“Don’t Give Up (On The Brink Of A Miracle)” by Mike Adkins

I have shared two of the three songs I loved hearing the Hicks sing at a Southern Gospel Jubilee years ago.  The first two were “No Need To Doubt Him Now” and “In His Time.”  The third is what I call a fighting song.  I love the words.  Fighting songs keep you going when things look bleak and the results don’t seem very promising.     

“Don’t Give Up (On The Brink Of A Miracle)”

By Mike Adkins

 

Satan would have you look

at the trials of life that surround you,

And he tries to appear, and he brings

doubt and fear all around you.

Don’t look with your eye or listen with your ear.

Just cry out to God; He is always near,

And in your darkest hour, your miracle is here.

 

Oh, the devil is a thief

and he sends these troubles to confound you.

And he lies and he says,

“This time there’s no way you’ll make it through.”

But you remember God’s true Word, the battle is the Lord’s.

Don’t give in to fear; Think on things that are pure.

And praise the Lord, you’re miracle is here.

 

Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle.

Don’t give in; God is still on His throne.

Oh, don’t give up on the brink of a miracle.

Don’t give in; Remember you’re not alone.

 

On February 2nd of 2005, we had our first IVF-ICSI attempt.  I woke up feeling like something good was about to happen – our embryo transfer was at 10:45 am.  I was staying at my sister and brother-in-law’s house, and my sweet, five-year old nephew gave me two roses, one a melon color and the other yellow.  How special he (and my sister) made me feel!

The embryologist had called the day before and said we would have a transfer in the morning; one morula was ready, and he thought the 10-cell would be ready so we could transfer two.  The other two embryos had slowed down, but we were hoping they would be able to freeze them if they reached blastocyst by day 6 – the day after transfer.

At the procedure, I saw my embryos on a TV screen.  For some reason, I wrote in my journal that it was neat but not as exciting as I thought it would be.  My doctor mentioned that they were morulas, not blastocysts (optimum maturity) and that probably had to do with the condition of my eggs.  The other two embryos did not continue to develop.  This really discouraged me, and after we were alone, I cried.  I woke up at 4 am the next morning to use the bathroom and cried some more.  I sang to myself the songs I heard the Hicks sing – “No Need To Doubt Him Now” and “Don’t Give Up On The Brink Of A Miracle,” as well as Guy Penrod singing “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen.”  I quoted Psalm 113 and my poem of faith, rejoicing, and trust, and then I remembered the words of a friend, “Stay encouraged, stay in His Word, and praise Him.”  God brought to mind our pastor’s most recent sermon from James.  I didn’t want my faith to be like the wind, driven by circumstances.  Faith and tears of doubt don’t go together.  I was encouraged in the Lord.

Yet, eight days later, my results were negative.  It was hard to hear.  My husband’s words were that he was still confident I would get pregnant, so we would just sail on.  We didn’t give up.

Join the Movement. Apply the Ointment.

2013-bloggers-challenge-badge NIAW

I am trying to make a difference in the lives of people with infertility.  I know how it feels.  I know how it hurts.  I have one son, yet infertility is still with me.  I can’t take away my infertility nor can I take away your infertility.  But I can apply the ointment to help alleviate the pain of infertility.

In one word, the ointment is Jesus.

Assuage – I like that word even though I don’t use it in my everyday vocabulary! It means to lessen the intensity of something that pains or distresses.

Through prayer, His Word, a caring friend, a compassionate family member, a song, a devotion, a sermon, and a blog, Jesus applies the ointment to assuage your pain of infertility.  He soothes your troubled soul, calms your anxious heart, comforts your disappointed spirit, and quiets your fears.

National Infertility Awareness Week isn’t just a week to make others (who seem unaware of infertility) aware of infertility. This week causes me to reflect on where I have been and praise God for what He has done in my life through this trial of infertility.  In a sense, this week I relive the pain to relieve the pain for others who are hurting.  This year, I purpose to apply the salve to the women I personally know who are experiencing infertility by praying for them and encouraging them more consistently.

The word ointment comes from the Latin word unguere, meaning to anoint.  When Jesus applies the ointment to our hurting hearts, He is choosing or consecrating us to do the same for others who are hurting.

I do hope for you the joy a baby can bring.  I also pray that you will receive the ointment that can bring you joy as you journey through infertility.

On January 15,2010, I started my blog, due in part to the following devotion I had read four days earlier on January 11 from Streams in the Desert.  I had written in my Streams journal on that day in 2002, realizing I did need training to be a comforter and there would be others down the road that I could help just as someone helped me.

 

Streams in the Desert, January 11th

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.”
Isaiah 40:1

Store up comfort.  This was the prophet’s mission.  The world is full of comfortless hearts, and ere thou are sufficient for this lofty ministry, thou must be trained.  And thy training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, thou too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood.  Thus thy own life becomes the hospital ward where thou art taught the divine art of comfort.  Thou art wounded, that in the binding up of thy wounds by the Great Physician, thou mayest learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere.  Dost thou wonder why thou art passing through some special sorrow?  Wait till ten years are passed, and thou wilt find many others afflicted as thou art.  Thou wilt tell them how thou hast suffered and hast been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the anodynes applied which once thy God wrapped around thee, in the eager look and the gleam of hope that shall chase the shadow of despair across the soul, thou shalt know why thou wast afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored thy life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.  Selected.

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.”  Dr. Jowett

They tell me I must bruise

The rose’s leaf,

Ere I can keep and use

Its fragrance brief.

~~~

They tell me I must break

The skylark’s heart,

Ere her cage song will make

The silence start.

~~~

They tell me love must bleed,

And friendship weep,

Ere in my deepest need

I touch that deep.

~~~

Must it be always so

With precious things?

Must they be bruised and go

With beaten wings?

~~~

Ah, yes! by crushing days,

By caging nights, by scar

Of thorn and stony ways,

These blessings are!

Be A Self-Encourager: Encouraging Yourself Through Song: “Day By Day And With Each Passing Moment” by Carolina Sandell Berg

Earlier, I wrote how “It Is Well With My Soul” was one hymn that has held special meaning for me.  “Day By Day” is the other classic hymn that has encouraged me.  Our choir has often sung it.  In my journal, I had written about a particular instance in July 2003 when we were practicing it.  I wanted to mean the words I was singing, and the tears started to flow.  I tried to control it, but they just wouldn’t stop.  After excusing myself, I tried to leave the building and go home, but a friend spotted me and wouldn’t let me sneak out.  Instead we talked in an office, where she said she prays for me every day.  She encouraged me that day and made me laugh, too.

When our choir practiced the next Sunday as final preparation before the service, I realized I must not have been the only one down in my spirit.  Our music director said it wasn’t supposed to be a grievous, mourning song, so smile!  I thought of that the whole song through, and made it, praise the Lord.

“Day By Day” was written by Lina Sandell, the daughter of a Swedish Lutheran minister.  She was stricken with a paralysis as a young child.  In 1858, at the age of 26, Lina was accompanying her father aboard a ship from Jonkoping to Gothenberg across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch, which caused her father to fall overboard and drown before her very eyes.  Sources often give this tragic event as the motivation for the writing of this hymn, which reflects a simple child-like trust in Christ and a deep sense of his abiding presence, despite adversity.

 ~

 Day by Day And With Each Passing Moment

Words by Carolina Sandell Berg

Tr. Andrew L. Skoog

Music by Oscar Ahnfelt

~

Day by day and with each passing moment,

Strength I find to meet my trials here;

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,

I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure

Gives unto each day what He deems best;

Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,

Mingling toil with peace and rest.

~

Every day the Lord Himself is near me

With a special mercy for each hour.

All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,

He whose name is Counselor and Power.

The protection of His child and treasure

Is a charge that on Himself He laid;

“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”

This the pledge to me He made.

~

Help me then in every tribulation

So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,

That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation

Offered me within Thy holy word.

Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,

E’er to take, as from a  father’s hand,

One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,

Till I reach the promised land.

~

Day By Day by Maya Uniputty

Although only the first verse is in English, this woman’s voice is beautiful.

Day By Day piano by Mattias Nilsson

“I Choose” by Rodney Griffin

The message of this song goes straight to the heart of anyone who is hurting, no matter the trial.  I only recently heard it as my husband had been listening to it on YouTube and ordered the music to sing in church.  May the words of the talented songwriter, Rodney Griffin, encourage you today and may God smile down on you as you choose!

“I Choose”

by Rodney Griffin

Master, may I be so honest?  Could I admit the way I feel?
I’m hurting.  It seems that You’ve forsaken.
I wonder, is Your love for me still real?
Though my friends think I am happy, unaffected by this trial,
they can’t see the pain I’m hiding just underneath my smile.
Master, I can’t live this way anymore.  So, today, I make my choice.

I choose to believe that You are faithful, and my heart is in Your hands,
and this mystery that I face today is part of a greater plan.
I choose not to be discouraged when the sun will not break through.
I have the choice of trusting You.  So, Lord, this is what I choose.

I know the road will not be easy.  I know I’ll have my weaker days.
And Satan will tell me I don’t mean it when I say I’ll trust God all the way.
But that really doesn’t matter.  I refuse to hear him out.
With my faith, I’ll find the power that will overcome all doubt.
Lord, I’ve never felt so strong as when I’m resting in Your arms.

I choose to believe that You are faithful, and my heart is in Your hands,
and this mystery that I face today is part of a greater plan.
I choose not to be discouraged when the sun will not break through.
I have the choice of trusting You.  So, Lord, this is what I choose.

I choose to believe that You are faithful, and my heart is in Your hands,
and this mystery that I face today is part of a greater plan.
I choose not to be discouraged when the sun will not break through.
I have the choice of trusting You.  So, Lord, this is what I choose.
This is what I choose.  Gonna trust You, Lord.  I choose!

Here is a link to the song on YouTube:

“I Choose” sung by Ivan Parker

“The Changed Cross”

From The Changed Cross and Other Religious Poems

by Honourable Mrs. Charles Hobart, May 1873

‘Twas a time of sadness, and my heart,
Although it knew and loved the better part,
Felt wearied with the conflict and the strife.
And all the needful discipline of life.

And while I thought on these, as given to me –
My trial tests of faith and love to be –
It seemed as if I never could be sure
That faithful to the end I should endure.

And thus, no longer trusting to His might
Who says, “We walk by faith, and not by sight,”
Doubting, and almost yielding to despair.
The thought arose – My cross I cannot bear:

Far heavier its weight must surely be
Than those of others which I daily see.
Oh! If I might another burden choose,
Methinks I should not fear my crown to lose.

A solemn silence reigned on all around –
E’en Nature’s voices uttered not a sound;
The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
And sleep upon my weary spirit fell.

A moment’s pause – and then a heavenly light
Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight;
Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
And angels’ music thrilled the balmy air.

Then One, more fair than all the rest to see –
One to whom all the others bowed the knee –
Came gently to me as I trembling lay,
And, “Follow me!” He said; “I am the Way.”

Then, speaking thus, He led me far above.
And there, beneath a canopy of love,
Crosses of divers shape and size were seen,
Larger and smaller than my own had been.

And one there was, most beauteous to behold,
A little one, with jewels sat in gold.
Ah! This methought, I can with comfort wear,
For it will be an easy one to bear:

And so the little cross I quickly took;
But, all at once, my frame beneath it shook.
The sparkling jewels, fair were they to see,
But far too heavy was their weight for me.

“This may not be,” I cried, and looked again,
To see if there was any here could ease my pain;
But, one by one, I passed them slowly by,
Till on a lovely one I cast my eye.

Fair flowers around its sculptured form entwined.
And grace and beauty seemed in it combined.
Wondering, I gazed; and still I wondered more
To think so many should have passed it o’er.

But oh! That form so beautiful to see
Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me;
Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colours fair!
Sorrowing, I said: “This cross I may not bear.”

And so it was with each and all around –
Not one to suit my need could there be found;
Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
As my Guide gently said: “No cross, no crown!”

At length, to Him I raised my saddened heart:
He knew its sorrows, bid its doubts depart.
“Be not afraid,” He said, “but trust in me –
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee.”

And then, with lightened eyes and willing feet,
Again I turned, my earthly cross to meet,
With forward footsteps, turning not aside.
For fear some hidden evil might betide:

And there – in the prepared, appointed way,
Listening to hear, and ready to obey –
A cross I quickly found of plainest form,
With only words of love inscribed thereon.

With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
And joyfully acknowledged it the best –
The only one of all the many there.
That I could feel was good for me to bear.

And, while I thus my chosen one confessed,
I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest;
And, as I bent, my burden to sustain,
I recognized my own old cross again.

But oh! How different did it seem to be
Now I had learned its preciousness to see!
No longer could I unbelieving say.
Perhaps another is a better way.

Ah no! Henceforth my own desire shall be,
That He who knows me best should choose for me;
And so, whate’er His love seems good to send,
I’ll trust it’s best, because He knows the end.

“God Is Faithful” by Travis Boyd

“God Is Faithful”

By Travis Boyd

 

When you find to hard to understand,

and you’re just not sure you have the strength

to do all God commands.

When the task seems overwhelming,

you can rest within His hands,

For the One who called you is faithful.

 

God is faithful, He will not forget his own;

God is faithful, He’ll never leave you all alone.

He’s right beside you, waiting to guide you,

for the One who called you is faithful.

God is faithful when the valley is so low,

God is faithful, wherever He leads you to go.

Cast your cares on Him and rest

within His loving arms

For the One who called you is faithful,

God is faithful.

 

He is always there when human eyes can’t see,

So aware of all your hurts and all your deepest needs.

 

God is faithful, He will not forget his own;

God is faithful, He’ll never leave you all alone.

He’s right beside you, waiting to guide you,

for the One who called you is faithful.

God is faithful when the valley is so low,

God is faithful, wherever He leads you to go.

Cast your cares on Him and rest

within His loving arms

For the God whose work began in you

will be faithful to see it through.

Oh, the One who called you is faithful,

God is faithful.

 

I first heard this song performed by the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma.  This men’s choir is tremendously talented and the message of the song really spoke to my heart.  It’s encouraging and it is true!  God is faithful.

Deliverance Demands A Den

We were out of town one weekend and visited a sister church, pastored by a good friend of ours.  The message was very good and worth remembering.  The text was from Daniel 6.  We’re all probably familiar with the biblical story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den.  Here are a few points to remember:

Don’t take a snapshot in the den and judge your life by it.

Our trials (“dens”) are seasons in our life.  Seasons have an end, thankfully.  The end of our season of infertility is deliverance.  Hopefully, a baby!

I remember how dark the season was at times.  I was in my den when I heard this message.  You don’t always understand why you’re in the den.  But most people, if not all,  I have talked to who have gone through difficult trials are very thankful for them and wouldn’t even trade it for anything.  How could they come out of the den thinking that way?  Only Jesus.

I Peter 1:6-7  “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Deliverance often demands a den.

I read a quote that said faith untested is not faith.  This is one reason we may be going through this trial.  God wants to show Himself strong to us as well as to those around us and deliver us.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”  II Chronicles 16:9a

Give God a reason to deliver you.

To deliver: to produce the promised, desired, or expected results; to come through, make sure he delivers on his promise.  (Webster’s)

What reasons can we give God?  Daniel gave himself unto prayer.  Even Darius encouraged Daniel to trust in God.   We must also remember it is not about us, but about Him.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Daniel 6:26-27 describes God who “delivers his faithful servants from trouble and rescues them out of trouble; he works signs and wonders, quite above the utmost power of nature to effect, both in heaven and on earth, by which it appears that he is sovereign Lord of both.  He has given a fresh proof of all this in delivering Daniel from the power of the lions.  This miracle, and that of the delivering of the three children, were wrought in the eyes of the world, were seen, published, and attested by two of the greatest monarchs that ever were, and were illustrious confirmations of the first principles of religion.”

“Now unto HIM that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto HIM be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen!”  Ephesians 3:20-21

Daniel’s account was triumphant.  God performed a miracle and was glorified.  Believe in the power of God.  May God be glorified by our den.

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