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BACK TO THE BUSH: The Healing Power of Thankfulness

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Bush Camp, Home of some rather extraordinary memories!

Bush Camp, Home of some rather extraordinary memories!

BUSH CAMP – February 23, 2013

Something from my journal on this date:

Self-pity (the kind I experienced while living at bush camp) is referred to in Jesus Calling as a pit or demonic trap. The author’s advice on staying away from the pit is to stay close to Jesus as you praise and thank Him.

   When I wrote this paragraph in my journal, my mind was recalling the discouragement that almost overwhelmed me during my bout of illness shortly after arriving at bush camp. (Sickness, 9/26/2013). I hovered around that pit of self-pity almost daily. There would be moments when I felt the pull of the pit lessened, especially after an uplifting conversation with my son, reading something encouraging from Jesus Calling or my Bible, or having the Holy Spirit remind me of a precious promise from God. But in spite of all that, I struggled with self-pity, in my opinion, way too long.

Another journal moment:

I realize (from that experience) that sickness is the greatest of discouragements. It was so hard to pull myself out of the pit as long as I felt so sick. Ever been there? 

The following scriptures,

1 Thessalonians 5:18  KJV in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Philippines 4:6-7 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

offered the BEST of advice on how to handle difficult situations, but being physically ill had drained me of my ability to maintain an attitude of thankfulness when I went to God in prayer. I am sorry to say that most of my prayers during, those days of a challenging sickness, were me having a pity party and complaining to God.

   And I am sure that it comes as no surprise that I endured, on top of my physical illness, major fiery dart (http://fierydarts.wordpress.com) attacks because I wasn’t able to be the obedient Christian that I should be and thank God in the face of my difficulties. That’s condemnation, folks, not conviction.

   Fortunately, I knew the difference (thanks to the book God had me write about that, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice) and as I persisted in prayer, I became more cooperative with God as He continued working on His plans for me in that situation.

   You know, I would love to be able to tell you that I gloriously, and speedily rose above the self-pity and discouragement brought on by my illness, but I can’t really say that. However,  as I prayed and read my Bible and as I listened to others share about God in their lives, I found myself focusing on God more and less on my suffering. Eventually, my discouragement and self pity gave way to the healing power of thankfulness. 

Keeping my focus! Or I will go into panic mode!

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     Just the other day, while sitting beside the creek running through the Christian camp where my son served for several years, I got a call from him.  During the time I had spent at this camp attending a ladies retreat, he had called so that I could tell him all about what I had been doing and who I had talked with.  This place is like a second home to my son and daughter in law.  

     So I filled him in on my activities and then he told me he had some news. Fighting had broken out in the area where he, his family and his team mates serve.  There has been fighting going on in the country for months, but this time it had moved in closer to where they lived.  He told me they were in exit mode while the situation was being monitored.  Their future there is uncertain at present.

     I notified my husband of our son’s news and instead of delivering the sermon he had prepared, he called the church to a season of prayer instead.  All over the sanctuary people were rising to their feet, taking their turn to pray for my son, his family, and their friends who are serving alongside them. When I found out about this, (a friend in the service texted me to tell me what was going on), my mother’s heart was calmed beyond understanding. I camped down on the following verse,

 

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

     I had my mother’s moment as I shared my son’s news, but God in His loving care, had ordained that I would be sharing this moment with two of my best friends. (They had come along with me to attend the ladies retreat)  Their support and comfort was God’s plan to sustain me during those uncertain moments.  Later in the evening I attended the church that meets at the camp.  They were faithful to ask their members to pray for my son and crew.  

So, why do I share all this with you?

     I want you, my dear readers (especially you mothers of missionaries) to know about God’s faithfulness and loving care to sustain me in this uncertain moment.  Of course, Satan stood ready to shoot those destructive fiery darts which were designed to stir up fear and doubt in my mind concerning my son’s phone call.

 

Read all about fiery darts on my blog:

http://fierydarts.wordpress.com

Or read my book: (you can find it online)

Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice

     Satan tempted me with visualizing scenarios that could have pushed me into panic mode, if I allowed myself to ponder them.  But I was wise to his tactics, therefore, I did what I have been trained to do concerning fiery darts. So I did the following: 

I asked God to help me:

1. Recognize the fiery darts

2.  Resist the fiery darts

3. Replace the fiery dart  

with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.          (Philippines 4:8)

     I fought those temptations with the weapons God had given me and a blessed peace came over me that passes understanding. (Philippines 4:6-7)

    It’s a little hard to explain the outcome of the work that God had and continues to do in my heart and mind with my son’s present assignment.  It’s like my heart and mind are in a bubble, protected from thoughts that would serve to take my focus off of God and all that I have entrusted to Him. Sure, I would love to know that my son and his family have been removed from the tense situation they live in.  But I think of the people God has called them to serve and of how desperately they need to receive this news.  My son and crew love these people.  The love they have for them motivates them to do all they can to tell them about Jesus.  

    Therefore, as I trust God to care for my son and his crew during these tense times, I also pray for the people they have been called to serve.  Keeping my focus here, protects me from panic and in its place God provides His peace.

 I could want nothing more!

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