Praise & Worship: November 30th, 2012

Song List

1.  O Holy Night-  Luciano Pavarotti

2.  Silent Night-  Enya

3.  The First Noel-  BeBe& CeCe Winans

4.  The Lord Is Gracious And Compassionate-  Kathryn/Vineyard UK

5.  He Knows My Heart-  Maranatha Singers

6.  The Wonder Of Your Cross-  Robin Mark

7.  United We Stand-  Hallelujah

8.  Walk On The Water-  Britt Nicole

9.  Your Love Never Fails-  Chris Quilala’Jesus Culture

10.  God Of Our Yesterdays-  Chris McClarney

11.  My Savior, My God-  Aaron Shust

Mentally Ill Demon Possessed?: A Conversation With A Pastor

Taken from  NAMI Faith Net  which is located   HERE.

NAMI faith net is NOT limited to  just Christianity. It reaches out to all faiths which include those that are not Christian in their beliefs. NAMI is an excellent resource in learning about mental illness and their literature can be used in a Christian environment.  Allan

A year ago, my NAMI Affiliate applied for and received a NAMI FaithNet mini-grant. Now, with motivation and money, I needed to figure out where to begin my faith outreach efforts. I went through all training on the FaithNet website and decided to speak with my pstor. Because he does not meet with women one-on-one, I asked our NAMI president to attend the meeting with me. The meeting was scheduled three months later.

One day after a church service my friend said, “I am not coming back!”

“What? Why?” I asked.

“Because if my pastor believes people who have a mental illness are demon possessed, I am not coming back.”  My friend suggested I check into this further. I listened to the church video and was shocked. My friend was correct. The following is an excerpt from my pastor’s video recorded message that day:

“In Africa, if somebody runs around screaming, shrieking and hurting themselves and lighting people’s huts on fire, they chain them up and put them outside the city. They call it the Healing Hospital but it is actually a place where they put all the crazy people and chain them to logs. …. Why? Because they are lighting people’s huts on fire and they are crazy. But the Africans don’t say these people are crazy. They say they are demon possessed… I believe they are correct.”

I couldn’t believe my pastor had said that. I had to process this, and prayed about it for three months while waiting for my appointment. Finally, my day arrived. My friend, my NAMI Affiliate president and I met with my pastor who was accompanied by a woman staff member. We started with prayer and introductions. Then I told the pastor about the difficulty my friend had about returning to church after the offensive video comment. I reviewed what he said three months prior and shared, “I believe you were very well meaning in your presentation regarding darkness in America but you may have made an over-generalization about mental illness and demon possession. You may have been right-on when referring to some heinous behavior that would seem to have no other explanation than evil spirits. … However, those who struggle with mental illness, such as those with bipolar illness and others, often achieve recovery through successful treatment. They can live a normal life.”

My friend then shared his testimony: depression at a young age; an alcoholic and drug abuser since his teens; other mental illnesses developed as he grew older and continued to abuse drugs. He became homeless for two years, was in jail, in and out of mental institutions, in groups homes, attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, sought a higher power after research of major religions, accepted Christ in 2003 and was baptized. He has now been clean and sober for 12 years and for the past three years had participated as a consistent church member.
My friend shared, “From my experience, meds do help the delusions and quiet things down. Prayer helps. A hellish part of the illness did not go away for years. Some people with mental illness struggle with balancing their spiritual beliefs with their psychosis. They sometimes think they are Jesus or they want to save the world, or they hear angels singing. They think about sin and guilt and pain.”

Next, I let our pastor respond. He apologized. He said sometimes he speaks and it pushes people’s buttons. Then, I spoke about what NAMI is, what we do to help people affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy. I spoke about NAMI FaithNet and how we encourage faith communities to care for individuals and families facing mental illness just as they would people facing other serious illnesses. Meeting the individual’s mental, emotional and physical health needs opens the door to nurturing their spiritual needs. We encourage faith groups to open their hearts and minds to being the centers of care and understanding they already know how to be.

My pastor said he appreciated our time and would read all the information and get back to me. Currently, I get involved with church health fairs to connect with congregations and educate one-on-one. Time will tell whether this one encounter made a difference in opening the mind of my pastor, but regardless, I know we made a difference that day by confronting misunderstanding and shined a light on awareness.

In Suicide Epidemic, Military Wrestles With Prosecuting Troops Who Attempt It

Taken from   McClatchy   which is located   HERE.

Marine Corps Pvt. Lazzaric T. Caldwell slit his wrists and spurred a legal debate that’s consuming the Pentagon, as well as the nation’s top military appeals court.

On Tuesday, the court wrestled with the wisdom of prosecuting Caldwell after his January 2010 suicide attempt. Though Caldwell pleaded guilty, he and his attorneys now question his original plea and the broader military law that makes “self-injury” a potential criminal offense.

The questions resonate amid what Pentagon leaders have called an “epidemic” of military suicides.

“If suicide is indeed the worst enemy the armed forces have,” Senior Judge Walter T. Cox III said, “then why should we criminalize it when it fails?”

For 40 minutes Tuesday morning, Cox and the four other members of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces sounded deeply ambivalent about the complexities involved in prosecuting members of the military who try to kill themselves. While several judges sounded skeptical about the government’s claim that Caldwell’s actions brought discredit to the Marine Corps, judges also sounded hesitant about ruling out prosecution altogether.

“I question whether it’s up to us to say that under no circumstance can someone be prosecuted,” Judge Scott W. Stucky said. “Isn’t that up to Congress?”

Congress and the White House might, in fact, get into the act.

Earlier this year, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson asked a Pentagon advisory committee to consider recommendations revising the Manual for Courts-Martial so that a “genuine attempt at suicide” may not require disciplinary action. The Joint Service Committee on Military Justice will make a suggestion eventually.

Everyone agrees there’s a problem.

Last year, the 301 known military suicides accounted for 20 percent of U.S. military deaths. From 2001 to August 2012, the U.S. military counted 2,676 suicides.

It’s also becoming more common among veterans. Though timely numbers are elusive, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that 3,871 veterans who were enrolled in VA care killed themselves in 2008 and 2009.

Active-duty members of the military who succeed in killing themselves are treated as having died honorably. Active-duty members who try and fail may be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if the suicide attempt is deemed conduct that causes “prejudice to good order and discipline” or has a “tendency to bring the service into disrepute.”

“You don’t think people will think less well of the military if people are killing themselves?” Judge Margaret A. Ryan asked rhetorically.

The Marine Corps recorded 163 suicide attempts last year and 157 attempts so far this year, according to the service’s Suicide Prevention Program. Statistics for other branches weren’t immediately available. Prosecutions are infrequent, but they do occur.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Darren Evans faces murder charges in the death of his roommate at Camp Pendleton in California. Prosecutors also have charged Evans with self-injury because he subsequently threw himself from the third story of his barracks.

On the other hand, Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Corps veteran Dakota Meyer recounts in his 2012 memoir that he once put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger in a moment of post-combat distress. The gun wasn’t loaded, and Meyer was neither caught nor prosecuted.

Now a civilian resident of Oceanside, Calif., Caldwell was a 23-year-old Marine private in January 2010. He’d been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after suffering through other personal problems. After Caldwell was told he was being sent to the brig over the alleged theft of a belt, he slit his wrists with a razor in the barracks at Camp Schwab, Okinawa.

“The public today views suicide attempts like this as an illness,” Caldwell’s appellate attorney, Navy Lt. Michael B. Hanzel, told judges Tuesday.

Caldwell eventually pleaded guilty to self-injury and received a bad conduct discharge after being convicted of larceny, driving without a license and possessing the drug known as “spice.”

“This case is not about prosecuting suicide or attempted suicide,” Marine Corps Maj. David N. Roberts said Tuesday. “It’s about prosecuting an act that was prejudicial to good order and discipline.”

Roberts conceded under questioning, though, that even the trial judge thought self-injury was an “odd charge” for military prosecutors to levy. Pressing the point, Chief Judge James E. Baker asked skeptically whether the military would charge someone who’d developed post-traumatic stress after five combat tours.

