4:7 AGAIN

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

Today I continue my series of running devotions for My TEA CUPP for Athletes & Runners Book & Journal. I pray these will be a blessing to you and you will be encouraged to PRESS ON!

Has God put a dream and passion in your heart? Is there something you really feel called to do or achieve that can bring Him glory? I had a dream like that. When I was 18, God gave me the dream to run a marathon, but then life happened and I forgot that dream for a time. But God didn’t forget, He let me live out the dream over 34 years later!

I ran my first marathon with God’s help in Bozeman, Montana last fall. My goal was to run it in 4 hours.  After 8 miles my legs were hurting, at 18 miles I was ready to stop, but I pressed on. At 22 miles some fellow hollered that I could break 4 hours if I kept going, so I kept going, but crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 7 minutes. 

I was so thankful to Jesus to be done, thankful to be close to 4 hours, yet a bit disappointed to not have made my goal.  But later, when sharing a meal with my family, I asked my college son Kevin to look up the reference for “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.”  He found it in his smartphone BIBLE.  The verse comes from 2 Timothy 4:7, 4:7 just like my time, 4 hours and 7 minutes. It was then I knew that God had His hand in the entire race, I was in His will.  

My times are in Your hand… Psalm 31:15 (NKJV)

A week after my marathon, I visited my daughter in Wisconsin and heard the joyful news that she was expecting again. After two miscarriages, this was a miracle from God. We prayed for my daughter and her baby all winter and made plans to visit as her due date of March 31st approached. We arrived on March 22, ready to help in any way we could. March 31 came and went with no baby. A week later, we were still waiting for Baby Robin to arrive.

In the wee hours of April 7th, my daughter went into labor. Around breakfast time, she and her husband headed to the hospital. I thought this baby would surely be here by lunchtime. With big sister Kennedy off to her appointment with her Nana, I headed out for a run. As I was running, this verse from Second Timothy came into my head. I realized that the date was April 7, 4/7. I also realized what the verse said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” And as I was running I screamed out to God, “No! My daughter’s race is not over! Help her deliver this baby! Bring them both home healthy and strong!”

Dinnertime arrived and there was still no baby. Baby Robin was just too big at 10 pounds, 15 ounces. The doctors decided to do a C-section and finally Baby Robin was born. My daughter finished the race of delivering her baby. Praise God!

I’ve often thought that running is much easier than delivering a baby. If I wanted to, I could stop running at any time (though I rarely do that, but it’s nice to know I have that option). But when you go into labor to deliver a baby, there is no stopping or turning back. This baby is on the way!

Today’s TEA CUPP: Praise Jesus for babies! Praise Jesus for being our strength for running races and delivering babies! Praise Jesus for His Word, as in 2 Timothy 4:7, that encourages us to finish the race, keeping our faith in Him. Keep fighting the good fight, dear runners. Read your Bible, say your prayers, and run your workouts. Keep the faith!

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV)

Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:16 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

A One Verse Prayer

But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

I love it when one verse says it all.  Memorize this verse, Psalm 40:17, and you will have a prayer on your lips whenever you need it!  

But I am poor and needy... this is UNDERSTANDING our story, we are poor and needy. Without Jesus we have nothing. He provides everything we need, food, clothing, family, shelter, salvation… We can spend time THANKING the Lord for His many blessings. It can also be a time for ADMITTING our sins. We are poor because of our sins and desperately need a Savior, Jesus, to rescue us.

Yet the Lord thinks upon me... let us claim this wonderful PROMISE! The Lord is thinking about you! He is thinking about me. He never stops thinking about us. Imagine that, here we are, lost in our troubles, yet God , the Creator of the whole universe is thinking about us. Wow!

You are my help and my deliverer here again we can claim God’s PROMISE to help us and deliver us from whatever we are facing. And we join the voices through eternity, EXALTING our God, our Helper, our Deliverer.

