Friday, May 6, 2016

Words of Comfort

Jewel 3/14/16 at Vets
We had just finished what I call “juicing” Jewel, one of the rescue cats.  Juicing is actually injecting fluids under the skin using IV (much like basting a turkey or chicken) to help hydrate a pet that is in kidney failure.   

She had her first round of meds for the day when I noticed two men walking down the alley behind our house.  One was several feet ahead of the other.  From the looks of it I wasn’t sure if they were together. 

About five minutes later they were walking the road in the opposite direction, but this time they were side-by-side and carrying on a conversation.  When I saw them it reminded me of what I’d been doing for several days.  Let me take you back to last Tuesday (April 26th, 2016). 

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No More Reports  

Taking care of special needs cats is a blessing, but sometimes it can be quite daunting.  In the past few months two have crossed over to Heaven, rehabilitating one who was shot is a major handful (thankfully the cast is now off), and getting a report on Jewel’s condition took a toll on our emotions. 

Jewel is no stranger to the power and favor of God when it comes to healing.  She has lived with Feline Herpes all her life, which puts her in the “unadoptable” category.  At one time her leg was supposed to be amputated.  We convinced the doctor not to operate and let God work.  After six weeks or so in the hospital and through fervent prayer, God saved her leg and life.  Six years have passed since! 

Several weeks ago Jewel suddenly went totally blind from high blood pressure and somehow scratched the cornea of her left eye.  This tiny six pound wonder had been losing weight rapidly, and when she began drinking more than usual we had an idea that her kidneys were shutting down.   

A Comforting Word 

Caring for pets in need of hospice care is really hard. Just because it’s an animal doesn’t mean it’s less painful.  It takes favor, grace and mercy from God to stand in faith as His plan unfolds. 

On Tuesday a blood test verified our suspicions concerning Jewel. Having been through this twice before we recognized the symptoms she was displaying.

We thanked God for the ability He has given us, and by faith planted our feet firmly on the Solid Ground of His Word. 

That night I couldn’t sleep and was up checking on this little kitty.  It felt like Jesus was taking a side trip on our journey together and I was way ahead of him trying to figure out what to do.  By now it was hard to hold back tears, my pulse felt like the Indy 500, and my stomach was haven to a kaleidoscope of butterflies. 

Realizing that I was about to give fear a place I looked up the word “comfort” in the Bible taking into consideration last week’s Daily Favor challenge about speaking life.  Having read through the Bible many times I knew passages that dealt with comfort, but at the time they all escaped my thinking except for the Holy Spirit who is our comforter. 

I found 129 verses that dealt with comfort and wouldn’t you know the first one was Psalm 23?  When I saw it I said out loud (so that the devil could hear me) “We don’t need that one because by faith we are speaking life for Jewel.” 

Reading down my list of comfort scriptures Psalm 119:76 gave me the message I needed to embrace from the Lord. 
“Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort,
according to Your Word to Your servant.” 

It was a confirmation of what I’d been studying over the week, with the Word of God being our comfort in any situation.   

He Hears Us 

After checking on hubby and Jewel, I sat at the kitchen table and opened the mail for that day.  The room was dark except for a small light over the counter.  It seemed really quiet with no heaters roaring, but I could hear hubby breathing through the BiPap machine. 

Shuffling through the pieces I noticed one addressed specifically to me.  A ministry sent a thank you note, and enclosed with their letter was a card that read Jeremiah 29:11-13.  It’s one of my favorite passages, but rarely do I continue reading past the eleventh verse unless I’m reading through the chapter. 

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  
12-13 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seach for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV) 

As children of God we have the blessing of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace (favor) to see us through each situation.  Walking side-by-side with Jesus we are in continual conversation with Him, so we know He’s listening (if He wasn’t He’d be like us). 

It was if the Lord was speaking directly to me and said, “I’ve been listening to your prayers and know that you were expecting to get an answer. You know what I’m thinking about you right now?  My thoughts are peaceful with a future full of hope and promise for good things.” 

I read the passage several times, turned off the light and went to sleep.  Spiritually Jesus and I were side-by-side again and I was able to receive the promise of rest. 