Hanzel suggested one potential solution: telling judges they could set a rule that once a reasonable case had been made that a suicide attempt was genuine, the burden would shift to the government to prove otherwise. It might require an additional policy change, from military and political leaders, to treat suicide attempts as something other than a crime.

Military’s Dogs Of War Also Suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

 

Taken from the  Los Angeles Times   which is located    HERE.

Not long after a Belgian Malinois named Cora went off to war, she earned a reputation for sniffing out the buried bombs that were the enemy’s weapon of choice to kill or maim U.S. troops.

Cora could roam a hundred yards or more off her leash, detect an explosive and then lie down gently to signal danger. All she asked in return was a kind word or a biscuit, maybe a play session with a chew toy once the squad made it back to base.

“Cora always thought everything was a big game,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Garry Laub, who trained Cora before she deployed. “She knew her job. She was a very squared-away dog.”

PHOTOS: Military dogs

But after months in Iraq and dozens of combat patrols, Cora changed. The transformation was not the result of one traumatic moment, but possibly the accumulation of stress and uncertainty brought on by the sharp sounds, high emotion and ever-present death in a war zone.

Cora — deemed a “push-button” dog, one without much need for supervision — became reluctant to leave her handler’s side. Loud noises startled her. The once amiable Cora growled frequently and picked fights with other military working dogs.

When Cora returned to the U.S. two years ago, there was not a term for the condition that had undercut her combat effectiveness and shattered her nerves. Now there is: canine post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Dogs experience combat just like humans,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Thomas Gehring, a dog handler assigned to the canine training facility at Lackland Air Force Base, who works with Cora daily.

Veterinarians and senior dog handlers at Lackland have concluded that dogs, like humans, can require treatment for PTSD, including conditioning, retraining and possibly medication such as the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. Some dogs, like 5-year-old Cora, just need to be treated as honored combat veterans and allowed to lead less-stressful lives.

Walter Burghardt Jr., chief of behavioral medicine and military working-dog studies at Lackland, estimates that at least 10% of the hundreds of dogs sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to protect U.S. troops have developed canine PTSD.

Cora appears to have a mild case. Other dogs come home traumatized.

“They’re essentially broken and can’t work,” Burghardt said.

There are no official statistics, but Burghardt estimates that half of the dogs that return with PTSD or other behavioral hitches can be retrained for “useful employment” with the military or law enforcement, such as police departments, the Border Patrol or the Homeland Security Department.

The others dogs are retired and made eligible for adoption as family pets.

The decision to officially label the dogs’ condition as PTSD was made by a working group of dog trainers and other specialists at Lackland. In most cases, such labeling of animal behavior would be subjected to peer review and scrutiny in veterinary medical journals.

But Burghardt and others in the group decided that they could not wait for that kind of lengthy professional vetting — that a delay could endanger those who depend on the dogs.

Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the military has added hundreds of canines and now has about 2,500 — Dutch and German shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Labrador retrievers — trained in bomb detection, guard duty or “controlled aggression” for patrolling.

Lackland trains dogs and dog handlers for all branches of the military. The huge base, located in San Antonio, has a $15-million veterinary hospital devoted to treating dogs working for the military or law enforcement, like a Border Patrol dog who lost a leg during a firefight between agents and a suspected drug smuggler.

“He’s doing fine, much better,” the handler yelled out when asked about the dog’s condition.

Cora received her initial training here and then additional training with Laub at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Before they could deploy, however, Laub was transferred to Arkansas, and Cora shipped off to Iraq with a different handler, much to Laub’s regret.

“I’ll always remember her as the girl who got away,” Laub said. “She and I had clicked so well.”

The bond between handlers and military working dogs is legendary. Army 1st Sgt. Casey Stevens has a catch in his voice when he mentions Alf, the German shepherd with whom he deployed to Iraq. Alf survived the war and died in the U.S. of natural causes.

