We have all felt the impertinence of the idiom: when it rains it pours. And we understand how we are tempted at times to compare our momentary light afflictions to those of the patriarch Job. I confess to having found myself in this position the last six months…actually longer.
It really began in earnest when my mother passed away of a massive stroke in February of 2017. Prior to the stroke she had been in poor health. The night of her brain hemorrhage I had just began a three-day retreat at the Treehouse in Caney, Oklahoma. I had partnered with another minister to help post abortive women recover. These were women that have regretted their decision to end the life of their child. We named the retreat: “Healing Hearts.”
The phone call from my husband came early Thursday evening, it cancelled out my retreat plans and propelled me toward St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My husband, Mark and I arrived around 11:45 pm just as the neurosurgeon was briefing the family on my mom’s terminal condition. Her tragedy seemed to beget trauma upon trauma.
Mom had the stroke on February 2nd and passed from this world on February 11, 2017. I stayed a whole month with Dad (then aged 94) trying to tie up loose ends and helping him manage the big hole in his life; his partner of 69 years was gone.
Meanwhile back on the ranch in Atoka, Mark and our three teenage children were trying to manage without mom. I didn’t know until I returned what a fiasco that had become. All three kids went from A, B, students to failing every class. (groan) One started cutting himself and the youngest was writing suicide notes while the middle child was suspended for passing around someone else’s prescription drugs. It took me months to work out from under these dire circumstances and I must confess we have not totally found the higher ground over these life issues as of this date.
Mark, officially retired (the second time) from being the director of the Alternative school in May of 2018. With his new found freedom, he spent one weekend helping his brother erect a pole barn. Unfortunately, an accident during that barn raising left him with a broken disc in the L4 location of his back. Long story, short: disc removal and fusion on November 20-24 at Oklahoma Surgical Hospital. Complications from blood clots resulted in an another three days in the hospital . This time at Mercy Hospital in Ada, Oklahoma from Nov. 30- December 31. The ER doctor told Mark he was a fortunate man, and I quote, “Most people find out they have these respiratory embolisms during autopsy.” We thanked the Lord for a second chance.
I thought I was ‘handling’ the trials pretty well. Never mind, the increased responsibilities from Mark being out of commission for 6 months, the sleepless nights and constant stress of teenage tantrums. Then there was Dad.
Not long after mom left for Glory, he let it be known that he would be seeking another life partner. There really are “senior” dating sites. I’m not kidding. He, however, was considered a “super-senior” because of his advanced age. This was almost more than I could deal with. After he invited me to come up and meet “Angie” (named changed to not disclose the guilty), I returned home so sick it took me two days in bed to even begin functioning normally.
Angie was my age and looking for someone to fund her “ministry.” I knew, after listening to her for four (4) hours that she was a gold-digger. Albeit cloaked in religious garb, she was still looking for what St. Peter calls filthy lucre. She did succeed but only in part. Due to me throwing my own form of an adult temper tantrum, I convinced my lonely father not to be lead to the slaughter. And did he really want to “date” a woman the same age as his daughter? He acquiesced, but only after supplying Angie with a new vehicle.
I witnessed the unveiling of the Chevy Cruz. It was nauseating. Angie started acting like a five year old on steroids as Santa arrives on Christmas morning. Jumping up and down and screaming “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus.!!” All the while hugging and kissing my dad. I said rather loudly and indiscreetly: “Maybe you should be saying, ‘Thank you Henry.’”
That encounter passed but the next was not to be diffused. He announced his wedding proposal on Father’s day 2018. He married the next month. His bride was a lovely 85 year old Christian widow that he had met at his new senior living residence. I did go to the wedding and I did cry.
I did not realize the depth of ownership I felt surrounding my Dad. I was terribly jealous. Another woman had come between my dad and me and it would never be the same. I could not fix this situation. Gone were the frequent visits and early morning coffee and chats. Gone were the daily phone calls and concern about our family. Gone, gone, gone. I cried.
Time fails me to rehearse the other relational reverses that occurred around these events and during this time frame. Where there are people involved in your life and traumatic events you can multiply the histaminic response by the number of personalities involved. I have had many of both.
The week Mark had his surgery my body started sending me a message. It was small at first and manageable, but insistent. I ran roughshod over all symptoms and like a good soldier, carried on. By the first of January I had a full blown case of shingles; rare shingles (of course). Most shingle appear on only one side of the body and usually along only one nerve path. (that would have been nice). Mine were on both shins and both forearms. And to add insult to injury, a heavy dusting of stress hives filled in the blank places on my body that the shingles had overlooked.
My whole body was a red, swollen, itching mess. HELP JESUS! I’ll spare you the cruel details and take you right to the point of victory. Last Wednesday, January 23, 2019, I remembered some advice from a dear sister in the Lord that now has her residence in Heaven. “I usually get relief after three days of fasting.” I was ready. Even though I had already given up all caffeine and sweets from the first week in January, I would do more. The torment I was in demanded extreme measures. THREE DAYS OF NO FOOD. I did not hesitate.
The first day was spent reading the word and praying in the spirit. The second day I tried to stay busy to keep my self from scratching and complaining. By that evening I was totally spent, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I retired earlier than usual. By seven p.m. I had showered, baptized my self in Calamine lotion and lay in bed with my hands raised to my own litany of repentance and retrospection; then praise and worship. Through tears of anguish I began texting prayer warrior friends to stand and believe with me for deliverance. I was at “that” place: “Hear my cry O Lord, heal me or kill me… and it’s totally your call.”
Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. With that promise on my lips I fell into a fitful sleep; sleeping with a wet cloth that I rotated to whatever body part was screaming the loudest. By the first rays of morning sunlight, something had changed. The screaming skin that had been awakening me for over two months was now nothing more than a muffled cry of irritation. Something had changed. The bright red was now a dull pink. The raised and angry bumps were now half the size and much less assertive. The scaly scabs had shrunken to perhaps being mistaken for medium sized freckles. The horrific hives had also diminished in size and hostility. Something had changed! The energy of the battle had shifted. The victim was on the way to victory! It was the third day!
Now, here is what I really want you to understand. There is something supernatural about the third day. Whether you need healing in your body or multiplication of provision. Whether you need favor or direction in obedience. From Joseph to Hosea, from Esther to Mary, from Jonah to Jesus, the Almighty shows up on the third day. From my house in Atoka to your house, from my heart to yours, the “something special” about the third day is yours to embrace. I hope you take the time to reference the following. I pray the Holy Spirit brings you understanding and encouragement surrounding your own third day. And in all things “Let the Lord be magnified!!” Amen.
From desolation to abundance. Genesis 1:13
From sacrifice to reward. Genesis 22:3
From prison to praise. Genesis 42: 17-19
From confusion to covenant. Exodus 19: 1-11
From sickness to health. 2 Kings 20:12
From doom, gloom and agony to joy, expectation and relief. Esther 5:1-
From separation to acceptance. Hosea 6:2
From darkness to light. Jonah 1-2, Matt. 12:40
From exerting effort to reaching the goal. Luke 13:32
From water to wine. John 2:1-11
From rejection to reconciliation. Luke 9:22
From crucifixion to resurrection. Matt. 20:19
There is something supernatural about the third day.