Infant Hope
My Christmas Morning Peace

The world was still as dark that night.
The Roman grip was just as tight.
Not much had changed for poor and week.
Their lot in life was just as bleak.
 They sought a savior strong and wise,
To heal their hurts and hear their cries.
Instead they heard a tiny peep,
From little infant fast asleep.
How could the hope of all the land,
Be held within such tiny hands.
For thirty years would come and go,
Still waiting for that gift to grow.
Yet, changes great have come on earth,
Because of that small infant birth.

Today we want what’s fast and strong.
To ease our pain and right our wrongs.
Yet answers to our prayers are born,
Just as they were on Christmas morn.
A seed of hope so frail and small,
That does not seem like much at all.
Yet such a tiny seed of hope,
Will someday be a mighty oak.
So do not cry and do not moan,
When miracles are not yet grown.
For God has given us His grace,
As smiling from an infant face.
And if we wait, then time will tell,
Of God with us, Emanuel.

By Marie Morrow
Christmas Day, 2015

From a Grieving Mother

In the Beginning, when there was nothing, You created the Heavens and the Earth.
You started with darkness, deep waters and formless void.
Lord, darkness covers and surrounds me now like a formless void.
I am drowning in deep waters where there is no life.
I feel as though no good can come from this place.
Then I remember, that when You wanted to create a beautiful world,
You started with darkness and deep waters.
This is the black canvas on which you paint the glory of the morning sunrise.
It was from this dark place that You first spoke life into being.
You speak and the world awakens.
You speak and dry land rises out from the deep.
You speak and baron ground becomes a lush garden.
You speak and the dark of night is filled with stars.
You speak and the deep oceans come to life with wonder and beauty.
Then You speak and the quiet garden erupts with the song of bird and beast.
And best of all, You speak and we come to life, as a man or woman created in Your own image.
Heavenly Father, creator of all things, speak now into my darkness and bring my world to life.
Lift my lifeless form from the dust and breathe into me Your breath of life.
Let the end result of all of this be a new life that is created to bare your image.
Creator, I listen in hope for You to speak life and then I will echo your words, “It is Good”.

By Marie Morrow

 I have always been told that "God does not give us burdens greater than we are able to bear."  Why then do our circumstances at times seem so unbearable? 
 They say, "If God allowed you to go through this, He must know you can handle it." It is in this very sentence, that we find the flaw in this thinking, and through it discover the secret of its meaning. 
             The truth is you can't handle it.  It is at those very times when life is sounbearable and we can't handle it that we find divine "grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)   "My grace is sufficient for thee."  (2Cor. 12:9)  He does not ask us to bear the unbearable.  He says.  "Come unto me… and I will give you rest."  (Mat 11:28)  He will lift our burdens.  He and I can bear it together.
             This is the miracle of dying grace.  This is the secret of the martyrs; Christ in us. He came to take our burdens on himself.  He came to get involved in our lives, to be our strength.  It is not when we are strong that we discover his power; it is when we are weak, when we are insufficient.  "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves.  But our sufficiency is of God." (2 Cor. 3:5)
             I have personally been in many unbearable circumstances.  When I had to come face-to-face with the possibility of losing my husband as we battled for his life; my fears as a young wife and mother of four children were overwhelming.  When I battled with cancer, the physical pain I experienced would definitely fit into the "unbearable" category.  Afterward, I developed fibromyalgia and have on many occasions felt that the pain and fatigue, coupled with the mental and emotional stress, were more than I could bear.
             But never once has Jesus failed me.  Never once has He left me alone.  There has never been a time when His grace was not sufficient for me.  I have leaned on Him, depended on Him, and when all else failed; fell helpless in his strong arms.  He is strong enough.  He does care.  He can work miracles today in your life.  Put Him to the test.
             Take that burden you are carrying, the weight that crashes down on your shoulders, and give it to Him.  He will take it for you.  It is at that moment that you will find His strength.  It is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we truly discover the sufficiency of Christ.  It is in this dependency on Him that we truly know Him in us.  "Christ in you; the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
             In this is our hope and our strength.  From this truth came the words of Paul, through terrible suffering and tribulation.  "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor 12:9)  We are weak, but He is strong.  We are insufficient, but His grace is sufficient.  Our troubles are unbearable, but He will bear them for us. "Surely He hath borne our grief and carried our sorrow." (Isa. 53:4)  "I will put my trust in Him." (Heb. 2:13)

Psalms 116:1-8
1.  I love the LORD, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. 
2.  Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. 
3.  The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 
4.  Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5.  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
6.  The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me
7.  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8.  For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

Posted by Marie Morrow 

Do you want to know where your prayers have gone?
The ones that you prayed last night.
When you poured our your heart before His throne,
And pleaded for help in my plight. 

You had prayed so hard that I would be healed.
The answer, it seems, didn’t come.
Had He closed His heart to your earnest prayer?
Or doesn’t He hear every one.

He gathered your prayers up into His arms,
And mixed them with His own tears.
Creating a mixture of purest Love,
And brought it to ease all my fears. 

He came to me in my room last night,
And He tenderly stroked my hair.
He poured the elixir to heal my soul,
In answer to your dearest prayer.

The pain didn’t seem so bad just then,
And the night not quite so long.
The joy of His presence that filled my room,
Then filled my heart with it’s song. 

I truly believe I am richly blessed,
As I bask in Heavenly glow.
The treasures I find in affliction’s cave
Are more than the richest can know.

Do you want to know where your prayers have gone?
Believe me, they’re never in vain..
They return with courage, comfort & faith,
And shower down on me like rain.

So please don’t give up in your prayers for me,
Although I’m not healed right away.
He answers your prayers in the way He knows best.
And gives me His grace for today.

                                                  --Maria Morrow

I arrived home at eight o'clock that summer evening.  I had been out for several hours. As I arrived home, a friend met me at the door.

“Did you meet Daniel at the hospital yet?"  She said.

"No.  Why?  Am I supposed to?"

"Didn't you hear what happened?!"

Those are the words every mother dreads to hear.  I immediately thought of Chalsey, my eight year old.  She's the accident prone one in our family that seems to frequent the emergency room.

"Chalsey was bitten by a copperhead snake!  Daniel rushed her to the hospital an hour ago.  We haven't heard from him since." 

My heart froze.  We had killed copperheads on our property before and knew how dangerous they were.  We had been told that a copperhead snake bite could kill a child.

I later learned that she had been catching bugs to feed the pet iguana.  Bugs always collected around the porch light after dark.  We had a small wooden walkway in front of the side door.  She had decided to lift the walkway to check for bugs underneath.  As soon as she reached under it, she screamed out in pain. 

Daniel, my husband later said, "Her scream was more than a normal hurt cry.  I knew she was really hurt."

She managed to tell them that something bit her.  Immediately they checked under the walkway and found the snake.  They killed it and took it with him to the hospital so the doctors could identify the bite.

I quickly jumped back in my car.  The hospital was 15 minutes away.  That was probably the longest 15 minutes of my life.  I had no idea what to expect, or if she would even be alive.  It had been over an hour already, would she be conscious?  Would she be able to hear me?  Could this be my last chance to speak with her?  Or would she recover? Would it be a long recovery? Would she be in a lot of pain?  How could this have happened?  A million questions raced through my mind.

I prayed from the depths of a mother's heart.  It was just between me and God now.  My hands trembled on the wheel as I cried out to him for mercy and healing for my little girl. Flying down the freeway that night my desperate heart made definite connection with His.

Jesus reminded me of the story in the Bible of the Woman of Shunam.  Her son had died. She laid him in the prophet’s room. Then she went to find the prophet Elijah for help.

 When she approached him, he said, "Is it well with you?  Is it well with the child?"

She replied, "It is well."  Then she went on to tell him that the boy had died, and pleaded with him for a miracle.

How could she say, "It is well”?  Obviously it was not well with the child.  But her faith was strong in God, who had given her that child by a miracle, as a result of the prophet’s prayers, although she had been barren. She knew that God was able, even after he was dead, to restore her son to her.  Because of her faith, the boy was raised from the dead, and fully healed.

The message of this story was clear to me.  Jesus wanted me to trust him.  I had to believe that he had already heard my prayers.  Now I needed to thank him for answering and stand on my faith.

It was very emotional for me.  I went from desperate tears of pleading, to soul cleansing tears of full surrender; then to the passionate tears of praise and thankfulness to my loving God.  He would do what is best.  He had seen and heard my heart's plea.  His love and His wisdom are so far above our limited human understanding.  He would not fail me now.  I said aloud, in an affirmation of faith, It is well with the child.

The highway exit for the hospital was closed for construction, and with all that was going on in my head,  I had forgotten to make an earlier exit.  Now I had to go well out of my way to turn around at the next overpass, adding more time to my already suspenseful trip.  But by now, I had found a strong and steady arm supporting me.  I was staring down my fears, singing songs of faith. Every word I sang carried even more meaning now.

When I arrived at the hospital I was greatly relieved to find Chalsey awake and talking. Her hand was swollen her fingers were purple and green and she was in a lot of pain.The doctor said that if the swelling continued to spread, the destructive venom could go further into the body and more drastic measures would be needed.

For hours, we watched as her hand got bigger and her fingers changed colors.  She was sick and cried in pain.  We called friends and family to join us in prayer vigil for her. We claimed in prayer that the venom would spread no further.  I sang songs with Chalsey and quoted her Bible verses.  To our joyful relief, the swelling stopped right at her wrist and didn't go any further.  

By the next morning she was starting to smile again. During the next few days that she stayed at the hospital, she was delighted to have friends and family come to visit, bringing her gifts and and cards.  Chalsey is such a resilient child. She quickly forgot about the pain and thrived on all the attention. No matter what happens she bounces back with a big smile and loves to boast of her adventures and show off her scars.  I wish we could all have the faith of a child.

As I came back from the hospital I felt somehow stronger, with a quiet inner peace that I could not explain.  In the car that night, I had faced down my fears.  I had proved to Satan, and to myself, that my faith was stronger than circumstances.  It was a good feeling. My faith had been tested, stretched, and strengthened.

In order for faith to grow it must be tested, stretched, and pushed beyond the usual limits.  This growing is not something we do of ourselves. It is something God does in us. When our human strength and faith is not sufficient to meet the need at hand, we draw on Divine Grace and take on a part of Himself.  Then it is His strength in us.

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.

Posted by Marie Morrow