“He saved my life several times; he had my back,” Stevens said. “Some guys talk to their dogs more than they do to their fellow soldiers. They’re definitely not equipment.”

“Equipment” is a kind of dirty word among dog handlers. In the Vietnam War, the military left behind hundreds of working dogs, determining that they were excess equipment. That will never occur again, military officials promise.

But when some of the current generation of war dogs returned to the U.S., their handlers noticed the lingering effects of battle.

Stevens has seen once-confident dogs freeze up when going through an easy training exercise. “They would just shut down,” he said. “I think they were going through memories.”

Just why Cora’s behavior changed is unknown. One possibility is that she sensed the apprehension of her handler or other troops around her — that classic battlefield concern that after months of survival, your luck is running out. A working dog has been trained to understand and even anticipate the handler’s needs and moods.

“There’s a saying in canine handling: Your emotion goes ‘down the leash,'” Laub said. “The handler’s stress goes right to the dog.”

Calling Cora’s condition canine PTSD drives home a point that Burghardt feels is key: “This is something that does not get better without intervention.”

Two factors slowed down the decision to label canine PTSD. For one, Burghardt and others did not want to suggest disrespect for the military personnel who have been diagnosed with the disorder.

Second is the problem faced by any veterinarian. “You can’t ask them questions,” Burghardt said.

The goal is to “rebuild and recondition” an afflicted dog, said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Charles Rudy, instructor supervisor at the dog training school.

“It’s really counter-conditioning,” Rudy said. “You find out what the dog doesn’t enjoy and then find what will overpower that.”

If the dog is afraid of the dark, exercises involve a decreasing amount of light, with the dog given treats and positive reinforcement each time it successfully enters a dimly lighted space. The same approach is used if the problem involves places that are noisy or crowded with people.

At a compact 60 or so pounds, Cora is fit and bright-eyed, her coat is shiny and she can still outrun most other dogs. Thanks to retraining and shielding her from battle, she has calmed down somewhat.

She no longer snarls at other dogs. But neither does she anticipate her handler’s orders or quiver with excitement at the idea of sniffing out hidden explosives. Like many a human veteran, Cora is marked forever by having gone to war.

One recent day, Cora appeared to work well with Cpl. Drew Daniel Adams, a trainee from the Marine base in Yuma, Ariz. Cora stayed close by Adams but gave off a vibe to other humans of “don’t get too close to me.”

Sometimes Cora will appear to respond to a command and then decide that, no, she would rather sit down and rest.

“Sometimes she just doesn’t do what she’s asked,” Rudy said. But her occasional moodiness makes her an excellent trainer of trainers. “It’s beneficial because [the trainees] get to see not just when things are working right, but when things aren’t working. That increases their skills.”

Trainees admire Cora as a combat veteran. But admiration and affection may be two different things.

Asked about whether the trainees like Cora, Rudy laughed. “I can’t say specifically, but I’m willing to bet they don’t appreciate her quirks at first.”

If Adams cannot control Cora, he might not pass the course. Better that Adams or any trainee wash out now rather than be unable to work with a balky dog in Afghanistan.

“Cora has proven a challenge for him and that’s good,” Gehring said. “Cora is still working for us.”

Another thing about Cora hasn’t changed. She still loves a pat on the head or a biscuit, reminders of a younger dog who seemed to see everything as a game.

Syria’s Children Of The Rubble

Taken from the  Daily Beast  which is located   HERE.

The children crowd the concrete terrace halfway up the crumbling apartment block. In the corner, a 6-year-old girl with a ponytail sits hugging her legs, as she has all day, looking as if she wants to shrink and disappear into herself. She is reluctant to touch the crayons and paper that she and the other children have been given. Asked to draw what comes to mind, one boy has sketched the outline of a tank; another small boy has drawn the artillery battery outside his house. Going outside, he explains, is dangerous because of constant bombs and explosions.

The children are refugees from war-torn Syria, where fighting is in its second year, and more vicious than ever. The oldest child is 14, the youngest 3, and everyone has been uprooted from their daily lives; from school and teachers; from friends and familiar places. Some have seen relatives killed, friends blown up, or neighbors buried in rubble. But all have witnessed the horror of a country at war with itself.