Tailing Tales 

It’s been a few days since we got the report on Jewel.  Notice I said we “got” the report, rather than “received” it.  The reason being, we don’t receive that bad report and know that according to the Word of God our prayers have been heard.  It’s not that we are denying what the doctor said, because he is merely reporting findings, but that we choose to believe God will answer our request. 

Thursday morning my husband shared with me how he was comforted in his spirit when Jewel decided to come lay on his chest and go to sleep.  This was a clear sign of her feeling better. 

When hubby opened his eyes he realized he hadn’t exactly been cuddling her head. Nope, Jewel backed up to his face and settled in for a long nap!  Need I say more?  I can tell you this, I laughed a lot! Since then she has been spending more nap time in the other room. 

“A righteous man regards (values and shows compassion on) the life of his animal. But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10 NKJV) 

Some may not understand why it is important for believers to place so much importance on the life of an animal, but I believe we need to value what God values if we are to journey with Jesus. Only when we see things through His eyes and have the compassion of Christ will we receive the full blessings and benefits of the Cross. 

When we value and have compassion on the life of an animal, God bestows favor on that individual and makes reference to it as an act of righteousness. 

Animals and humans play different roles both in the Bible
and in our world today. It is clear from the text that our lives have been interconnected with the lives of animals from the very start of creation, and that they can show us new ways of understanding God.  Observing the role of animals it helps us understand the compassion of Jesus on all of His creation.” – Jenny Phillips for the American Bible Society. 

I don’t know how God is going to work things out for good like He’s promised, but I’m glad that Jewel and all the others He brings our way are part of the journey. 

For now we’ll keep “juicing” Jewel as we watch God work through her life, and chase after Victory (the cat who doesn’t realize he’s been shot) while he heals.  As long as we’re walking with Jesus, His favor will surely follow. 
Victory March 4th, 2016
The cast is finally off but he won't hold still for a pic!

Jewel on May 5th, 2016 eating! 
This is where she wants to do it, so we gladly accommodated.
Wonderful Words 

When I think about how easy it is to get separated from the Lord along our journey, it’s amazing that He ever wants to join up with us again.  I was telling a friend of mine that I cannot imagine how anyone can live without the favor of God on their lives through the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

Watching the two men in the alley walking and talking was a reminder of just how close a relationship with Jesus can be.  No matter what we are experiencing, He is always there with wonderful comforting words that we need for the moment.   

This Week’s Challenge:
Speak Comforting Words  

While scrolling down my Twitter feed I noticed a woman who was asking for prayer for her dog who was diagnosed with tumors.  I watched to see if anyone would answer her with comforting words; no one did.  It was an opportunity missed by those who read her plea and did nothing.  

Throughout the life of Jesus we know, through scriptures, that He ministered to thousands of people from all walks of life concerning a number of issues.  Not only did the Lord speak life into a situation, but He also spoke words of comfort to boost people in their faith walk.  As Christ’s disciples we must do the same with those we come in contact with on our journey.  

In continuing with the ”Speaking Words of Life” challenge, this week we are going to Speak Words of Comfort.  Recognizing that someone is in need of comfort is one thing, but knowing the right words to say is entirely different. 

Words of Comfort: Daily Favor Blog Psalm 119:50
So that we don’t say the wrong thing at the wrong time, this week we’ll ask the Holy Spirit what He would have us say to those He puts in our path BEFORE it happens.  That means we have to research what scripture says on the subject of comfort.  Be mindful not to take passages out of context.  Comfort and edify one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11)

To those who read that woman’s request for prayer concerning her pet, it will be counted as sin if they knew to do “good” and didn’t (James 4:17).  Let’s not take that kind of path, but stay close by Jesus that we may utter the right words of comfort when the opportunity comes. 

“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.”
(Romans 15:5 NKJV) 

O God of My Comfort - Maranatha! International  Singers
 (Australia Worships from Beautiful Savior CD
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Until next time, God’s favor is comforting!

“Comfort one another with these words on favor.”
Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
God of All Comfort by Hannah Whitall Smith

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
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Note: from American Bible Society: Jesus & Animals
Tags: Words of Comfort, Holy Spirit, Compassion, Animals, Favored1, Daily Favor Blog, Speak Life, Cats with Kidney Failure, God of All Comfort, Hannah Whitall Smith Speak Life: Daily Favor Blog