Do not delay, O my God... and finally, the plea from one who depends on God for all her needs. Do not delay, O my God. I pour out my PETITIONS before you. Hear the cry of my heart. Take care of all my loved ones, my neighbors, all my troubles, our nation and world today. Do not delay, O my God.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Write Psalm 40:17 in your prayer journal today and every day this week. Memorize it. Pray it as you are driving or washing dishes or working in the garden or taking a shower. Use this one verse to cry out to the Lord.

But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

Scripture taken the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

A Chronicles TEA

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!..
1 Chronicles 16:36 (NKJV)

When God allowed His people to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, David sang a beautiful song of praise to the Lord. These verses of David’s song and those in the story around it provide words we can use when we pray to Jesus.

As churches re-open following COVID-19 and people once again gather together to worship, we have as much to celebrate as the Israelites did so long ago. Let’s rock the heavens and earth with our worship and joy to the Lord!

T is for Thanksgiving

Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
1 Chronicles 16:29 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order. 1 Chronicles 15:13 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God. 1 Chronicles 17:22 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

And now, Lord, you are God, and have promised this goodness to Your servant. 1 Chronicles 17:26 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions

And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:35 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 as one beautiful prayer to God. Finally, dear sisters, finish your prayer time today with this Psalm of praise from 1 Chronicles 16:31…

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
1 Chronicles 16:31 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

God bless Paul Baloche for his beautiful music to praise Jesus!

Pray Your Neighborhood

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

Dear TEA CUPP Friends, 

Today I have a new task for you!  Instead of sitting with Jesus and your morning mug, this will get you moving! 

Many of you are stuck at home right now during the COVID-19 quarantines and are eagerly awaiting normal life to return.  We were able to visit our daughter and her family before the shut-downs began, so we spent part of the quarantine in Wisconsin. 

One activity we enjoyed each day was a walk around the neighborhood.  Joel rode his bike, our granddaughter Kennedy rode the stroller, and I was the caboose. I also enjoyed an early morning walk before everyone was up.  It was during these times I felt especially called to pray over their neighborhood.

I prayed for the town, for a revival, for people to return to the Lord Jesus. I wondered if the neighbors knew there was a little girl with cancer just down the street.  I wondered what trials they were facing and prayed for Jesus to help them and keep them healthy. 

My feet often took me past the old St. Mary’s Church and School.  The stately bricks told a story of generations coming to worship Jesus.  I laid my hands on the side of the church building and prayed for God to fill this church again with His people and Holy Spirit.  I prayed for God to sweep this land with a revival and healing.  I prayed for God’s people to come. 

Then I walked over to the school buildings and laid my hands on those bricks and prayed for the return of the children, for God’s blessing on the students and teachers and families. I prayed especially for healing for my granddaughter so she can be in the preschool next fall. I walked to the playground and prayed again for the children to return and for their safely there. 

Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friends, where do you live?  Do you live near a church or school or park or courthouse or fire station or hospital or nursing home or business that needs your prayers?  Do you have a neighborhood of people who need your prayers?  Are you in the country where you can pray for people far and wide?  I exhort you today to get outside and go for a walk and pray for your neighborhood like you never have before.  Pray for healing. Pray for a revival across this land.  Pray for the children.  Pray for our leaders. Pray for God’s mercy and miracles.  

The National Day of Prayer is coming up on Thursday, May 7.  Events are planned all over the country, many virtually.  To find an event in your area check the National Day of Prayer listing. Or type in 59011 to find the event in my area.  It’s important that we pray every day. The National Day of Prayer is a day to remind everyone to pray and to shake the gates of heaven with our prayers. The theme this year is To God be the Glory.  May God be glorified in the healing and revival of our nation.