Media coverage of the Syrian conflict focuses on the tangible: on the shooting and killing, on the tactics and military hardware, on the death toll and the wounded. But the harm is much greater than the estimated number of people killed—36,000 so far. The greatest casualty is the generation of Syrian children who are living with untold grief and trauma.

“I was talking with a rebel fighter the other day who told me how he and his 9-year-old son returned home after a bombing, and how they had to collect the body parts of the boy’s mother and sister into three plastic bags,” says Mohamed Khalil, a psychiatrist and director of the U.K.-based Arab Foundation for Care of Victims of War. “Skin and flesh were apparently plastered all over. The little boy said later, ‘I want to play with my mother and sister.’ He didn’t fully appreciate they were dead.”

Studies in Vietnam, Palestine, and Kuwait suggest that children who witness intense violence at a young age will suffer stress disorders that can affect their neurobiology, development, and cognition, thereby scarring them permanently. Compared to children who haven’t been exposed to violent trauma, children of war experience much higher rates of depression and rage. Symptoms during the early stages include detachment and aggression as well as insomnia, bed-wetting, and nightmares. Children who suffer stress disorders also risk developing full-blown posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can give rise to suicidal thoughts and violent behavior later in life.

“We have only to look at Iraq in order to understand the potential consequences of the violence in Syria and its impact on children,” says Mike Wessells, a professor at Columbia University and author of Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection.

Too often, he says, children who have been brutalized will reproduce the violence they experience—not because they are “bad” but because violence has saturated their environment, and become normalized. Additionally, any experiences of loss can create a desire for revenge, he warns. “The mental health and psychosocial impacts of war endure long past the time of the actual fighting.”

Khalil, for one, notes how violence is passed down among the generations. The little boy whose mother and sister were killed, he says, “has been given a 9mm handgun and goes with his father to skirmishes.”

Himself a veteran who served with Egyptian forces in the Persian Gulf War, Khalil regularly travels from London to Lebanon to work with Syrian refugees, helping out Ashraf Al Hafny, who runs a pilot program focused on children. The help is badly needed. In the northern city of Tripoli alone, where Hafny is based, there are as many as 36,000 displaced Syrian children under the age of 16, and, based on his previous work, Hafny estimates that at least one third are at risk of developing severe PTSD.

Hafny, a gentle 28-year-old from Damascus, previously worked on the other side of the equation—starting a program in 2005 to help Iraqi children who had fled with their families to Syria. Now as then, the aim is simple: to ease the children’s pain and identify the most traumatized among them in a bid to prevent them from developing PTSD.

The children come from the hardest-hit areas, such as Aleppo, Idlib, Homs, and parts of Damascus, and there are few resources beyond a $60,000 grant donated by the Red Crescent of Qatar. Mostly, Hafny relies on 30-odd volunteers among the Syrian refugees in addition to a few professionals like Khalil who donate time when they can. And there are just a handful of scientific studies to guide them in their work with the children.

“There’s little out there in the region of evidence-based, peer-reviewed studies,” says Khalil. In part, it’s a result of cultural attitudes in the Middle East. “A lot of people here think that if you’re religious, you are not going to have any mental-health problems—and if you do, you’re a bad Muslim,” he says. “Syrian culture is very macho, too, and you’re not meant to admit to weakness.”

Western donors, meanwhile, prefer to work on more immediately solvable problems, such as rehabilitation of those who have been physically wounded, says Khalil. “Women and children are less visible—and so is their pain.”

In all, there are as many as 60,000 Syrian children in Lebanon, and “woefully inadequate funding” to deal with their mental-health needs, according to Annie Bodmen-Roy of Save the Children. Her organization can afford to field just one child psychologist in Lebanon. “This is scary,” she says.

Earlier this year, her colleague in Amman, Saba al-Mobaslat, sounded a similar warning of a mental-health crisis among refugee children. “We see kids running in all directions and hiding every time a plane flies over the camp,” said Mobaslat, the program director for Save the Children in Jordan. “Kids are showing symptoms of PTSD. Their drawings say a lot. It is all about dead bodies and blood. All they can talk about, draw, or describe are tanks and guns.”

