Wednesday, July 15, 2009


"Pain is God's megaphone."

C. S. Lewis

Its lovely, luscious look was expected. Its frothy cream topping anticipated. So silky, so covered with toasty pecans. So bound by its beautiful, baked crust of white flour and real butter, elevated to rapturous delight by a dash of sweet and a heaping of more nuts.

Two fillings in said dish lured one to place hand on the convenient spoon, scoop, and heap onto one's plate, making scarcely sure not to cross the line of self-reproach. One filling held soft cream cheese, fresh whipped cream, and my delight, confectioner's sugar.

And the other filling. My dreamed-of confection. My irresistible beloved. My epicurean addiction shared with my dear late father, who so too loved its taste. My material nightmare!

Contained in the layer just above a divine crust was a silky, creamy dessert all its own. One that turned said dish from a delightful creation of comfort to a heavenly chocolate concoction. And the glassy, dark filling was too much for resistance.

I beheld. I desired. I succumbed. I rebelled. I resisted wise words spoken only days before.

"Its most likely chocolate," his kind voice almost dreaded the bidding. We had thoroughly discussed. He had questioned. I willingly, yet timidly complied. He thought. Examined. Thought. And gave his professional, always faithful, medical opinion.

"You may just have to give it up. It's probably the source of your migraines. Chocolate can even cause headaches days after you eat it, so you might want to stay away from it and see if they go away."

"OK." I obliged. With much respect. Much grief. And much internal conflict.

Chocolate has been my known adversary for quite some time. I have ignored its stings and arrows for its rich flavor and momentary bliss for years. I have passed opportunity for greater health for the seemingly sinful pleasure of sweet, dark, "fruit" that slowly softens in my mouth.

Insomnia, palpitations, irritability, misery have most often followed my yielding. The migraines now seem God's great megaphone shouting, "Do NOT eat! Do NOT touch!"

Yet, even after my dear doctor's emphatic words, my historical symptomatic responses, and what concerned me as providential Voice, I was still complicit with my enemy, when, on Sunday, we had a beautiful meal after church, and I was, at the end of the serving line, met by forbidden fruit.

I ate with guilt. I left with guilt. I dealt with guilt. Denied reality. Said to self, "It may not be chocolate causing your headaches, Andrea. It's only a chance. Probably just a coincidence. They'll most likely just go away."

And at 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning my hard head was throbbing, begging my stillness and room's darkness. Most concerned, my dear husband made his way to our little cottage kitchen and brought me cola in a clear glass and medicine in his gentle hand. I thanked him for such lovingkindness that is his dear way, and slooowly lay down and oh, so carefully turned on my side, hoping to sleep and awake relieved.

On arising, I realized improvement and thanked my Jeff once again. Then, when all was quiet, alone with God, faced my stubborn denial and thanked God for his patient grace that loves me so completely and understands my frame. Who waits with His wisdom to shape my life to His desired form. Who has this day given fresh truth and new desire. A soul determination to hear God's voice, to listen, to apply His word! To e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

God knows our downsitting, our uprising, our distant thoughts, our hearts, our lungs, our ears, our heads, our hands, our bellies, our emotions, our hurts, our ills, our stubborn ways, our failures, our successes, our slippery dreams. Even knows our whys and hows!

He made our genetic code! Yes, your double helix was put together with meticulous thought and care by the Master Designer Himself. And dear friend, God chose to make us all with imperfections and weaknesses.

Does that seem strange to you? Such a wonderful, loving, perfect Heavenly Father creating his vessels with flaws, with shortcomings, with compromising qualities, with weak fragments, with questionable strengths, with damaging desires, with eyes that need lens, with ears that need aids, with bodies that grow tired, with minds that forget, and wills that faint?

What appears odd to me or you was perfect sense to the Apostle Paul. The mightiest warrior for Christ suffered agony. He was persecuted. Experienced hunger, pain, frailty, affliction, confusion, prison, beatings. All for Christ. And his great, faithful walk with God brought many heavenly visions. Unspeakable spiritual revelations.

Then, God permitted an unnamed "thorn" to torment him. It was a fleshly battle. Painful. The Greek word Paul uses to describe the experience means "to rap with the fist." An over and over ache. Increasing pain. And the exact what of the blow does not really matter. But the why does.

Paul sought relief. "My grace is all you need," God spoke. "My power works best in weakness." And Paul, whose life was not his own, whose life was lived in Christ alone, when hearing God's voice, knowing pain would remain, said, "I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."

Hurt, pain, denial, limitations, heartache, illness. Whether great, small, or so-so, all teach and prove. God chooses to use our frailties for His glory when we let Him. NO DOUBT, there are times of deliverance and healing. Such miracles bring glory to God and may at any moment be part of His plan.

But, one way or another, God allows our physical or emotional pain to reveal Himself in our lives. Pain is a trumpet resounding in our ears. An awakening. An alarm. A cry. A siren of sorts. A voice, whether softly spoken in background noise, shouted above every other sound, or fixed with perfect, personal decibel.

And above all, it is for our good. Remember Romans 8:28? Using Greek meanings, we might paraphrase, "When we clearly see, we understand that all individual things, and the whole of our lives, work together, as an entire process, for our benefit, to each one of you who loves God and is, with God's intention, called by Him to show His glory."

Knowing His good is at work, we are ready to listen, to look, to yield even what seems to us a minor problem. We are set on a direct path to find God's glory for our lives. With spiritual ears set to hear, with volume turned-up, we are on the edge of our seats, our hearts waiting for His truth to speak. Our souls ready to bear God's intention, our hearts longing to glory, as Paul did, in the cross of Christ.

If by some means denying chocolate can bring Him more glory in my life, then let it be so done! I have, says my dear husband and my doctors, a habit of not taking care of self as I ought. Perhaps the Lord has, in His love, spoken with His megaphone. "Do you finally get it?" Do you really understand the importance of being a good steward of your body? Can you now clearly see how hearing my voice is for your good? Even if it means sacrificing small things? Do you still despise the small things? Do you see my love even here? Andrea, do you know I love you in all things?"

"Yes, Lord, yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. . . . And, oh, dear Father, I love you so, because you first loved me."

Scripture references are from 2 Corinthians 12.
Quoted scripture is from the NLT.
Greek information is from e-sword.

Tomorrow, Jeff is scheduled for a biopsy, but we won't know results for one week, perhaps two because we will be out-of-town next week and Jeff's doctor will be gone the week following that. We are trying to arrange a phone call with his doctor to avoid the agony of the unknown. If it is not possible, then, with the Psalmist, may the Lord help us to say, "I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God" (38:15).

Thank you for your continued prayers and words of encouragement. God's is so good, so faithful, and His grace truly sufficient. And I have no doubt that your prayers are holding us up as we wait.
I would like to pray for each one of you today. May the Lord, Jesus Christ, in the fullness of His grace, meet all your needs.
Oh, dear Lord, bless my precious friends at each turn in their lives. I ask, heavenly Father, for your guidance for them in all things. You hold each one in the palm of your hand. And, oh, how you care for them! Oh, how you love each one!

You know their names. You know their anxieties. You know their cares. You know their fears. You see their plans. You know their dreams. And your eye is always aware of their every move and each cry of their hearts.

Thank you, Father, for the inspiring lives they live for you. Bless them abundantly for their love and compassion for others. And, in all things, Lord, may they know you and see your moving in every part of their lives.

And I pray each one will feel your presence near in a special way.

In Jesus Name, Amen.


  1. Remembering you and your husband in prayer that his biopsy results will be good and that you will not have to wait too long.

    I am new to your blog and have read just a few of your posts to get to know you better. I have enjoyed visiting!

    Kindly, ldh

  2. Dear Andrea!
    I am ALWAYS amazed that each time I come to your blog thinking I may give you some encouragement, it is I who come away encouraged and blessed!(I don't know why I am amazed ~ we serve an amazing God and everything He does amazes me, but I just can't 'get used to it!')
    I, too, am praying for both you and your precious husband.
    His rich blessings be on you both!

  3. Andrea,
    The chocolate cake picture is something! Difficult for me to look at...way too good.

    Migraines can be horrible. I have them from time to time due to hormones and have very good results getting relief from over the counter migraine meds. So I am happy about the relief.

    Have been praying for you. God Bless. May you have a pleasant get away.


  4. Andrea,

    May the Lord continue to bless you and your family as you wait for answers:). I continue to pray daily for you all! I feel for you regarding the migraines-I have sufferred from tension headaches in the past and they are awful. Take good care of yourself!



  5. From the depths & design of your post, I can tell you've been spending a lot of time with The Father.

    I'm so sorry about the health challenges both you and hubby are facing. No doubt your headaches will subside when once his situation is diagnosed and treated; when life again has the feel of normalcy.

    God bless you, friend. I wait with the others, eageraly anticipating God's healing touch.


  6. Dear Andrea, Thank you for your heartfelt prayer. Thank you for this thoughtful post. CS Lewis was awfully smart: Pain is God's megaphone. I'll remember that. And yes, I will hold you in my prayers as Jeff has the biopsy and you await the results. YOU are precious, so precious. I love your heart. The Lord is moving among us. I'm sure of it.

  7. Ah migraines! I've had them since I was a little girl and they've just become a way of life for me. Some days they're tolerable and other days I can't move a muscle. But sometimes when they're real bad chocolate becomes my cure.

    Oh Andrea, I pray that the Lord gives you the strength to overcome your chocolate desires. That's a hard one to give up, but I (you) can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (you).
    I'm still praying that whatever the results of your husband's test The Lord will carry you both through it.

    Blessings on your day gentle lady :-).

    xoxo Cori

  8. I have prayed for your dear husband.

    God sent you this message for me. It's the same message He's been hammering home over the past 3 weeks, that I need to take better care of my temple. I'm just finding it so difficult to do that with fussy infant twins...Thank you for being obedient and writing what He put on your heart.

  9. Oh Andrea....chocolate! It isnt fair is it? But you will receive the strength to say no, no to chocolate and no to migraines.
    My prayers continue, and especially that you will not have to wait for the results. Our Father only wants the best for His children, and if there is a way for you to know earlier it will be found.

  10. Dearest Andrea,
    What a beautifully thought provoking
    post!! Thank you! I will be praying for your
    dear husband!!!!!

    Many Blessings~ Jen

  11. Andrea-
    Thank you for that post! I believe you wrote it for me and not for you!! How wonderful to be reminded of God's nudges through friends. I pray that you and your husband be blessed in your health. You glorify our Father in all you write. Much love and continued prayer, Ramona

  12. What a beautiful prayer for all of us...may we pray the same for you and add healing and grace for you and your husband....

  13. Dear Andrea,

    Thank you for posting this timely post. Once again, the Lord has spoken to me through it. I struggle with 'sugar' and am now realizing, like you stated, that every area of our lives needs to be laid before the throne and the Lord be master of it all. It was very encouraging to visit here.

    Thank you for praying for all of us; our prayers are with you and Jeff. May the Lord be glorified through it all.

    Mrs. Teapot

  14. By the way, what an absolutely beautiful picture of a chocolate cake. It even looks quite delicious.

    May the Lord grant us the strength to deny ourselves those things we love but are harmful to our bodies, which are His temple.


  15. I received your prayer and join with you in praying it for others, too. What a blessing to be prayed for by a friend.
    I fought migraines due to hormones and food allergies before menopause and got the same word from the Lord that His grace is sufficient. I had to give up many foods so I know very well your teaching today.

    Jeff is on my prayer list for healing. I'm sending him scripture prayers. Hugs, to you dear Andrea. I hope you hear from the doctor soon after biopsy.