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Door of Hope and Stripes Across Our Nation and On Our Knees. God’s blessings, Jennifer Grace

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.  Colossians 2:6 (NKJV)

My Walking Buddies

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

 

Let the Children Come to Me

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)

I’ve been wrestling with this verse lately. For so long it has been one of my favorite verses, part of my calling to homeschool our children and to teach preschool Sunday school, sharing Jesus with God’s littlest ones.  Yet lately I’ve come to understand it could have other interpretations.

Two days before my granddaughter was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with cancer, we had an earnest discussion at my Bible study. Our study book shared the testimony of a mom who had lost her three-year-old daughter to a sudden illness.  One of our ladies asked if that little girl was in heaven.  Our leader replied, “Most certainly.”  

Just that morning I had been reading my daily Bible reading which included the verse above from Matthew 19:14.  I had studied the notes in my John MacArthur study Bible and felt God urging me to share them.  MacArthur explained how God’s mercy is graciously extended to the “infants” who are not yet capable of belief.  In His great mercy, He grants them entrance into heaven.  We see this example when King David’s first son with Bathsheba died.  In 2 Samuel 12:23, King David proclaimed:

…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.  2 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

King David knew the hope and promise of seeing his baby again in heaven.  It reminded me of the book called Heaven is for Real, where a little boy was so sick he went to heaven and saw Jesus with many children, including his own sister! I also rejoice in knowing that the babies we lost are waiting for us in heaven, and I shared this joy with the other ladies. 

But then came the news about our granddaughter, so soon after this discussion, and I said, “NO!!!!!!!”  You can not have this little one yet!  Maybe in 80 years, but not now!”  Though I know she could be happy and dancing with Jesus and her younger siblings and aunts, and not have to endure more cancer treatments or the rough teen years or any heartache, I don’t want that for her parents.  I want them to have the joy of raising their daughter and I want to share in that joy.  

And so, as Kennedy continues to endure chemo treatments and pains, I cry out like the father in Heaven is for Real, “No!!! Is this how you treat your prayer warriors?! Please heal her, O God, I pray! (Num. 12:13) Hear my cry, O God, attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:1-2). Heal our Kennedy Grace. Amen.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read how Jesus welcomed the children in Matthew 19:13-15.  What are these verses telling you? What young children in your life can you welcome in Jesus’ Name?  

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14 (NKJV)

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Are Ye Able?

But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 (NKJV)

“Are Ye Able, said the Master…”  This old hymn has been running through my head for over a month after I read the above scripture in my Bible in January.  I was curious as to what day I started humming this tune, and flipped back through my journal to locate the verse. I was very surprised when I found out the exact day.

I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotion booklets.  On January 31, the New Testament reading was from Matthew 20:17-34.  In this passage, the mother of Jesus’ disciples James and John came to Him to request her sons sit beside Jesus in His kingdom.  Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink…?” 

As I read this, my mind immediately went to the old hymn by Earl Marlatt (1925).  The first verse cries out:

“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.”

That morning, before the day began, I wrote Matthew 20:22 in my prayer journal along with this short prayer, “O Jesus, I want to be able. Please make me able by Your great power and Holy Spirit.” And I wrote the last verse and chorus of this great hymn:

“Are ye able?” Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

“Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.” (Marlatt, 1925)

Later that very morning, while doing home school with my son Joel, I happened to glance at my phone (which I usually ignore during home school) and noticed this text from my daughter Kallie about our granddaughter, “We are in an ambulance on our way to Milwaukee. They think Kennedy has pneumonia.” 

But it was not pneumonia, it was something much worse, cancer, T-cell Lymphoma in a little three-and-a-half-year-old girl.  And I cried out to the Lord, “No!”  And, “I’m not able!”  And, “Take me, not our precious granddaughter.”  I wanted to collapse in a puddle of tears, and sometimes I do, following Jesus’ example in John 11:35.

But I’ll tell you who has been able…little Kennedy and her parents.  Kennedy has endured more pokes and pains in a month than most people have in a lifetime.  Her mom and dad have taken this in stride and encouraged Kennedy and trusted their doctors, where I would be falling apart.  Thank you, Jesus, for making them able.

