspective, relationships and many aspects of my life irrevocably? How about you, dear reader?

                Lord Jesus, I rejoice in Your many miracles daily, when I do not deny You, but proclaim You in my spirit and with my body! How boring life is without You at the helm! Thank You Jesus for claiming me and having me cling to You right back!!

Bible Insights –

1 –  John 6:63; John 6:68; John 5:24; Psalm 37:4; John 4:13-14; John 7:38; Matthew 10:28; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Romans 1:19-20; Psalm 19 

2 –  Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; John 14:6; John 8:36; Psalm 7:1, James 4:8; Romans 8:13; Romans 5:21; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:15; Luke 15:10; Luke 3:8 

3 – Jeremiah 17:9; Ezekiel 18:23; Ezekiel 18:32

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)


Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Psalm 31,35; John 11:30-57

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes…” ~ John 11:44

After Lazarus’ death, his family wrapped him in linen clothes (grave clothes) and put him in a tomb.  Today, we embalm and bury our dead in the ground or in tombs.  But there’s another place we “find” the dead: all around us.

Those who are dead walk, talk, and function all around us, but not with joy and not to their full capacity, as they are bound in their own grave clothes.  Some kind of pain (physical, mental, emotional, psychological) keeps them bound up.  Even those whose faith is strong in some area can be bound up in grave clothes.  Read what David says in Psalm 31, “Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief…I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;” (vv. 9, 12). When you feel dead and tied up in grave clothes, often times you aren’t able to find your own way out.

In this scripture in John, Jesus gives each person a role.  To those who are bound up, He gives the role to follow the sound of Jesus’ voice and to “come out” of the tomb.  The role of those watching and listening is to remove the grave clothes and let the bound person go.

Lord, my prayer today is that when I am bound up, I will follow the sound of Your voice out of my self-made tomb and seek out those who love me to help me remove my grave clothes.  And Lord, when You call me to help another out of their grave clothes, I pray that I will turn immediately to them in love. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.


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Filed under 66 Books

Psalm 17, Psalm 19, John 9:24-41

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. John 9:31

 Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps%2017,19;%20John%209:24-41&version=NKJV

 The Amazing Goodness of the LORD.

         I am grateful and honored to be a worshipper of the Lord God Almighty (1). Because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done on my behalf by His Atonement for my sins (2), God is Immeasurably Good to me and to those I bring before Him (3). I depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ for my sustenance in every area and these verses explain why.  Oh, What Joy!

 Psalm 19       The heavens declare the glory of God; … shows His handiwork, …  utters speech, … reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.

            God communicates to me bountifully! In speech, sound, and sight! I cannot escape from Nature’s witness! (4)   

            God’s explicit Word communicates to me, converting my soul, changing me, making me wise, rejoicing my heart, enlightening my eyes, having me desire God’s Word ever increasingly, warning me, ensuring His rewards, cleansing me from secret faults and from presumptuous sins from ruling over me by Lord Jesus’ Word convicting me of my sin and my repenting. (Psalm 51)  

            Because of God’s Good Pleasure for me, I desire to have “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 37:4)

Psalm 17                 Because You, Lord God declare me to be Your Own (1), I seek You continuously to bring “a just cause”, the deep cry of pain from my heart for a family member in sin, for You to set them free soon in the best manner glorifying to You. I know You hear me because “my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.” (5)

               I implore You to “Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip” so that I may follow closely You, Lord Jesus, to be with You all the time and bring others closer to You.  

               When I am to be around people who “have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly”, I hide in Your Presence praying “save those who trust in You From those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, From the wicked who oppress me, From my deadly enemies who surround me.

                I ask You Lord toDeliver my life from the wicked with Your sword”, the Word of God by the Holy Spirit. (6)

                 Because of “the Word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer” ,“my vindication comes from Your presence” so I REJOICE in this Glimpse of Heaven: I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”

John 9:24-41            “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Speaking of Jesus Christ.

             Tangible proof! (8) The Reason for my Eternal Life.One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.Jesus gave sight to a blind man.

             After testifying that Jesus was from God, Jesus “found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” The blind man answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?

               And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”   Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

            That is me! Jesus has opened my blind heart, mind and eyes!! Jesus set me free from my depravity and deceptions, and is still working on me. The Lord Jesus Christ brought me into His Marvelous Light and gave me sight! (9)  I choose to Worship the Lord Jesus Christ! (10) 

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

Some people who thought they were right by their own design asked Jesus, “Are we blind also?

              Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.  (7)

                 … Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus…  2 Timothy 1:9

            His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 

1- John 4:23-26, John 1:1-3, 12-14, 29, John 3:3-8, 15-21, 1 John 3:1, 1 Peter 1:23, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 51, John 15, John 15:5-11  

2- Matthew 26:28, Luke 23:38-47, John 19:30, Hebrews 9:22, Romans 3:21-26, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 9

3- 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 1:16, Joel 2:27-29

4- Romans 1:19-20, Genesis 1, Job 38:1-42:6

5- Matthew 6:9-10, Psalm 84:10

6- Ephesians 6:17-18, Hebrews 4:12-13

7- Romans 3:22-24, John 8:24, 1 John 1:5-10, Romans 2:5-11 

8- Hebrews 7:24-25, Luke 24, Matthew 28

9- John 1:4-5,9, John 8:12, John 12:46, 1 Peter 2:9, John 3:18-21, John 14:1

10 – Exodus 34:14, Genesis 22:5, Hebrews 11:21, John 4:23-26, Revelation 15:4

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized