There is really no better way to begin this blog than to tell you this –
God knows you better than you know yourself, and He cares for every teeny tiny smidgin of you!
That sentence can only be ended with a punctuation mark because we simply have to believe that!
When we believe, I mean REALLY accept that God knows us better than we know ourselves and that He not only deeply, but He passionately cares for every single bit, part, area and ounce of our life, then what in this world do we have to worry about? That may sound like too unrealistic of a ‘spiritual-mindset’, but for us to understand that God knows us and that He cares every. single. day. for every. single. detail. of our life is actually the basic core truth of how we’re to live out our faith – to know that He knows and to know that He cares. Period. That’s all. It’s what our Bibles tell us every day and it’s what He does in each inhale we take. He cares. We know this to be true. We accept it.
But then …
there’s just those times.
While sitting in Dr. Nobgood’s office at the Sport’s Medicine Clinic in Jackson, MS, a couple of weeks ago a nurse came into the room and placed a sheet of black film up on a large (looked like) a box mounted onto the wall and then she flipped a switch on the side of the box. Once she did, an image appeared. An image from the X-ray they had just taken of my right shoulder.
I asked her, “Is that me?” She smiled and giggled a little because obviously she wouldn’t have put it up there if it weren’t. And then she said, “Yes, Mrs. Rippy, that’s your arm.” Then turned and walked out. I sat there alone in that little metal chair holding on to my jacket and I just have to tell you … I couldn’t take my eyes off of that image. I’d never seen me like that before. The more I looked at the intricate details of my body, tears welled up in my eyes because I was sitting there in that quiet room being totally placed in awe of God. I looked at that incredible image and I just remember whispering things to Him like,
“Look at You, Lord. Look what You did. You created and wanted all that in me. You shaped that joint. You attached it to whatever that is it’s attached to. Why did You go to all that trouble? I can’t believe You did all that just to make me. I’m sorry I’ve taken what You created for granted. I’m sorry for the wrong and the abuse. I’m sorry for the neglect. I’m sorry for the sin. This body is Yours, not mine. It’s Your temple. Will You please repair and renew, so I can serve You with fresh holiness, energy and strength?”
The more I looked at it, the more I was so grateful that He cared that much and honestly, I was overwhelmed by the fact that He actually wanted me. Oh, who knew that through an image I’d see the holiness and care of God! That I’d see just how seriously loving He is!
It was such a moment I’ll never forget. Because as I sat there looking at what ONLY God can do, He said to me,
“Lisa, I knew you. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you and approved of you as My chosen instrument. And before you were born I consecrated you to Myself as My own.”
Yes, it was the words of Jeremiah 1:5 that came right into my mind as I sat there in wreathing pain looking up at an illuminated film. I’m telling you, Jeremiah 1:5 took on a whole deeper and personal meaning while glaring at that X-ray….but what overtook my emotions was His presence right there, right then.
I wiped away the tears and stood to my feet and reached out my hand to touch the film, only because as I stared at it, all I was really seeing was how He cared that much for someone like me. That He cared that much to even want to make all of that! To make it all work. To give it all a purpose.
I have to admit, I was really glad Dr. Hobgood took a while to come into that room because I had no idea I was fixing to experience my Father in such an intimate way.
there’s just those times
when you know there’s more.
You see, He wanted me to not only be in awe of Him in that room, but He used that moment to also remind me of something. Something that He knew I needed to be reminded of. Something that He needed to correct in me, and in the most loving way. Which was this – that I do not and will not know and see the full activity of God as to why He allows certain things to happen. Just like I can’t see all that is happening within my own body, I can’t see all that is happening concerning the activity of God. I’m not suppose to – that’s the beauty of living in faith! And because I had been reading in Ecclesiastes during some of my morning readings, He brought this to mind:
“Just as you do not know the way and path of the wind or how the bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” Ecc. 11:8
I do not know how all those bones are formed in my body, and even so I’m not to know the activity of God who makes all things. When He was reminding me of this, I have to tell you … I plopped right back down in that little metal chair and a peace came over me like you wouldn’t believe. Total and absolute peace. I kept looking up at that film but this time … I smiled. And I smiled big!
He was telling me to quit trying to know ‘the why behind the Coronavirus’ … what He is up to … what He is using the pandemic for … why He didn’t allow churches to gather … why this and why that for all the corona in our world. Instead, in a 6×10 patient room He was telling me, “Peace, be still. You do not know My activity, but you know my love and you know My care. You know that I formed you, approved of you, consecrated you to Myself for My own…for such a time as this. Walk by faith, Lisa.”
In all of 5 minutes, God took hold of my heart and He does the same with you. As you go about your day, go slowly. Be intentional to slow your thoughts down, uncrowd your mind. Practice His presence and lift your eyes to see things all around you – particularly people and things that show off His creative glory!
And to think that when I walked into that little patients room trying to mask my anxiety, I had no idea my Father had so much in store for me, and He had it all right there …
through an image.
****I chose the red shed and the side of the oak tree for my featured image because so many times we can get so focused on where we’re going that we miss the beauty of God’s handiwork along the way.
****DIAGNOSIS —> frozen shoulder – 1 month of 3 days a week therapy – back to see Dr. Hobgood on June 2 and I’m already experiencing a great healing and recovery!