Tag Archives: God

Throwback Thursday: Fingertips of Grace

Fingertips of Grace

By Carolyn Dale Newell

I could not distinguish the pattern of dots. Again and again, I ran my finger across them. Frustration boiled up inside of me, and I wanted to slam the braille book onto the floor and declare, “I quit,” but I couldn’t do that. The impact would flatten the raised dots, making it difficult for someone else to feel them. Someone who could learn braille easier than this 50-year-old woman. Besides, the vision loss would continue, and I had to learn to live without sight.

Several Bible verses flashed through my mind. They were the ones that I was clinging to through my rehabilitation process. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9b NKJV). Oh, how I needed that grace! It was more than the braille. It was this whole new way of living.

I was reminded of my life verse. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV). I uttered a silent prayer for God’s grace and strength. I made another attempt at reading the letter, and this time the answer was correct. From that point, I could feel God’s grace as it flowed right to my fingertips, and the remainder of that lesson became smoother. Afterward, I erupted in praises and thanks to God.

 

Amazingly, this act replayed over and over. I explained to my teacher what was happening, but there was so much more.

There were the occasions when I would drop something on the floor. Groping for that lost object, I asked my heavenly Father to help me. It was not instantaneous, but God always directed me to the place where the wandering item had landed. My faith increased as I saw God, the invisible, more than the visible world which was slowly passing from my eyes.

I am reminded of something Jesus did near Bethsaida when He fed the five thousand. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, and blessed and “broke” them before the disciples distributed them to the multitude (Luke 9:16). The bread had to be broken before it could be used to feed so many. It was broken before it became a display of the Lord’s power.

We are like that bread. Sometimes, we have to be broken to experience God’s glory. When we are dashed to pieces, we cry out to God. In humble dependence, we seek Him because we cannot do anything in our own strength. Jesus commanded us to ask, believing it will be given to us. We must storm heaven, asking for that all-sufficient grace, seeking divine strength, confidently knowing that these prayers will be answered because He faithfully fulfills His promises.

Friend, it is unlikely that you are going blind, but you may be broken in so many other ways. Maybe it is cancer, or another health issue. It could be financial burdens. Possibly, it is a wayward child or the grief of losing a loved one. Whatever the cause, call on God. He is the Master of putting broken pieces back together. Ask Him for peace. Ask Him for grace. Ask Him for strength! It is yours because He has promised it.

What is your need today? Take it to God and prepare to be amazed.

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Guide Dog Tale: Enemy Resistance

 

ENEMY RESISTANCE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 NKJV

When people speak to me (or any visually impaired person), I either respond cheerfully because I recognize the voice, Or I sound hesitant because I am uncertain whose voice it is. Discerning the voice of God isn’t easy. Many years passed after God saved me before I recognized His voice, in particular that still small voice.

But when Satan speaks, we usually hear him loud and clear. He vocalizes the fears and concerns we are fighting to overcome. He appeals to the old man, our flesh. In order to adhear to the correct voice, we need to follow the advice of James.

Submit to God. Obey God. Listen to God. A week prior to my Gatlinburg trip, I distinctly heard from the Lord. Empty myself. Fill up on God, and then begin writing. I bubbled with excitement about what God had in store for me on my writing retreat.

But when we arrived at the hotel, I began drowning in despair. The desk clerk alerted us to the park rangers who were tranquilizing the bears there. What? Iva and I had a bear encounter last year, but we were trusting God for our safety.

“Don’t go outside alone, especially with the dog.”

In horror, I gasped, “I am staying here alone. My husband is returning home.”

I unpacked as I debated on going home with my husband and forfeiting my time with God.

We went to get groceries, but I chose to wait in the car with Iva. In a dark parking lot, I found verses about fear and protection on my phone. While my hubby shopped, I spoke verse after verse over myself. Peace began to chase panic away. I called a friend who prayed Scripture over me.

When hubby opened the car door, I heard a tree frog. That was God’s exclamation point. The song of one tree frog had comforted me my first night at guide dog school in New York. Now, it consoled me here, especially when I heard some outside my mountain hotel room.

Speaking the Word of God and the Lord’s encouragement, I resisted the devil. If I had left, I would have defied God rather than being submissive.

For ten days, bears roamed, but we avoided them. God surrounded us with an army of angels.

Can you distinguish the voice of God? Which voice do you listen to? The voice of faith or the voice of fear. The voice of peace or the voice of panic.

As you pray, lean in to learn the voice of God. Intimacy with God resists intimidation from Satan. Then the enemy will flee.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.