  16. Dear Andrea...

    I've only had two migraines in my entire life. Thankfully...they are not something I have to deal with~

    Thinking of you and your hubby of many years and offering up prayers to the Father...the Most High...for complete, total healing of you both.



  17. Dear Andrea, I do know the pain of choosing pleasurable foods "KNOWING" I would likely suffer consequences. I'd spent much time in denial, and self pity, that I could not eat those foods without great digestive pain, lasting years. I still battle with it even after God has MERCIFULLY delivered me time and again! Just revealing my absolute need to depend entirely upon His Spirit's daily whispers. I don't want Him to have to raise His Voice anymore to get my attention! I will be praying for you!

  18. I don't have migraine headaches; however, I have a zero tolerance for caffeine. If I ingest anything with caffeine, I get wired.


    Chocolate contains caffeine.

    I know that I need to give it up; I have good intentions.

    What temptation!

    Especially, something like that scrumptious cake in the picture.

    You're in my prayers.

    Thank you for your precious prayer for us.

  19. Thank you so much dear friend for the prayer and the timely post. Will be lifting you and your DH up in prayer!

    Looking forward to the day that we can drop this imperfect robe of flesh and get brand new bodies that will never grow old! Praise the Lord!

  20. Migraines, heart palpitations, passing out, tiredness...and the list of symptoms go on and on...

    Our Lord knows why He gives us these things, to keep reminding us that this body is not ours, but HIS! To keep whispering, in His most loving way, I made everything but not everything is good for you. Practice moderation and remember that I love you and will look out for you!

    Thank you for posting a bit of an update on your husband. Byopsis are not fun, not any kind of procedure that I could think off, but they are necessary for finding out what is going on.

    My prayer, as always is with you and your husband. The Lord is always with you, dear friend...o what a promise.

    Your sister in Christ,

    lady m

  21. Hi ANdrea,

    I enjoyed stopping by your blog today! Always an encouragement to visit. Hope ya'll are doing well. I've missed our visits.

    Hugs & blessings,


  22. Dear Andrea,
    Thank you for the analogy between what we are asked to give up and Paul's thorn in the flesh. Seemingly harmless yet God says we may not have them. To keep us constantly aware of what it means to trust Him, to keep us humble, from being too puffed up with pride, or whatever it is that keeps us from going all the way with God.

    I know that sooner or later you will reach the point of accepting a "new normal" in your life, doing without chocolate.

    I pray for your dear husband, Jeff. We all know the truth God holds our lives in His hands. I pray for peace and joy to reign in your hearts.

    And thank you for the lovely prayer at the end of your post. So touching, and so sincere. I pray the same for you.


  23. Poor Andrea, I love chocolate too but need to lose some weight so that should go first. I soo love it though. I do hope you receive the biopsy results before too long and really enjoyed your post.

  24. Been holding you in my prayers and glad to read your post. God, in His wisedom uses trials to teach us lessons, but we would so rather He taught us painlessly. We don't develop our muscles, skills, or gifts by doing nothing- stepping out in faith in times of difficulty is like stepping into a divine multiplication table!

  25. Thank you for your precious prayer for us. I will be praying for your migraine headaches, which I know from experience, can be just awful to endure. I will most certainly be praying for your sweet husband, that you will have answers soon, and healing, and wisdom for the path you are on. I will be back to see how you are doing. I wish I could give you a big hug!

    In Him,

  26. Dear Andrea, I am so uplifted by your kind and encouraging words. Thank you Dear Lady for your friendship and sweet prayers.
    May you have a refreshing time.
    Still praying for Jeff and you.

    God bless you,

  27. I just happened upon your delightful blog and am so happy I did. I know I will enjoy visiting again.

  28. Come back soon, Andrea, we miss you.

  29. Thank you for your note- I'm so glad for you! God is good!
    In today's 'Treasures' I've posted the story of an early Saint for you, it came to me this morning when I was thinking of you. Its from the early 5th Century I think but it seemed relevant. I can't remember where I first heard it.


Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,