Thursday, July 12, 2012
How do you know if God has spoken to you or if it is just your imagination, playing tricks on you? I've pondered this question more times then I can guess and still I am left without a solid answer. Quite frankly, I don't know if there is a clear cut answer this side of heaven. It is an issue of faith, not so much of fact if you ask me. If you are walking by faith and truly seeking God's direction while living within His will, He will give you confirmation. Maybe for some people that confirmation comes in the form of an audible voice or even a burning bush. For most, this probably isn't God's go-to mode of communication. I'd venture to guess that most hear from Him in the stillness of a peace that surpasses understanding, "coicidece" that is really God's divine handiwork of circumstances and the wisdom and guidance of other Christian counsel. If I had to guess, I'd say these communication modalities are more common. Maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences. Recently I've had a word from God - actually two "words" from God. They both came when I was alone and they didn't come from a big booming voice that shook the earth around me. They didn't make an audible sound. Instead, it came in a still silence. It was an overwhelming feeling, not a structured sentence of vowels, nouns and adjectives. My first word came while I was in Florida about two weeks ago. I don't remember what I was doing that day or how I was feeling but I do remember where I was standing. I was walking into my apartment when I got the overwhelming reassurance that I am going to be healed. As to when or how it will come about wasn't revealed to me. Just the simple reassurance that healing will come was enough. I think I let out an audible sigh of relief. Healing. That is such a wonderful and hopeful word. I don't know when it will come. God still hasn't revealed that. Despite the vague nature of the message it was and still is more then enough. Some people never receieve a word from God and others want a whole paragraph. I am thankful for the simple sneek peak of what is to come. Maybe it won't come for years or maybe it will come today. If God wanted me to know He would have let me know already. As for now, I am resting in His promises of never forsaking His children and His personal message He sent to me. The second word came today, right in the car while I was driving along 38th Street in Erie. This word came out of the clear blue - especially given the way I have been feeling the past few days. To provide some background, the past two days have been physically rough to say the very least. Tuesday started out just fine, as fine as I am these days but that went by the waisteside by the evening. My digestive system went on the fritz and my body couldn't keep food in. Not to be too graphic, but I spent a nice portion of my day running to the bathroom. Then came Wednesday, and if I thought Tuesday was bad I was sorely mistaken. Wednesday showed me how bad diarreah can get. At one point I was seeing stars. Obviously, this wasn't your typical "I ate a bad hamburger" sickness. This was severe and exhausting. I celebrated our nation's birthday by laying on the couch and bolting to the bathroom. You know, a typical Independence Day shin-dig. I know how to do it up right. So, needless to say the past few days have been trying which is what makes today's word so astonishing. As I drove along all the sudden I had the message that I am gaining weight. Ah, what? Last I checked I just lost all contents in my digestive tract plus every bite of food I put in yesterday and the day before. How could I possibly be putting on weight? Wouldn't I have just lost the weight of all that? Isn't that what women go get colonics for - a quick shedding of 5 unwanted pounds of toxic waste? Yet, the message wasn't fuzzy and I am quite confident that the lines weren't crossed giving me a message meant for some other underweight sufferer. This little correspondence had my name on it. It was sign, sealed and deliver especially for Stephanie Rice. I, all 70 some pounds of me (I haven't weighed myself in a while), is gaining WEIGHT. He didn't send along "will gain weight", "may gain weight", or "wants to gain weight". He send along "IS GAINING WEIGHT"! WOAH! And halleluljah! This is the mother of all messages. This is THE message I have been waiting to receive. This is my equivelant to a teenage girl sitting by the phone with sweaty palms as she waits for her 8 year long crush to call and ask her to prom like all her friends are saying he will. This is the dad waiting in the delivery room while his wife gives birth to a baby that's gender is still a surprise. This is a military wife waiting in the airport baggage claim for her husband that has been deployed for six months. This word surprises and thrills me. I didn't expect it. I've been confident that some day I will gain weight but I never dreamt that God would give me an assurance that it was happening at a particular time. I assummed it would start to happen and the scale would be my heads up that the pounds were coming back. But this is a far better way to find out. This beats the scale without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, I can't dream up a better way to find out about healing then from the master of healing himself. I am gaining weight. I have no words to describe the overwhelming emotions I get when I read, write or think about that sentence. It is more then I can take in. It practically brings me to tears. The battle belongs to the Lord. It always has. Even when my weight was plummeting and my emotions were running dry, the battle was his to fight. He carried the swords and marched to the front lines. At moments I have grown weary from the sadness that Satan wants me to give into. The devil wants to kill and destroy. He wants to sap my joy and rob me of my faith. Yet, God is faithful. When I call on Him, He answers. It is as simple as that. In the depths of the darkest points in the battle, he cares enough for me to comfort my emotional struggles. He doesn't forget about my needs in the midst of the waging war. He takes care of it all. Satan has been on the attack. For months I didn't understand that my battle was not against the scale or my digestive tract, but against the devil himself. When I was able to see this trial for what it truly is things started to change. Before I was looking to myself for answers. Googling medical conditions, looking for any and all doctors, undergoing medical testing and breaking down all the while. But now things are different. Don't get me wrong, some days I'm still overcome by sadness. I have cried and broken down as recently as yesterday afternoon. But these waves are shorter and not all consuming. Even through my tears I can see God's hand on me. As I said yesterday, I haven't lost patience and I certainly am not wavering in faith - I'm just a little sad. The emotional toll of watching the world celebrate and enjoy life when you are physically unable to join in. Yet, that is temporary. God assures us of that. Even if your healing never comes on this earth, you are given the promise of an abudent, glorious life in heaven. Maybe your message from God is "wait, your healing will come." And maybe it doesn't seem that it is ever going to get here. You wait and wait, and still things don't change. This life is a blink of an eye. Healing will come. If not now, then it will when you meet God face to face. And there you will enjoy perfection forever.