My ministry is to be available to whoever God sends my way. I try to share truth and live by example. As I reflect over the last few years, I see God has sent to me women who don’t believe in themselves, who take a variety of prescription drugs, dowsed with alcohol and then chased with a sleeping pill when they cannot sleep. I have first-hand experience with this.
After a car accident, I was prescribed my fair share of drugs, I drank wine and I could not sleep. Ambien and alcohol is a deadly combination. You are asleep in your mind, but your body is wide awake, you become hyper and you run around, laugh, scream, jump up and down on the bed, raid the refrigerator, mow the lawn and even drive a car without truly being conscious and quite often with deadly results. My best day came when I fired the lawyers, canned the doctors, and threw out the pills. And for all the years which have passed since making this decision, anxiety and insomnia are nowhere to be found.
It hurts when I see people rely on drugs and alcohol to get through life. My heart aches when people get so desperate due to many choices they have made that suicide seems to be the only way out. It scares me that God has sent me so many people who share the same MO. And it always ends the same with me confronting the person and the person deciding I am the one with the problem.
blame me…that’s easy
So with a heavy heart and another fresh confrontation that ended poorly, I left on a much needed vacation. I had not had a day of rest let alone a vacation in three years. I pulled everything I had together to make the trip. I even agreed to share it with a friend who had never had a vacation ever. I know I am too trusting, I care more than others think is wise, I risk more than others think is safe, I dream more than others think is practical and I expect more than others think is possible. And without fail, I get kicked in the teeth for trying. So alone I set out for the mountains.
resolve not to care
As I drove and it rained. I pondered why someone would chose drugs and alcohol over the vacation of a lifetime. I reflected upon how someone could gamble their mortgage money away and face being homeless as a result. I agonized over the desperation so many have felt where taking their own life was the only way out. I came to the realization I had not made any difference in anyone’s life. I use up my precious time getting myself in a funk and when it ends so poorly for my friends. I am accused of not being a true friend. So I made a vow somewhere in Tennessee in the middle of the driving rain not to get involved again, not to try and help, not to trust and not to care.
lost in the tranquility
As I neared the end of the grueling rainy 10 hour drive, I approached my oasis in the woods. I recalled that the log home I rented was the only cabin past the gates and it was nestled in the middle of 30 heavily wooded acres in the mountains. Nothing could have prepared me for the cabin that came into view after the half mile drive up and around the mountain on the paved drive that had only one gloriously beautiful log home at the end of the line. It appeared before my eyes. Not only was it nestled deep in the woods, but it was so majestically landscaped. There were hostas and begonias everywhere and a path which encircled the pond. There was a brook that flowed down the mountain and into the pond making the most beautiful sound. The bedroom overlooked the pond. I opened the window to hear the water running down the rocks and I got lost in the tranquility.
up to the mountain
I started the day as I do every day when I run to the mountains. I prayed and I listened for God to answer. I asked Him to help me know what He wanted from me in terms of the people He puts in my life. I felt compelled to change from the Streams in the Desert devotional I was reading to My Utmost for His Highest. As I read the last line in one of my journals of the quotes I collect for the calendars I make, it said “Don’t linger in the low lands afraid to climb the mountain.” All I can do is smile.
difficulty is the platform
Then it says “When God put you in great difficulty, it is the platform God uses to display His power and grace with a lesson you will never forget.” It goes on to say “trust where you cannot understand.” Then I see “present yourself up on the mountain, no one is to come there with you.” Well this is getting really interesting considering all that has recently transpired. My mountain top experiences are always thrilling.
and God spoke
Then I read Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust, He will not forget your work and the love you have shown as you have helped His people. God knows your efforts of love and ministry. Let God’s love for you and his intimate knowledge of your service for Him bolster you as you face disappointment and rejection here on earth.” Whoa, if ever He was speaking to me, this was it.
I read about committing ourselves to the Lord in everything. Sort of like the drive from the first site seeing day when I turned the wrong way out of the driveway. I thought of all I would have missed if I had done it my way. “He can care better for us than we could do. So…be willing to wait patiently for Him to work out what is best for us.” All I can say is Thank you dear Lord for the gifts you have given and for all that you are doing now on my behalf.
I Cor 13, “Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts. Love makes our acts and gifts useful. People have varied spiritual gifts but love is available to everyone.”
strength from the distress of the storms
We should draw our strength from the distress of the storms. We should quit praying about ourselves and spend our life for the sake of others as the bondservant of Jesus. This is the true meaning of being broken bread and poured out wine in real life.
And so, my answer came and it is this…continue to love others. Offer a better way when people want it and don’t be surprised when they opt for the same old thing that does not fulfill. Be available, perhaps a bit more cautious and be kind and pray for that one person who wants to soak up God’s word and follow a new path that offers complete healing and salvation from all that ails you.
a peace that transcends all understanding
I spent a week on top of the mountain. I returned back to the reality of work and insanity but with a new found peace that truly does transcend all understanding. I do what is right in front of me. I am living in the present moment, being obedient in each thing set before me. I don’t worry about the ten things I have planned for today. I just need to do the one that seems most important and if there is time for a second, fine, but if not, no stress or worry. Apparently I have learned all the fret and worry is caused by all the planning…without God.