July 23 2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38,39; Psalms 75; 1 Peter 2

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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Suffering’s Powerful Praise | Tara Wiley

S~ Think of it – the Lord is ready to heal me! I will sing praises with instruments every day of my life in the temple of the Lord. Isaiah 38:20

O~ There is a song that can only rise out of suffering. The joy that overflows in the healing (and in the suffering!) holds an opportunity for astounding worship and testimony.

A~ My daughter is currently struggling with keeping a positive attitude about her food allergies and health issues. I cannot blame her. It kills me to watch her have to say no over and over and over again – it kills me when I have to do the same thing! Summertime is especially difficult, with parties and vacations and cookouts every week… the no’s outweigh the yeses, even when I am prepared. She is suffering, and this aspect of her suffering will not go away (while she may outgrow a few of these myriad allergies, the gluten and dairy no’s are there to stay). My heart aches for her, even as I rejoice that she will not have to endure the decades of suffering I did, because we found her allergies early. Even though this suffering feels like pain, it is actually a path of healing and wholeness. That’s awfully hard for an 8-year-old to grasp. Some days, it’s hard for a 42-year-old with the same issues, too.

My friend’s daughter is facing down the possibilities of future suffering. It is scary and hard and I don’t like that they are in this place. I just want it to stop. But then I remember…

I am who I am because of my suffering; and when I surrender the pain and the healing to God, He creates something so beautiful – a glorious sacrifice I couldn’t create on my own. A reflection of Jesus, our suffering savior, magnified by pain and by triumph over pain. Yes, the suffering is worth it to be able to identify with Christ’s suffering.

So, I cannot begrudge God for allowing seasons of pain, because I know the fruit that comes from it.

P~ Lord, I don’t like it when people I love suffer. I really don’t like it when children suffer. But God, in these sufferings, You are forming a weight of glory far beyond all comparison (I Corinthians 4:17). Oh, it’s SO worth it! God, I pray for the suffering ones today who are desperate, face to the wall like Hezekiah, feeling so trapped and alone and scared. Remind them today that You stand ready to heal them in a way and time that will produce such glory and praise. Help them be patient as they endure. Bring that first trusting word of praise to their lips as they wait on You. And God, in that glorious day of healing, may they run to worship – and may their song bring hope and joy to everyone around them! And for those of us who face chronic illness with full restoration waiting on the other side of eternity, help us rejoice. Help my daughter rejoice in the health she experiences because of the hard choices she makes every day. Help her find glory in this hard place. Help her find a song she can only sing because she is walking this road with you. Thank You, oh thank You, for the healing You’ve brought in my life, and for the song You have given me out of it.

Thank You!! | Nikki Metzger

S~ We thank you, O God! We give thanks because You are near.  People everywhere tell of Your wonderful deeds. Psalm 75:1 (NLT)

O/A~ I met a really nice family last weekend at one of my husband’s softball games.  As I was talking with the mom, she shared a pretty intense medical situation with me, one that could have cost her her life. As she was talking, she described their family of four as: independent, self sufficient, strong in themselves, quiet, private, not relying on others, and mentally tough, “we’ve got this” attitude.

My heart for her grew, I got the feeling that she had never really had a glimpse of who Jesus is.  Like she had walked through the religious motions, claimed a religion, but never experienced deep relationship with the Savior. And then she shared the rest of her medical story: miraculous, shortest hospital stay, the biggest clot the doctor had ever seen, full recovery, no long term effects, amazed doctors.

P~ Father, I thank You!  You are near!  Near to me, near to this family who doesn’t know You.  People everywhere tell of Your wonderful deeds!  Thank You!  Thank You for letting me hear how You are ’tilling the soil of her heart right now!  Lord, I pray for her and her family – that You would draw them into Your family and they would come to REALLY know Jesus!  I love You!!

Secure Enough to Fear You Alone | Michelle Myers

S~ It is you alone who are to be feared. Psalms 75:7 (NIV)

O~ Once I finally got this verse, so many of my chains were gone.  I don’t have to fear anyone else’s opinion or perception.  I don’t even have to be offended by them.  I just have to follow YOU.  I just have to allow YOU to work on me.

A~ My girls are at the age where they are way too cool for their parents, and are easily embarrassed by the things we have been doing for years.  Our joking around is now embarrassing to them.  Way back when my husband got me our first cat, we gave him a “voice” and talked for him.  As the cat got older and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, he had this perpetual grumpy, so not amused look on his face.  Ever since then, we have given all of our furry family members voices and personalities.

We have been spending a lot of time at the zoo. The joking around in “animal voices” has made its way to the animals there, when they are doing something amusing.  They do this on America’s Funniest Home Videos and the World’s Funniest Animals all the time.  My kids love it.  Yet, the other day, when I did it at the zoo, my youngest was sooooooooo embarrassed.

At first, I thought that maybe I need to “tone it down” a bit; because I wouldn’t want to purposely do anything to hurt her.  Then I heard Your voice.  I wasn’t doing anything to hurt her.  I was just being me.  I was just using the sense of humor that You gave me.  It was harmless.

Then You showed me the bigger picture.  As they have struggled with peer relationships over the last year and mean girls, they have often struggled with who You created them to be.  I have told them, that unless God is speaking to you about what you are doing or who you are, then don’t worry about other people’s opinions.  He is the one who will tell you when you are out of alignment with who He created You to be.  Hard lesson for a teenager to get. It took me 40+ years to get it, and know the freedom in it.  You prompted me to use this as an example and once again have a conversation with them, about being secure in who they are in Christ and the freedom in that.

P~ First, thank you for my husband, who tolerates and sometimes participates in my crazy animal ways.  What my kids don’t see, is the years that I didn’t have the opportunity to be who You created me to be, because I was being hushed by a controlling mom.  What my kids get, is a mom and dad who have a sense of humor.  I didn’t have that mother, and for many years, my sense of humor wasn’t “allowed”.  Neither was my dad’s, and I have slowly watched him lose who You created him to be.

Please help my children know how important it is to fear You alone.  Help them recognize and stand firm against the people and forces of this world that would snuff out who You created them to be.  Help them recognize when someone is harming them, and be tolerant of others who are just being themselves, even when they don’t understand it, agree with it, or like it.

By the time we have really lost our minds, and my husband and I are talking in animal voices in the nursing home, please help them be secure enough in who they are, that they can just brush it off to the staff and explain who Buster, Maggie, Tiger, Snickers and any other future animal we may have are and why we sound the way we do.

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

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Posted on July 23, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you all! You guys are awesome.

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