We don’t get to choose our stories or trials, this is the one we get to walk through today.  And so I pray again, “Lord, make me able. Help me be a strong grandma for Kennedy and fight this battle on my knees in prayer. Help me be a beacon to all who are going through trials. Please heal our sweet Kennedy.”  

“Please heal her, O God, I pray!” Numbers 12:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Perhaps you are not feeling able to face what is happening in your life today.  Pray to Jesus for help.  Claim all His promises.  He will make us able and see us through even this. 

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Talitha, Cumi

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Mark 5:41 (NKJV)

 

“Talitha, cumi. Talitha, cumi. Talitha, cumi.” Over and over I prayed for my granddaughter as I worked all day.  “Talitha, cumi. Little girl, arise.”  Just as Jesus spoke to the daughter of Jairus in Mark 5 and she got up and had something to eat.  I wanted that for Kennedy who at just short of 4 years of age has T-cell lymphoma cancer. 

Late in the afternoon on the day of praying I had a text message from my daughter saying Kennedy was re-admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in her leg.  She would need two shots a day in the stomach to prevent more blood clots during her chemo treatments.  Oh, what a thing to endure for someone so young.  Kennedy is braver than I’ll ever be.  “Talitha, Cumi.”  I keep on praying.  “Talitha, Cumi.  Little girl, arise.  Do your miracles, Jesus!”

Two days later Kennedy had a PET scan to check the mass that was pressing on her heart and lungs a month ago.  The next day her delighted parents found out the results…the tumor is gone!  Not a trace of the mass that had covered one-third of her chest cavity.  All praise be to God!  Yet we still await results of a bone marrow biopsy, and the medication Kennedy had for a month has left her with no hair or muscles, leaving her unable to move from the sofa.  And so I keep praying, “Talitha, cumi, Talitha, cumi, Talitha, cumi.  Little one, arise.”  And I keep trusting Jesus for more miracles.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the miraculous healing stories of Jesus in Mark 5:21-43.  Are you like the bleeding woman who needs healing?  Or do you know a child who needs your prayers for healing?  Pray, “Talitha, cumi.”

…“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

On the Mat and Map

Kennedy visiting Grandma last summer

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:4 (NKJV)

The other day my son Joel and I were reading the Bible story of the four friends who put their sick friend on a mat and lowered him through the roof to Jesus because the doorway was so crowded.  I said to Joel, “That’s what we need to do for Kennedy!” (our granddaughter who was recently diagnosed with cancer). 

Joel, being the practical one, replied, “I don’t know if we can do that, roofs are made out of tougher stuff today.” 

But I believe that with God all things are possible.  With the help of many prayer warriors, we can dig through that roof, and lower Kennedy into the room with Jesus, or rather raise her up through the roof so Jesus can touch her and heal her little body completely.  And, oh, how she needs your prayers this week with her hair falling out and, like the paralytic, no longer able to walk, and back in the hospital with a blood clot in her leg, and extra tests on Thursday and Friday. Will you please help us pray?

We’ve heard of churches praying from Blanchester, Ohio to Santa Barbara, California to Big Timber, Montana to Lindstrom, Minnesota to Ames, Iowa to Indianola, Iowa to Burlington, Wisconsin to Tyler, Texas.

I thought it would be really cool for Kennedy to learn where all the people live who are praying for her, and to encourage her parents.  Could you please comment with your city and/or state?  Duplicates are welcome!  Then while you’re putting Kennedy on the mat for Jesus, we’ll make a map for Kennedy of all the people who are praying.  Thank you!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the story of the four faithful friends in Mark 2:1-12.   Who do you know who needs healing?  Put them on a mat and lower or lift them to Jesus.  Ask your friends to help you, too.  Claim God’s promise for complete healing. 

Joel & Kennedy with Kennedy’s toads last September

And here is the map!….

