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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Astonishment (02/02/12)

TITLE: Praised and Amazed
By Catherine Maher


I stand shaking my head, reaching toward the medicine cabinet. On opening, a nearly full bottle stares out at me. Questions race to fill the corners of my mind. Will God heal me? How is all this going to work out? How long will this take? What if it doesn’t last? Will I be made completely well?

For decades I have depended on this old friend with my name inscribed on its face. I fell for its seducing vow. But I had been learning about triggers that, when engaged, would set in motion debilitating consequences. That promise of relief now seemed more like a dream that I would soon wake from and find false. Could this be the dark before the morning?

Experience taught me that the power of medicine was temporary. Sure,it eased the discomfort, but it did not address the cause. My affliction continued to grow like bad fruit, drawing its life from roots that needed to be pulled up to get rid of it. My prescription, however strong, had not been able to do that. My migraines always returned.

As if pushing the pause button, my thoughts froze. Promises began to flood my mind, coursing over rocks of fear and debris of doubt, wearing down my resistive barriers. “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things. God will restore everything this disease devoured. God has transferred you from darkness into His light. By His stripes you are healed. With God all things are possible.”

This had been a long season of following medical orders to cope. But in the distant, I was beginning to see hints of a new beginning. Doctoring had only been able to cast its shadow.

This morning, a bright light seared effortlessly past it all, cauterizing my inner wounds and sealing their source.

After that, the root dried up, and never produced again. Each morning this light has continued to shine, illuminating every lonely recess. It clearly announced to me hope for a new future. God used a new friend I met at church to reveal that my problem was caused by an intolerance of gluten.

Desire for gluten in processed foods and wheat products that could have filled an ocean, dried up to a mere puddle. Although completely liberated, some days I still find myself standing at the medicine cabinet, wondering. I just push pause, and turn on the praise and amaze tape. “God, I am amazed to see that bottle more than half full, months beyond the refill date. I am amazed to be living a healthy life, amazed by your promises and amazed by a withered-up old root.”

When he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and he said to it, ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever.’ And presently the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19 KJV

(non-fiction testimonial)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/12
This is beautiful. I, too, suffer from chronic pain and realize how awful to need to depend on medicine to get through the day. This piece will touch so many hearts. Thank you for reminding me to hope, always!
C D Swanson 02/10/12
I loved this entry, and it was a true story-which always touches my heart.

I am so glad the Lord brought "help to you" through that lady. Migraines are tough to deal with. Praise the Lord for His hands of "love."

I love your descriptive verses and adore your metaphors. Simply fabulous job here.

God Bless you~
Donna Wilcher02/14/12
I LOVE this story...It immediately reminded me of the woman with the issue of blood, who after spending all her money on doctors,and was no better, but worse, finally realized all she had to do was touch the hem of Jesus' garment, and she was healed completely...

also reminded me of how God will give us wisdom regarding everyday stuff; Glutton, when we ask for it.

VERY good...

Laura Manley02/19/12
I know this is last week's entry, but I just had to make a comment on it. The transformation of you describing the dark period of your life to the light which you began to see was done with such skill. I was burdened reading the first part of your entry, but I felt a relief when I began reading the transformation from dark into light that you described. Excellent writing! lauralnm