Monday, October 7, 2013

Poisonous Snakes and Scorpions

That title sounds like a good Halloween title, doesn't it? Well, I have actually been thinking a lot about poisonous snakes and scorpions lately. As soon as I heard this verse, I recognized it as TRUTH. 

"Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. 

He gave you water from the rock!"

Deut 8:15

In my own life, the Lord has had to lead me through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where is was SO hot and dry. But, He led me THROUGH it and into safety where He provided water from the rock. Those years were so dark and terrifying, I wasn't sure if I would make it. 

I had a chronic illness for 4 years. One no one knew what it was or how to treat. I think it was an insect-borne illness but I will never know for sure. I went from perfectly healthy one day to severe headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue the next.
I continued to get sicker and sicker. It started to affect me neurologically to where I couldn't form thoughts into words. I would forget why I was somewhere. I couldn't pray out loud. :(
I did not know if I would ever be well again. I wondered if I would die before they figured out what it was.
I had 3 boys (3 and under). 
I was told I could have no more children. I was told I would most likely never recover. I was on piles of medicines. IV antibiotics for 17 weeks. Oral drugs for 3 years. There was no light. 
It was a battle for my faith more than my health.
Could I keep walking? Among the poisonous snakes and scorpions in a hot dry wilderness?
I didn't want to. I had no more strength. I wanted to turn back. 
I was in a "secret place" of suffering where no one else could come.
I envied everyone. Looking on at their lives that seemed so "easy".
The care-free golfers laughing on the golf course behind my bedroom window where I laid in bed made me mad.
Healthy pregnant women broke my heart
Why me? Why this road?
Why, God?

 My friend, Keri, sent me this handmade book of Scriptures/promises AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME.

(All of these pictures are actually from those days in the wilderness).

What I didn't know was that He was calling me by name into close fellowship with Him in order to GIVE ME TREASURES. 
"I will give you the treasures of darkness

And hidden riches of secret places,

That you may know that I, the Lord,

Who call you by your name"
Is 45:3

He wanted to teach me His Word. 

 "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."
Deut 8:3

"Unless Your law had been my delight,
I would then have perished in my affliction."
Ps 119:92

He wanted to prove His faithfulness to me. He wanted to show me His power. He wanted to prove that He was portion and the strength of my heart.

"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever."
Ps 73:26

I don't talk about those days much. They were so scary and painful. I want to erase those years from my life and memory but they are part of the story He wrote for me.

 I MUST praise God that He was merciful and that He did heal me. He restored my health. He has given me 3 more children. He calmed the storm so that the waves were HUSHED.

I never want to forget the rescuing power of Jehovah in my life.
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God"
Deut 8:10

"Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness...
He turns a wilderness into pools of water,

And dry land into watersprings."
Ps 107:28-35

"From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
Ps 61:2

As I wait for this new baby to arrive, I REMEMBER. I remember God's deliverance in my life. I remember His power. I recognize that apart from Him, I have no good thing. I would be bed-ridden, unable to raise children. Yet, He showed me compassion. He gave me the desires of my heart. He has LET me have children and teach them His Word. He has LET me serve Him. I am 100% dependent on His strength in my life. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for all the gifts He has given me.
Motherhood is a gift. You don't realize that until it is taken from you. Health is a gift. Serve God with all your might while you have the strength to.
If you are walking through a terrifying, hot, dry wilderness full of poisonous snakes and scorpions, DON'T TURN BACK. He will lead you OUT. He will give you mannah and sustain you. There is purpose. It is to FREE you. The road is scary. (Not the one I would have chosen---- I KNOW THAT!) But, it is part of the pilgrimage. You will miss out on so many treasures and riches if you turn back. 
Cling to God and His Word with all your might. His Word will be your lamp. And, when you reach the good land He is going to give you... a land flowing with milk and honey, NEVER FORGET.
May my story bring you HOPE. Jehovah Rapha is able. He is able to heal you physically and spiritually. He is able to heal your marriage. He is able to heal your mind and soul.
Keep asking. I remember reading about all the sick people in the New Testament. They didn't just watch Jesus walk by. They knew if they could just get to Him, He could do a miracle. They touched His clothes, cried out to Him for help, were lowered by friends into His presence...
Don't stop asking. Always knowing not our will but His. 
But, show me in Scripture where it says we should stop asking for a miracle.

"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving"
Col 4:2

“When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple."
Jonah 2:7

"And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. "
James 5:15

"Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe."
Luke 8:44

If you remember anything from this post, remember that He is leading you THROUGH the wilderness. 
"Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. 
He gave you water from the rock!"
Deut 8:15

He led you in there for a reason and He will lead you OUT.
Don't look at the snakes and scorpions. Keep your eyes FIXED on the Lord.
Beg Him for the strength to keep walking. Ask Him to give you WATER FROM THE ROCK.
He will.

Be Blessed~


Anonymous said...

Stephanie thank you SO much for your obedience from The Lord to write this blog with such anointed words and scriptures! This is exactly what I needed to hear today! Your testimony is amazing! I pray God continues to write through you because your blogs bless me more than you know! Thank you again for sharing!

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie,

I've kept up with your blog for years now and have recently been spending time reading it back from its beginning -- am near the end of 2008, and your writing's been better for my soul than any devotional out there -- your posts titled "The Books," "River," and "Leprosy" immediately come to mind as having especially impacted me, but every Scripture-saturated post you write is an absolute gem -- what a gift you have for sharing the Word and passionately encouraging others as you steadfastly live solely for God's glory.

Your faith, your joyful gratitude, and your unflagging devotion to the Lord and to your family knock my socks right off.

With my gratitude always and much love to you and your baby and your whole glorious family ~

Anonymous said...

Thank you Stephanie for these words. I am still in the wilderness, waiting, and wondering why?? How Long Lord??? Some days I do want to turn back, and my ugly ugly flesh, gets mad and says forget it, He is not working in my life. What have I done?? etc....
BUT..I will not turn back! I will keep trusting! I will keep seeking His face, whether healing comes or not. He has given me so much!!
Just thank you Steph...His words through you do give me hope. Praising God for you, that your healing came.