Thank you so much, everyone, for your prayers for our granddaughter Kennedy. That means so much to us. And thank you for commenting with your location for our map. We had over 250 responses on this website and Facebook! People are praying in 34 states and 5 countries! The farthest places were Sabina, Northern Region, Ghana; Seoul, South Korea; and Misawa-shi, Aomoriken, Japan! The winning city/state is Knoxville, Illinois with over 45 prayer warriors! God bless you all!!!!! And may God be glorified in healing our precious Kennedy.

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Put Your Friends on the Mat and “Get a Cookie, too”  and When the TEA Spills.

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers and for all your prayers. Love, Jennifer Grace

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

“Get a Cookie, too!”

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)

Last week we were visiting our little granddaughter, Kennedy Grace, who is undergoing chemotherapy for T-cell Lymphoma.  Kennedy spends most of her time resting on the sofa, but every once in awhile she is up for a story or game.  She has a way of closing her eyes and appearing to be asleep and then suddenly joining in the conversation around her. 

One afternoon, her Daddy, Reed, said, “Kennedy, I’m going to the store to get you a Valentine, the biggest one I can find.”  Kennedy’s reply was, “Can you please get me a cookie, too? A Valentine cookie?”  And her Daddy answered, “Yes, Kennedy, I will get you a cookie.” 

This reminded me so much of a Bible story in Joshua 15:19.  Achsah. the daughter of Caleb, after receiving land from her father, instead of just saying, “Thank you,” asked for more!  She petitioned, “…give me also springs of water.”  The Bible tells us that Caleb did, “So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”  You can read the story again in Judges 1:15.

What I notice from these stories is how much the daddies love their little girls, how the daughters don’t even hesitate to ask their daddies for more, and how quickly the daddies are to say, “Yes” to their daughters’ simple requests.  Wow, can we do this with our heavenly Daddy, too? Yes, we can!

In fact, Kennedy already knows this.  My daughter Kallie tells me that when they say their night time prayers, Kennedy adds at the end, “And take away my icky medicine.”  I say, “AMEN!” to that!

And so I also pray for MORE for my dear granddaughter, not just that Jesus will heal her and make her feel better and give Kennedy and her family strength and peace for each day,  but also that Jesus, the Healing God, our Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe and all our bodies, Yehovah Rapha, will remove this cancer completely from Kennedy in the Name of Jesus Christ; that by God’s mighty power the enemy who causes cancer in little children is cast into utter darkness; and that many are brought closer to the throne of God and glorify His Name because of this trial.  Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Be like Caleb’s daughter and ask for more. Check out these Bible verses today…Judges 1:15, John 16:24, and Mark 11:24.  What more can you be asking of the Lord? 

If you enjoyed today’s devotions, you might also like to read Valentine Cookies and  Bold Ladies and When the TEA Spills and M&M Prayers.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. Love, Jennifer Grace

 So she said to him, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. Judges 1:15 (NKJV)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24 (NKJV)

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. 

When the TEA SPILLS

And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36 (NKJV)

My TEA spilled again.  Not just a drip on my blouse, or a splash on my jeans, or a puddle on the counter, but gallons of tea all over as the bottom dropped out of my life.  Our granddaughter, the joy of our hearts, Kennedy Grace, was diagnosed with cancer, T-cell Lymphoma. 

Leave it to the enemy to pick on the smallest member of the family.  Kennedy is just short of 4 years old.  Our daughter Kallie took her to the doctor with a cough and they found a huge mass covering her chest cavity, pushing on her heart and lungs.  Doctors began chemo the next day.  In a single moment, Kennedy’s world, her mom and dad’s world, our world and the lives of all who love this little girl were changed forever. 

My husband and I spent the first day fasting and praying for dear Kennedy. The following day. I “just happened” to open My TEA CUPP Prayers book, which I’ve been re-reading since the beginning of the year, to the PETITIONS section.  There I read Psalm 142:1, “I cry out to the Lord with my voice…” and I saw the prayer for my little friend Emma who had cancer.  Every place it said “Emma,” I wrote in “Kennedy.”  I turned the page and read “Take this cup” and cried out to Jesus to take away this cup from Kennedy, Kallie, Reed and all of us.  I claimed Jesus’ promise from Matthew 19:26, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  I turned the page again and read Psalm 142:2 “I pour out my complaint before Him…”  and pleaded for the life of our precious Kennedy.  I added Kennedy to the healing body picture.  I cried out with my favorite Psalm of tears, Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth I will cry to You…” As I kept turning pages,  I  underlined, “Why would I plead with Him for the life of a young boy with cancer? Why would I wrestle for my children?” And I wrestled with God in prayer as Jacob did with the Angel.  And I claimed all the healing promises.  Over and over again, I pleaded and plead with Jesus for Kennedy. 

We went to church and I wrestled with the current sermon series from James where we were told to count it all joy when you fall into various trials (James 1:2). I don’t want to count it all joy, Jesus!  We sang hymns.  Tears ran down my face I as we sang, “In the good times and bad, You are on the throne, You are God alone.” 

And I think about how this little girl has touched my life since her birth and baptism and amens and the joy she brings to so many.  I remember how in every prayer my husband prayed this past fall for Kennedy, he asked for God to protect her.  Is this His way of protecting her from something worse?

And I worry that my family is a target because of my ministry and plead with God to guard them all with His angels.  And He tells me, this was not because of your ministry, your ministry is because of this.  Children everywhere need our prayers.  And God knew that someday I would face the worse heartache of my life, and I would need to be prepared to battle for my dear granddaughter on my knees in prayer.  And so I keep praying.

Last summer I spoke for a lovely TEA at a Baptist Church in Billings, Montana.  The title of my talk was, “When the TEA spills.”  I told the ladies that we all have this cup called life, and sometimes we get bumped or jostled and the tea spills a bit.  Towards the end of my talk, I exhorted the ladies…

“When you leave here today, more tea will spill. That’s just the way this world is ever since Adam and Eve gave in to satan and ate the apple, causing the first blood to be shed for sins when God made them animal skin clothing. We live in a fallen world where tea spills almost every day.  Jesus tells us in John 16:33…In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” How will you deal with your tribulations?”

Our precious Savior Jesus prayed before He went to the cross…

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”  Luke 22:42 (NKJV)

We too can pray this petition when the tea is spilling from our cups faster than we can refill it…when you are having a day like Job where you lose everything at once, when your daughter emails she’s having another miscarriage, when your son has a mysterious disease, when your GRANDDAUGHTER gets cancer, when your health is failing, when you  lose your job, when your marriage is struggling, when sorrows like sea billows roll…you can pray this petition, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me;, nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.”

And Jesus will take your cup and carry your burden for you and replace your cup with sweet tea once again, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

We have so many things to praise Jesus for…we had the joy of visiting our granddaughter at the hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and staying at the Ronald McDonald House next door. There we met so many other children and families in need of prayer. So many caring doctors and nurses took care of our granddaughter. Kennedy went from being hooked up to all kinds of tubes to going home nine days after she was admitted!  Jesus shrunk the mass in her chest so she can breathe again.  She’s had three chemo treatments so far and will have more over the next two years. Kennedy is surrounded by loving family and friends.  But she has bad tummy aches and wants to feel better. Please keep praying for our precious Kennedy. 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Don’t wait for the TEA to spill to begin your daily TEA time with Jesus.  Now is the time to have a regular quiet time with the Lord, where  you read your Bible and talk to Him in prayer.  Pray for all the children who need Jesus’ healing.  And when the day comes when the bottom falls out of your own cup, you will know just where to go for help…to Jesus.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:1-2 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)

…Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me? John 18:11 (NKJV)

Scripture taken the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.