Tag Archives: Numbers

My Ebenezer


Ebenezer Branded

Since we were talking about Ebenezers last week, I wanted to show you the one I’ve been building since I got to Florida.

You know that God gave me the plan for my immediate future in 2010, while I was in Arizona.  During the third year that I was in Florida I received Joshua 1:5.

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.

I needed that verse in the early years of my life in Florida because I often believed that I was in some kind of wasteland.  Even though His plan for me was falling into place exactly as He’d promised.  I hadn’t been able to find a job since I’d lost mine in 2008 (and it was now 2013), I was still living in my parent’s house, and I still had doubts that I should be in Florida at all.  I mean … maybe what I thought was “God’s Plan” was just something my brain cooked up and not from Him at all.

Getting this scripture brought me to my knees.  It is, essentially, three promises in one glorious verse.  This ‘gift’ from God came at a time when the devil had been bullying me with severe oppression over my inability to find a job. Furthermore, I wasn’t really hearing from God the way I had in Arizona and thought He had deserted me.  The Holy Spirit put me quickly and firmly on the right track with this verse.

All three promises were important.  The first No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.” gave me greater strength to thwart Satan’s lies.  The third, I will not leave you or forsake you.” reminded me that I wasn’t in a desert and far away from God.  But the second part … oh the second part!  I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.”  Man, that’s amazing.  Do you remember how God was with Moses throughout the early books of the Bible?  I can just imagine Joshua hearing this.  Since he, too, was with Moses and knew how God interacted with him, did he fall over in awe?  I certainly did.  God hasn’t disappointed.  He has made good on these promises and I knew I needed a stone to remember that He had helped me thus far.

The top stone is the verse God gave me after I’d been diagnosed with cancer and was crying one night to Him about everything in the Plan I’d hadn’t done.  It was the last part in the plan and I’d dragged my feet and hemmed and hawed and had started – but had not finished the last phase.

My remorseful plea that lonely night was, “Am I going to die without finishing what you said I would do?” Tears flooding my pillow.  That was followed by “I’m sorry, Lord.” And then came a fresh round of tears.  I was sorry I hadn’t acted faster and now I might not have time to do what He called me to do.

It was the next morning that the Holy Spirit impressed Numbers 23:19 onto my heart:

God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and then not act, or promise and not fulfill?

Upon reading this verse I dissolved into a mass of tears again.  But this time they weren’t tears of sorrow.  Joy flooded my heart to almost bursting.  What relief!

This scripture told me I wasn’t going to die – at least not before I finished His plan for me.  It also promised that I would finish it, because God doesn’t lie, change His mind, or not honor His promises.  At that moment, those were the sweetest words my wretched heart needed to hear.

Certainly a scripture worthy of an Ebenezer.  So I found another stone and wrote the verse address on it.  I never want to forget that here, again, was a time when God has helped me thus far.

So, did you think about using some sort of Ebenezer to remember how He has helped you too?  I’m dying to know what you’re using.  Let me know in the comments!

Receiving His Grace


This is part four in an ongoing series about some health trials I’ve been walking through, thanks for joining us!  If you’d like to get caught up, here are links to parts One, Two, and Three.

It occurs to me that I’ve left you dangling.  Rope in hand, sunlit tree in the distance.  Course by now you realize I survived the Cardiac Cath.  My ghost isn’t typing these words.

I’ll be honest with you.  In the beginning I was only prepared for one piece of bad news.  You know the woman in the Bible who had the 12-year bleeding problem (found in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8)?  I was experiencing the same issue, albeit, for not nearly as long.  But having been there, it gives me insight to her longing … her need … to touch Jesus.  The faith that she had that if only …

If He were walking by me I would have done the same thing.  Wouldn’t you?

Of course I’m not able to have the Master just happen by my town; but in my way I did the same thing.  I ran to Jesus for healing – for coping – for solace – for peace.

I was prepared to have my standard mammography.  I wasn’t prepared to find something suspicious in my breast.  I was prepared that doctors would discover that I needed surgery to correct my bleeding issue.  I wasn’t prepared for cancer to be the whispered, yet unconfirmed, diagnosis.  But when pre-op work started and doctors zeroed in on my heart, having never experienced any symptoms, I wasn’t at all prepared for them to find an abnormality.

What my cardiologist originally called a “slight” blockage became, with the help of the ‘eyes’ of the Cath, a 100% blockage in the artery they call “The Widowmaker”.  One. Hundred. Percent.  I shudder to think what might have happened.  What becomes wholly amazing from this experience is how fantastic God’s creation really is.  I most likely didn’t experience any symptoms because my body had been making a network of veins to circumvent the blockage.

In any event – the doctor was able to tunnel his way through the obstruction and insert a stent.  Post op drugs now delay my surgery for at least a month.

So I wait.  Experiencing more pain, it seems, with each passing day.  I have no one to lean on but God.  I have no mercy to ask for but from Jesus.  No relief but pop two tabs of Tylenol when the pain strikes.  I kid.  My relief comes from fully knowing that He is still with me, watching over me.  That He is in control and His plans for me haven’t changed.  How do I know that?

Because He told me.

I’ve told you before about a time of particularly deep prayer that occurred about six years ago when God laid out my future.  It was desperately needed at the time.  I was coming out of a swift, but severe, bout of depression and had rediscovered Him.  When all had crashed down around me and I was utterly bankrupt in all facets of life, I needed to know that I had a future.  That there was purpose and design to my life.  Our God, who is so faithful, graciously showed me mine.

The future that God initially laid out for me then is complete except for the last thing (writing the book), which is in progress.  So a little thread of worry did invade my consciousness just before the Cath.  Was I a ticking time bomb?  Would I die on the table?  I was kicking myself for not writing faster, for completing the book that God said I would write.  Actually, he said books – plural – and about a year ago revealed more of my future.  But everything I was experiencing was enough to conjure a small trickle of doubt that could easily have been ridden by Satan if Jesus hadn’t been so quick to comfort me.

God stopped the hamster wheel that sometimes is my brain and quickly, unquestionably, gave me this verse:

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.

Does He speak and then not act?  Does He promise and not fulfill?  ~ Numbers 23:19 (ESV)     

My breath catches in my throat.  The last six words bring tears to my eyes.  “Does He promise and not fulfill?”

No.  No, He doesn’t.

God doesn’t lie.  He doesn’t change His mind.  He is steadfast.  He is faithful to keep His promises.

Once again I am driven to my knees in gratitude as the veil between Earth and Heaven is peeled back and I get a glimmer of understanding of just how much God loves me.  So much that He would shut a door the devil might walk through, seek to remove my worry, quiet any discontent that might make its way into my heart, mind, or soul over this situation.

He reminds me that He is in control.  He is on the throne.  He is faithful.

All the glory to Abba Father.  I am overwhelmed by His grace.

There’s more to come … see you next time!