Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekly Word for Feb. 25th, 2006

We want to let you know that Debbie & Ted have taken a little bit of time off to visit family, as well as get unpacked and re-organized. A new Weekly Word will be back on March 17th. Please feel free to check out some of the archived stories until Debbie is back.

We wish to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers and support. May the Lord bless you, and keep you, until we meet here again . . .

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good - to those who love God, . . . (Romans 8: 28)

“There must be a reason why things happened the way they did” were the words I heard on the other end of the phone. It wasn’t the first time I had heard those words - these past few days. Each time I heard the words, I just nodded and agreed with the person. But as I heard them again - I wanted to scream in to that phone! Nothing had gone the way I thought it would - and the stress had finally hit me. I wanted to know the reasons! Why had we had gone through so much - - - Why had it all happened?

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, . . . Even there - Your hand shall lead me, . . . And Your right hand shall hold me.
(Psalm 139: 9 & 10)

A friend had told us about the apartment. It was much bigger, and cost less than what we were paying here. But still, we weren’t sure that we wanted to move. But they kept telling us all the good reasons that we should move - and so we went to go see it. On our way there, Ted and I were sure we wouldn’t like it. We had decided that we would just look at it and tell the person “no”. But that isn’t what happened. We walked around the apartment, and saw all the holes in the walls and paint peeling from the ceilings. But for some reason - we liked it! I can’t even tell you why - but we did! So right then and there, we said “yes” to moving.

Over the next few months, we packed our stuff up a little at a time. We thought about the new place as a bigger and cheaper place to live. We even started to think about getting a newer car with the money we would be saving. Everything seemed so good. But as the time drew nearer, I found myself worrying about the move. I wasn’t sure about anything - as the family still hadn’t moved out of the place. Our own little apartment had been rented out to a new family - and I worried that we wouldn’t have a place to move in to at the end of the month. I kept on packing, and praying, and worrying. I didn’t know what else to do . . . .

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you . . .
For I am the Lord your God”
(Isaiah 43: 1)

“Debbie, I am so sorry . . .” were the first words I heard - as everything started to unravel. The apartment was in worse condition than anyone had expected, and in a matter of days, the owner had gutted it. As Ted and I stood looking around - we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have a place to live! My stomach was in knots and I thought for sure I would be sick. How could this have happened? Ted and I prayed every day - why hadn’t God told us about this? What were we supposed to do now?

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you . . .

The next few days were a blur, as I searched the newspapers and yellow pages for apartments and rentals. Ted and I prayed and prayed - hoping for a miracle - and wondering if we were going to be homeless!

“There must be a reason why things happened the way they did” those were the words that I heard again and again - over the next few days. When I finally told our landlady what happened, she asked us if we wanted to stay. Sobbing, I told her “yes”. Looking around our apartment - I realized how much it really did feel like “home”. But the last few days and weeks had left their mark. As I started to unpack, I felt the pain shooting through my neck and shoulders . . .

There must be a reason - - - I have to admit - I don’t always know why the tough things happen - to so many of us . . .

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God, . . .”
(Isaiah 43: 2)

A few years ago, in 2004 actually, Ted and I were living in a town called Yantic. It was February, and the neighboring duplex was empty and being demolished. The noise from the work had gotten the best of me - and so I had decided to go see Ted at his work. As I got in the car, I remember thinking about how much I loved him - and the comfort that I found in his arms. Those arms were what I was thinking about as I sat at the red light. And then I don’t remember what I thought about next - as the airbag hit my face and gun powder filled the car. Coughing and choking, I got out of the car. As I stood there I the middle of the road, I wondered what had happened. People stared at me as I stood there crying, but no one stopped to help. That was the day when I first injured my neck and back!

“There must be a reason why” - - - I never did figure out why my airbag went off that day. The car was inspected, and still there wasn’t an answer. But the damage to my neck had happened. For the next year and a half, I saw doctors and physical therapists - hoping to get help for my neck and arm. The nerves in my spine were being crushed, and I was slowly losing the ability to use my right arm. All during this time, Ted and I prayed. We prayed for a miracle. We prayed for help. And then we prayed on the day I went in for surgery. On that day, full of fear, I put my life in not only the doctor’s hands - but the Lord’s hands as well . . .

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me, When you search for Me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29: 12 & 13)

Each and every one of us will face tough times, at one point or another, during our lives. We have the choice of how we will face those times. Each day, Ted and I pray - asking the Lord to “be with us” during that day. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have problems. It doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes. But in that day - He is there to help us through. We made a choice to rent that other apartment - and it was a mistake. Was the Lord still with us? Yes! He will always be with us - as long as we keep asking Him . . .

“There must be a reason why things happened the way they did” - The truth is, this isn’t a perfect world - and none of us are perfect either. My car was very old, and it’s airbag went off. My back was damaged - and so I needed help. We made a choice to move - and then needed help when it turned out to be a bad choice. But all along the way - God was “with us”. He was there when the surgeon opened up my spine and brought about healing to the area. He was there that day - when my old car’s system malfunctioned. And He is here today - helping me to get healthy and strong - where I overworked and hurt my back again.

The other day, Ted and I heard a new song by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks. The song is called “Love Will Always Win”. The words are about the tough times - when it seems like the whole world is against us. They tell of not wanting to go through those times - but not being able to go around them. As we listened to the song - I felt Ted’s arms come around me. Sinking in to him, I felt the comfort I had been looking for. As he held me close he whispered - “It will be OK” - and I believed him. Together, with the Lord, we will be alright . . .

These are some of the words to the song “Love Will always Win”:

Walk on and our hearts will lead us
But our hearts will need us
To be steady and strong

We know that a rainbow waits
Beyond dark skies.

No way over it - No way around it - If we want it -
We have to go through it -
Fight for love.

And the world tries to break us down
But the world will bend - and the fight will end -
Love will always win

I wish I could say that I always made the right choices, and things were always wonderful. But the truth is, I make mistakes - we all do. But the Lord never makes a mistake - He always knows what is good for us. We just need to stop - and listen.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

It is my hope and prayer that you will ask the Lord to walk with you - not only during the tough times - but every day that is before you. Will you say “yes” to living Life - making mistakes - and holding on tight to the Lord each step of the way . . .

“And behold, I am with you, and will keep you - wherever you go . . .”
(Genesis 28: 15)

God bless you this day, and all the days that are before you . . .

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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