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Joy and Protection

While I was praying this morning, a couple of things jumped out at me.

My prayer room, which I have been using for a number of years, has many symbols I use as reminders of what I want to pray and I've created a meaningful ritual as I move from object to object, touch it with my hand and give thanks to God or make a request of him.  Of these symbols, the crown of thorns and the water fountain were what stirred up some realizations.

With the crown of thorns I pray, "God, give me joy and gladness in the midst of suffering and pain."  That prayer is based on Jesus' admonition, "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."  As I prayed this today, it hit me!  Perhaps one of the reasons I have responded the way I have to my son's death is because God has been answering my prayer.  Not that Mikael's death is persecution in any way but Paul and Peter talk about how we share in the sufferings of Christ.

With the water fountain I pray, "You are the Fountain of Life.  You are the Living Water.  Thank you for providing stepping stones of safety and protection during impossible times.  This references a picture God gave me over a year ago during a time of prayer--how during some very difficult and painful times of my life, God provided oases, places of refuge in time of trouble, havens of safety.  As I was praying this morning, I remembered what a friend had written me earlier in the day: "Your sleeping helps to protect you right now Deb."  Yes!  Another stepping stone in rough waters, an oasis in an arid land.  God is protecting me.

I might have missed these gifts from God if I hadn't been praying.  I wonder what sorts of things we do miss out on because we haven't prayed.

God, thank you for caring about our needs and listening to our prayers.  Thank you for answering mine.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …