August 4, 2016

Thinking Thursday

It is Thursday, and I am sitting here at my blog, thinking. Well, I do that every day, but since today is Thursday, the "thinking" part just seemed to work with the "Thursday" part so I thought I would use it for my title (LOL!) I am doing well today. It is another "no cracking" ear day, and that my friends, is such a sweet blessing. I have struggled with this ear buzzing, crackling noise for almost two years. It is phantom noise, which just means that it is not real, but imagined. I am hearing the noise, for sure, but there is no physical cause for it. It is neurological so my brain is making the noise just for grins. Of course, it is highly annoying. At times, it is so loud that I cannot hear others speak, especially on the phone. This release from the incessant noise is a blessing, a real blessing to me. I am hoping that the noise doesn't return when we start to dry out this coming week.

I really believe that the monsoonal pattern this year, in particular, has been the relief I needed. While we haven't had any rain to speak of in my neighborhood (just a scant), the low pressure has been over top of us, and with that spinning low, my ears have been at peace. My sinuses have drained, and my head, generally speaking has been free from all manner of headache. I am feeling really well right now. I pray it continues. I pray it continues from this point on.

The funny thing about pressure headaches is that the medical community pooh-pooh's them, but there is some evidence, theoretical mostly, that asserts that up to 60% of all migraine sufferers report that weather change triggers their migraines. It is not conclusive; yet, for those of us that suffer with them, they are very real and they are annoyingly painful. The hope that the medical community will accept this theory is on the horizon. I mean, if up to 60% of all sufferers report that climate change is a trigger for migraines, then there must be some "credibility" to that empirical statistic.

Nonetheless, I am so ready to leave the hot and dry desert climate (which can be a trigger) and move to a place where there will a change of pressure regularly. I find that the high pressure, along with the lack of humidity, is what causes me the most problems. Most people think moving to the desert is the best thing for their allergies or other upper respiratory symptoms. Yes, the constant high pressure is what causes my problems. More so, the extreme dryness and the dust work together to really take a toll on me. Either I am suffering from headaches or the inability to breath freely. Truthfully, I am ready to try a different climate to see if these ills disappear. I sure hope they will; I really do. Regardless, I am ready to move to a place with a variable climate so I can be free finally from the constant pain, pressure and problem. Selah!

Peace Reigns

Today is a good day. It is August the 4th, and for all intents and purposes, I am in a very good mood. I woke up after passing a decent night. I had one very weird dream, though. I was trapped in a cage or an exhibit at the zoo with several lions all around me. At first, I thought it was like "Daniel and the Lion's Den" from the Old Testament. You know, I was being tested, tried, and the lions where there to consume me. The one male lion, however, was not attacking me. He was more like protecting me. I was not afraid, but I wanted to be away, to get free. The lion wouldn't let me leave, and what is more, he was sitting next to me, almost leaning his entire weight on me. I was looking for someone to help me, to free me, to open the door so I could rush out, but even when I tried to get away, I felt incapable, like I was stuck or fixed in place. In the end, I managed to get free, but I remember looking at the lions and thinking to myself, why are they not attacking me, why are they just sitting there.

As I think about that dream, one thing stands out to me. I wasn't afraid of this lion. I was overpowered by him. I was overwhelmed by his presence. I was fixed to him, like somehow I was chained next to him. In all, I wondered if the lion was meant for harm or for my good.

After I have sat a bit, thought about it more, I am thinking now that the dream was simply to show me that my Lord, the Lion of Judah, is with me. He is like that massive lion I saw, impressive, stately, and overwhelmingly powerful. He had a fierceness about Him, and that is what scared me most. More so, I think it was His close proximity to me. He was leaning hard against me, pressing His weight into me, and almost like I was having to carry this burden, this weight that He had shifted on to my shoulders. I remember thinking "I cannot carry all this weight, it is too much for me." He never moved. He simply leaned against me as if to show me His power, His authority, and His might. I remember running from His presence, running to get away, yet He didn't chase after me. He remained right where He was, and I thought, He simply let me leave.

Why is this so? 

