The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Upward and Outward"
Mrs. Shirley does not complain. She will tell me if she is hurting, and if I ask, will describe the nature of the challenge. But she will never do so in a manner that approaches complaint.
"By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).
Mrs. Shirley lives at a local retirement community where we conduct services. Currently, however, she is a patient at a rehab facility for treatment of a severe case of cellulitis in her knee, and a fall caused thereby. She is doing well, but is hurting greatly in a number of ways, and also suffering frequent nausea from medications she takes for the infection and her pain issues. However, she never complains. Again, I have to ask about her challenges to know the details.
Because of Covid, I cannot visit Mrs. Shirley at the rehab center. We talk by phone nearly every day, however, and I always pray for her as we conclude our conversations. Then, she prays for Frances and me. It matters not how much she is hurting, or how nauseated she feels. She prays sweet and earnest prayers for our lives, our families, and our ministries. Tears well in my eyes when this happens, as they do now while writing about it. No, Mrs. Shirley does not complain. She prays instead. She prays for others. "In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (Philippians 2:3-4).
How wonderful the Lord Jesus Christ must be, that He can so reveal His love in human hearts. Indeed, our native fleshly tendency when hurting tempts us to withdraw into ourselves. People like Mrs. Shirley, however, venture in a different direction when hurting. By the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit, they journey upward and outward to the Throne of grace for the glory of God and the blessing of others. In the nearly five decades I have been a believer, I have been blessed to know so many like her. I have been the beneficiary of so many of their intercessions. I have realized that such grace speaks of glories that find their way to this present world, but which can only have originated in Heaven and its blessed Christ. "We have this Treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (II Corinthians 4:7).
I know you will pray for Mrs. Shirley. I will tell her, and she will appreciate it so much, especially in these days of pain and great challenge wherein she will not complain. She rather prays because the One she trusts wondrously does such things in the hearts of those who look to Him, and who find His love leading upward and outward along paths of love first trod by Him, and then by those in whom He dwells and walks (II Corinthians 6:16).
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation."
(II Corinthians 1:2-6)
Weekly Memory Verse
"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead."