This Broken World

It’s times like this Lord
I’m reminded of the brokenness of this world

It’s hard to know what to pray
Or how to pray
What can I do
Being so very far away

Let them be aware of Your nearness
Your presences guiding them through each day
Give them strength when they grow weary
In unseen ways, You help them to carry their heavy burdens

In ways, both big and small
Reveal Your tender mercies
Bring to remembrance a hymn or Scripture verse
That stokes the fires of faith within

A timely phone call from family or friends
Just to listen so they know someone cares
Bring to mind Christ Jesus the Lord
At the right hand of the Father interceding for them

When grief and sadness overwhelm them
Holy Spirit translate their groaning into prayer
Their tears are precious to You
You note each one that falls and hold them in a bottle

For the mind that is failing
Allow moments of clarity each day
Though they may forget everything else
Let them never, no never, forget their God

Their suffering is great
I can’t help but ask how long O Lord
I find assurance in knowing You have numbered our days
You know our end from the beginning

You have promised when this life is over
Your saints will be welcomed home in the loving arms of their Savior
In heaven there will be no more tears, sorrow, sickness or death
Until then Lord, bring them through this broken world

Susan Wachtel
February 11, 2018

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Eyes Behaving Badly

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With each passing year, I find that I’m more and more grateful that I don’t know what future holds. If I did have foreknowledge, I’m sure I would spend more time worrying and being anxious. Instead I know Who holds the future.

The LORD entrusts me with today and calls me to trust Him and call out to Him in prayer and with thanksgiving.

My eyes behaving badly started a few months ago, when I was reading my Nook in bed. As I looked at the screen I realized that not only could I see the screen, but the time from our alarm clock (which was situated about six feet away and three feet higher) appeared to be behind the screen. Okay…so that’s a little weird.

At my yearly eye exam, I mentioned it to my eye doctor. Dr Brandon Marsh did some additional testing and informed me that I had a condition called Strabismus. It’s also knows as a wandering eye or lazy eye. My right eye was intermittently turning outward instead of staying focused on what was in front of me and in sync with my left eye. My doctor set up an appointment with a specialist who deals with this condition. I left with a business card in hand and an appointment a few weeks away.

Good golly, how in the world could I have developed this condition and not been aware of it? When I got home and looked in the mirror all of a sudden, I could see what the doctor was talking about. Since there was no precipitating event, like an accident, it’s a bit of a mystery what caused it.

With each passing week, the condition seemed to be happening more frequently. I was relieved that I would soon be seeing the eye specialist. The one catch, the doctor’s primary practice was working with children.

Talk about feeling awkward, I walked into the office for my appointment with Dr Cynthia Beauchamp and lo the office was filled with children and their parents. Okay, so I’m feeling a little self-conscious.

But that uncomfortable feeling didn’t last because after an examine, the doctor said she could help me. I would need surgery on my eyes to weaken the outer muscles of my eyes, so they would be correctly positioned and focus together.

I was most grateful to hear that this condition could be corrected. After praying and talking with my husband Chris, I decided to move forward and have the surgery. With the holidays coming up quickly and vacation, the surgery would take place in the new year.

The Lord went before me and worked out the details that concerned me. Not only did I need an examine from my primary care physician, I needed blood tests, x-rays and a letter from her and a cardiologist that I would a good candidate for outpatient surgery. The clock was ticking, but thank You Lord, I was able to get everything that was needed to the eye doctor within the allotted time frame.

As the day of surgery approached, I was more grateful. Everyday tasks, like walking down stairs and even driving became something that I needed to pay extra attention to. Using good quality eye drops and blinking helped when my eye started to wander.

Yesterday was the big day. We headed out early for my appointment arrival time of 6 am. Though some distance away, the traffic was light and we got there ahead of schedule. The Ophthalmology Surgery Center of Dallas is one hopping place. The waiting room filled up quickly by time I went back in for my surgery. As I walked back with the nurse, we passed many, many bays where patients were being prepared for surgery.

I didn’t have to wait long before they took me in for surgery. I was a little nervous, but overall the Lord gave me peace. During the waiting period I was able to pray.

Thankfully, I was given general anesthesia so I was completely oblivious to what the doctor was doing. The anesthesiologist gave me plenty of anti-nausea medicine which helped me greatly.

When I awoke from surgery, I had my eyes closed for quite a while. They had put some ointment in my eyes which made my vision very blurry. Once I was sufficiently alert and not ready to toss my cookies, they released me. Of course, my eyes were very sensitive to light so I put on sunglasses.

I kept my eyes closed most of the way home and opened them briefly to navigate the steps to go inside. After a brief nap, I stayed awake most of the day. Closing my eyes, even briefly, helped the discomfort and pain, as did good quality eye drops.

If I had an Indian name, today it would be Susan Red Eyes. Instead of white, my eyes are very, very red. There’s some pain, but minimal. Much better than I expected. At the end of yesterday, the double vision had already improved. When I awoke this morning, I was back to seeing double. I’m prayerful that will be resolved in a few days.

The main reason, I decided to go forward with the surgery is that I didn’t want my wandering eye and seeing double to get worse and impact my ability to drive safely and navigate stairs. Safety was a primary concern.

Also, I found that was I was increasingly self-conscious when I recognized my eye was on the move. Until, the condition was diagnosed I was unaware of it as was my husband Chris. But we both became hyper aware of it. He said it was strange to be talking with me and all of a sudden one of my eyes was looking elsewhere.

After personally experiencing a wandering eye, I can tell you first hand if someone you know has this condition, when you are looking at them focus on the eye that’s looking at you. For some reason, even though my right eye was looking elsewhere, my brain was focused on what was in front of me. I know that I felt very self-conscious about it, others may feel likewise.

I am so thankful to God that getting this corrected was possible. I thankful for the excellent healthcare I’ve had here in north Texas. I’m thankful for good insurance.

But most important, I know that all health and healing come from the LORD. He is my Great Physician. He is my Healer. He walks with me at all times. If God was not willing to heal me, I pray that I would be praising God and trusting His greater work within me. I can’t imagine how people do life without the LORD.

I’m so grateful for family and friends who were praying with us and for us. I’m grateful for my husband Chris and his steadfast support and help, not just during this season, but every day.

From Outside In

Psalm 34-18

Depression is my name
I’m otherwise known as the blues

I quietly slip in
Sometimes unnoticed

Before long I consume a person’s life
From the outside in

Soon the person you love
Seems to have slipped away

Consumed within themselves
Unable to express their all-consuming pain

Their world has shrunk
From the outside in

All hope seems to be gone
For they can’t see beyond

Help can only come from the Compassionate One
In faith pray without ceasing for the one you love

For only God can break depression’s chains
From the outside in

by Susan Wachtel
January 8, 2016

This may seem like a dark way to start the New Year, but I felt led to write this poem after seeing someone struggle with depression.  I want to bring hope to those who feel helpless as they watch a loved one’s world shrink.  Truly God can break those chains and restore hope.

Prayer at Gethsemane

Mark 14-36

Christ’s final hours were upon Him
The disciples waited nearby
His closest, Peter James and John
Were invited to watch and pray
Jesus shared His overwhelming grief
And went off alone to pray

He called out to the Father
If possible, let this cup pass from Me
Yet He submitted Himself
To His Father’s will and plan

When He returned
He found fast asleep those He asked to pray
Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour
For temptation is coming your way
To resist your spirit needs to be strengthened

Jesus went again to beseech the Father
He returned only to find
His three closest friends asleep on their watch
They had no idea what to say
No excuse is given, they remain silent

A third time
Jesus goes alone to Father and prays
When He returns it’s no surprise
He finds His disciples asleep on their watch
His time with them has come to an end

For His hour is at hand
His betrayer will come with throngs
And greet Him with a kiss

Jesus arises
He knows what’s to come
And the great suffering He will endure

Instead of fleeing
Jesus Christ rises
To meet those who seek to kill Him
He stands ready to accomplish the Father’s will

He is alone
Soon His prayerless disciples will flee
The angles are restrained
As the Son of God is betrayed
Given over into the hands of evil men
The Father is silent in His resolve
His plan will be accomplished

Sin will be punished
Those bound by sin and death will be set free
Grace and mercy will be offered
Not to those who deserve it
For there are none

But salvation will be given
To those hell-bound sinners who repent
To those who confess Christ Jesus as Lord
They will be saved

by Susan Wachtel
September 16, 2015

My Prayer

2 Cor 5-17

Lord, I confess I don’t feel the same drive and passion I once did. But Lord I want that back. Father, I want to love You and listen to Your word – like I can’t get enough of it. I want to be captivated by You and Your incomprehensible love. May my eyes be fixed on You. Daily and forever may I be grateful for Your Son’s sacrifice for my sins and not forget how lost I was before Christ and remember my utter inability to save myself. May I be cognizant of my absolute security in Christ. I want to be aware of the Holy Spirit within me and His power and the transforming work He is doing in me. I want to have a heart of gratitude and wonder when I think upon You. I want to know the unchanging truth from the Word of God. I want to be in awe of grace perfectly balanced with truth, holiness and righteousness. Through Your Holy Spirit I want to love those with whom love doesn’t come naturally. I want to be patient, faith-filled and prayerful with those whom I love. I want my prayers to be seasoned with thanksgiving. I want to be a faithful friend. I want to hunger and thirst for truth and righteousness found only in You and Your word. I want to daily be transformed by the washing of the water of Your word. I want to make much of You, more of others and less of me. I want to begin each day in Your word, not racing through it because of pressures and demands. I want to be slow to anger and slow to speak, but quick to come to Your throne of grace in prayer. I want abide in the Vine and bear much fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I want to be wise and prudent and daily put on the full armor of God – belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the Gospel of peace, helmet of salvation, take up the shield of faith, skillfully wield the Sword of the Spirit and be praying always. Make me and mold me through the Holy Spirit who dwells within me and wash me with Your word. Thank You Father for giving me a heart of flesh and that I am a new creation in Christ. It’s in His precious and mighty name I pray. Amen!

Rising Faith

I pray that your faith will stand strong, even in times of trials and tribulation or in the doldrums of life.  I pray that your faith will rise and be strengthened on the Solid Rock of Scripture.  In those times when God seems to be silent, that you will turn to God’s Word and remind yourself about who God is, see what He has revealed about Himself in Scripture.  I pray that you will hide God’s Word in your heart so that you may not sin against Him.  That when other’s faith fails them, praises of God will come forth from your lips, strengthening your heart and mind and the faith of other believers.  I pray for you to have a heart and mind that desires to know God more and to be obedient.  I pray that you will be open and teachable, bendable and yielded unto the Lord God Almighty.  I pray that you will fear God, not man.  That you will turn to the Bible, holy and inerrant Scripture, daily to know who you are in Christ.  That you will be bold, confident and unapologetic in your proclamation of the Gospel, knowing that it is the power of God for salvation of all who believe, first the Jew and then the Greek.  I pray that you will desire to bless the Lord each day with how you live, what you say and think, even down to the desires and thoughts and intentions of your heart.  I pray for you to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to desire to be washed by the water of God’s Word daily.  It is in the incomparable, blessed and holy name of Jesus Christ I pray.   Amen and amen!