I am not sure, but I think the reason I dreamt about the Lord this way was to show me that He is mighty and powerful, and that when I am near Him, His presence overwhelms me. More so, the weight He carries is too heavy for me to bear. I was trying to bear up, but His weight was too much for me. This says to me that when I try to carry the Lord as opposed to Him carrying me, I cannot do it. It would be like me trying to lift a 500 pound man and carry him around. I would be quashed by the excessive weight.  Likewise, when we think we can do the Lord's work without His strength, we will fail. The weight will be oppressive, unending, and harmful to us physically. But, when we lean into Him, letting Him bear the weight as only He can do it, then we are safe, we are sure, and we can do whatever He delights for us to do.

Yes, I think this is the correct interpretation of my dream last night. You see, I was praying over all the work the Lord has provided for me this fall. At first, I thought I wouldn't have enough work to pay my bills. Then He moved, and the worked flowed to me. Now, I worry that there is too much, and that the burden of completing my dissertation will be too heavy for me to bear. Yet, in my dream, the lion was King. He was massive, powerful, and able to do whatever He wanted. He didn't need me to lift anything, and in fact, in all my dream, He simply towered over me. I was not able to move, and when I finally did, I think it was because He allowed me to move, know what I mean? I didn't escape. He just let me leave.

My life is moving at a very quick speed. In fact, the Lord spoke to me and said something of this sort recently. It was more like this sense that my life would be kicking into high gear this fall, and as a result, I would need to be ready for it. Already, I see this happening, coming to pass. I mean, I have six classes scheduled for fall, and with my dissertation and caring for my parents, well, I am tasked heavily. I cry out with the Apostle Paul who said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and after my dream last night, when I recall His massive strength and commanding presence, I shout, "Amen, amen, and amen!" Yes, I can only do what He asks of me in His strength. I can do no good thing outside of His ability, His inner working, and His amazing presence. Selah!

What I Need Today

As I think about this day, I am reminded that with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37). My needs assessment is no longer focused on monetary gain; rather, it is focused on spiritual ability, supernatural strength, endurance, and the insight to accomplish all the work assigned to me. Yes, I must focus on His work now. This means that between now and the end of the year, I am to be single-mindedly focused on His work. All of His work. Whether I am at home, at school, or in between (in the car or out shopping), everything needs to be directed toward His assignment. He has a plan. He has communicated that plan to me. Now, I must do the tasks, do the work, and rest when He says to me, "Dear One, Rest!" I must draw from His strength, and I must recognize His massive presence in my life. I am no longer trying to accomplish anything on my own, through my own abilities, mind, or intellect. I am only working on His fuel, His power, His might. And in this way, I will achieve what He desires. I will do what He asks of me, and I will trust that His power and His might are enough for me.

My task list is long, so today I need to get organized. I need to plan out my days between now and the start of school. I have two weeks, give or take until classes begin at ACU and at Regent. This means I have a lot of prep work to do in order to be ready to start school. Thank goodness, GCU doesn't begin until the end of the month. At the least, I will have a breather of sorts. God is good, so very good to me.

My prayer today is to be patient, to wait on the Lord, and to trust Him for His perfect guidance and provision from this point forward. I need Him to sort the details out, to classify, to clarify, and to create a plan that will make the next four-five months doable for me. I need to do a good job at my schools. I need to do well on my proposal and my defense. I must do my research. I have so much to do right now, and I know the fall will zip by me so very quickly. Yet, He is able, more than able to handle all of this "stuff." He has me well-covered, and I am sure that He knows what is best for me. He has a good plan, all the details and logistics set out, and frankly, I really can just rest now. I can rest. I can sit back and watch as my God, my King, my Lord, and my Savior does this miracle work in me and through me. He will be glorified, not I. He will be praised for this work, and He will receive the honor. I lay it at His feet, and I worship Him because He alone is worthy to receive all praise, all honor, and all glory. Yes, He alone is worthy, so very worthy!

In Closing

As I close out this blog post, I am contented in the knowledge that God is God. I mean, it should be easy to rest in that fact, yet I often struggle and lose sight of the dividing line between where I end and He begins. He is all-powerful, majestic, and imperial. He is KING, and as such, there is nothing I need do except serve Him with a whole heart, a glad heart, a cheerful heart. May my heart be cheerful today as I give Him praise. He alone is worthy, so very worthy this good, good day. Selah!

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