It is dark outside as I contemplate yesterday. As days go .. it was one that will be remembered in either one or two ways. I guess it depends on how we chose to think. We do have choices about such things and what power is in that~ The choice to choose, review, ponder and set our thinking in what occurs around us.
So back to yesterday so you can see what I am talking about. Yesterday I went into work with a plan. I had spent time, quite a bit actually seeking Him, listening to praise music and “putting my armor on.” So, things should have rolled off, right? Here is where the rubber meets the literal road. My agency’s ministry was hoping for more in year end giving. ( It is still coming I just know it ) but on Monday when a payroll was to be given to our hard working team. ..there was simply not enough to do it. Reality of the funds that were not yet in our system because ” the government ” checkwrite system for our professional fees for service in treating at risk and abused children took a hiatus for 3 weeks and not providing payment till January 13th.
What to do?
We could pay for one week of our staff’s hard work instead of two till we could get through this. This would mean of course redoing the whole payroll, and then calling each staff ( we have 3 shifts ) to help them understand why were had to do this.
So here I go. Arrive at the campus to find the walkways to our Administrative Clinical building are covered in ice which is a phenomenon in eastern NC. It is not normally that cold. As only it could happen one of our volunteers who was kindly helping with some landscaping must have put our sprinkler system back on automatic. Viola.. instant ice and lots of it. This seeming small thing became a big thing. I got out of my car and went on the grass to avoid falling which proved to be a good decision and even the grass was slick too. A colleague who just had come back from being out with surgery gingerly joined me and we made it in. Now as only it could happen our sweet spirit filled gatekeeper of the front desk had to come in late as her Mom was in the hospital and the Doctors wanted a word.
I take the weekend mail put it on her desk and run upstairs to let another colleague know we have a major”ice ” problem and expressed concerns about someone falling. The words were no further than out of my mouth than we thought we heard someone cry out.. yup the ice had caught up with a dear new staff who works in accounting ( her second week) . She had seen the ice went around front but the door was still locked which would not be the norm
Do you see where this is going?
( receptionist out at important meeting about Mom ). Our new staff did not have a key to the front door. She went around back and decided to try the sidewalk.. she fell and hard. Our HR Director who does our payroll and I were rapidly catching up about the need to flip the payroll checks as one of our male leaders went outside to assist our fallen staff member. We are suddenly finding ourselves in the vortex of a washing machine of one event to another. Round and round we go being stuck on spin or are we?
We call for one of our RN’s from the Psychiatric treatment cottage to come up and she does and we are packing our wounded staff in ice
( irony in that ..hmm) . We also are praying and trying to get her some help. Mind you this person holds the keys of knowledge of how to integrate our software system to accommodate flipping this payroll. We utter nary a word to her.. pain and concern dominates that need. We are praying over here while doing the practical first aids things.
We get the outside sidewalk ice covered in table salt and sand ( play therapy sand ) and get our new staff to the Doc. Whoa… she has broken her arm in two places. No expertise coming for our system not today… however she is choosing to believe she will be back to us in time that only the LORD can provide. Extra quick favor and healing Malachi 4:2
2 But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
We also realize the software for our payroll system has to be updated ( New Year ) and without doing that we mess up everyone’s tax tables and blow the system. As only it can be at this point to add to the incoming event calculator, our IT Director has called in sick as a dog and cannot help us navigate this urgent need. These checks had been written in 09 to plan for the upgrade.. we did not think we would have to be facing this particular collision of events. There are so many other events that also begin to spike but if I shared those this would become a novel instead of a blog. Trust me these were also formidable and confidential as we run a treatment ministry. Let’ suffice to say there was a lot on my mind and plate.
back to the story…
Then our dear receptionist returns with a very heavy “bad report’ from the Doctor. She is choosing not to receive it.
We immediately convened for prayer in my office and begin to pray out our faith.. choosing to look up when others want us to look down. Her mother is choosing to look up and not down picking Psalm 27.
We read this Psalm out loud when shared to the group that this is what her mother wants to be prayed.
Amazing connectivity and power in that Psalm. Choosing to speak life
What about that armor ? I choose to believe that the Lord gave me a “sound mind” in the midst of this. Otherwise the “voice that torments” would have gotten in to whisper fear, and anxiety. We also had people praying outside our walls that morning.. I had sent out a prayer alert at 6:30 AM to a select group of prayer warriors. The Lord told prompted me to do that … HE knew what was to be needed.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:6-8
Score for the home team… PTL
We are still in the game with the main Quarterback directing our plays..
So where is the testimony to support looking up and not looking down:
- We prayed for favor and understanding from our staff and we got it (well most everybody )
- The Nurse who came up to help our wounded staff was the perfect one on duty for encouragement and walks in the power of choosing to look up and not down.
- The person in Raleigh who has the regulatory power to push for quick review on our cottage being upgraded for licensing with a higher per diem pay rate and a critical need for these children.. gave it and we set it up with all the stakeholders ( no minor thing .. this is huge )
- Supporters called in to check on us. .. prayers going up.
- Our IT Director persevered and chose to look up instead of down and got on line covered in quilts etc ( he really was feeling bad ) from his home and found the software needed it, purchased it, and got our back ups going.
- Our HR Director got creative and found other supports to help her overcome what is needed..
- We were ” hard pressed but not destroyed” and the encouragement which I am convinced is a survival tool in these last days for the body to one another was being spoken more than the words of discouragement. So it “spiritually ” multiplied itself with the power to look up and not down in faith…
- We got to practice joy in tribulation. We took captivity of the spirit of infectious fear. ( Amy Carmichael’s word for it )
- The children were and our team were prayed for more in a focused way.
- I ( we ) learned a lot..
As my faith hero in real life living Amy Carmichael has written
You can refuse the spirit of fear which never comes from God.
( and if He does not send it to us, who does ? )
Instead open your heart wide to the spirit of “power and love and a calm well balanced mind, and discipline and self control. Second Timothy 1:7 amplified
Because fear is so infectious, let us for the sake of others and ourselves, refuse it.
Thank God~ Courgage is “infectious” as discouragement. Haven’t you often felt the cheer and strength that seems to flow from a person whose mind is fixed on God? I have.
And I have been thinking of another, a greater reason for refusing the spirit of fear.
When we are downhearted or fearful or weak we are saying to everybody( by the way we look and our timidity , if not by our words), “After all , our Lord can’t be absolutely trusted.”
Somewhere near us, though we do no seek them are otherwise. Men and women who we can see; and also good angels and evil spirits who we cannot see. To all of these , when we give into fear, we say the same dishonoring things.
We have a Savior who has never once failed us. He will never fail us. He has loved and led and guarded us all these years.
Look to Him now, and pray from the barren bedrock of your heart, if that is the ” ground” you are standing on. Lord give me courage.
~ From the Edges of His Ways. pg148.
Oh what a way to say it Amy! I am pondering it in my heart determined to choose to look up and not down. How will you choose today?
Off to see the choices of the day..