Volunteers in the Kilis refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border have also noticed a change in the children’s behavior—there is more acting out, and most games now focus on battle and fighting, with kids running around shooting imaginary guns, or coming home with bumps and bruises after real-life scuffles. “There’s really a huge difference in the way kids play,” says Kholod al-Haj, who volunteers as a counselor for adults, and is a mother of young children herself. “It’s all about guns.”

One Kilis resident and father of five who goes by the nom de guerre Mohamed Abu Ahmed said that at this critical time when the children most need attention, their parents don’t have the time or the emotional space as they are focused on fighting and surviving. “Our whole way of thinking has been flipped,” Ahmed said. “Before, the first thing we thought about was our kids—what will their future be like, and how can we prepare for it? But now it’s the last thing we think about. We don’t have time for those things anymore.”

Bipolar Disorder Indepth

Taken from  bipolar hope   which is located    HERE.

What is bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is a treatable illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy, and behavior. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression because a person’s mood can alternate between the “poles,” mania (highs) and depression (lows). The change in mood can last for hours, days, weeks or months. What bipolar is not? Bipolar disorder is not a character flaw or sign of personal weakness.
Who bipolar disorder affects? Bipolar disorder affects more than two million adult Americans. It usually begins in late adolescence, often appearing as depression during teen years, although it can start in early childhood or later in life. An equal number of men and women develop this illness. Men tend to begin with a manic episode, women with a depressive episode. Bipolar disorder is found among all ages, races, ethnic groups, and social classes. The illness tends to run in families and appears to have a genetic link. Like depression and other serious illnesses, bipolar disorder can also negatively affect spouses, partners, family members, friends, and co-workers.
Types of bipolar disorder Different types of the disorder are determined by patterns and severity of bipolar symptoms of highs and lows.
Bipolar I disorder is characterized by one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes-symptoms of both a mania and a depression occurring nearly everyday for at least one week-and one or more major depressive episodes. Bipolar I disorder is the most severe form of the illness, marked by extreme manic episodes.
Bipolar II disorder is characterized by one or more depressive episodes accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode. Hypomanic episodes have symptoms similar to manic episodes but are less severe, and must be clearly different from a person’s non-depressed mood.
Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by chronic fluctuating moods with periods of hypomania and depression. The periods of both depressive and hypomanic symptoms are shorter, less severe, and do not occur with regularity as experienced with bipolar I or II. However, these mood swings can impair social interactions and work. Many people with cyclothymia develop a more severe form of bipolar illness. Symptoms of bipolar disorder Most people who have bipolar disorder talk about experiencing “highs” and “lows.” These swings can be severe, ranging from extreme energy to deep despair. The severity of the mood swings and the way they disrupt normal life activities distinguish bipolar mood episodes from ordinary mood swings.
Mania Symptoms •    Increased physical and mental activity and energy •    Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism, and self-confidence •    Excessive irritability, aggressive behaviour •    Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue •    Racing speech, thoughts, and flight of ideas •    Increased sexual drive •    Reckless behaviour
Depression Symptoms •    Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells •    Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns •    Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety •    Pessimism, loss of energy, persistent lethargy •    Feelings of guilt and worthlessness •    Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness •    Recurring thoughts of death and suicide
How common is bipolar disorder in children? Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder. When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is estimated to be 15-30%. When both parents have the disorder, the risk increases to 50-75%. Symptoms may be difficult to recognize in children because they can be mistaken for age-appropriate emotions and behaviors of children and adolescents. Bipolar symptoms may appear in a variety of behaviors. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, up to one-third of the 3.4 million children with depression in the United States may actually be experiencing the early onset of bipolar disorder.
Treatment for bipolar disorder Several therapies exist for bipolar disorder and promising new treatments are currently under investigation. Because bipolar disorder can be difficult to treat, it is highly recommended that you consult a psychiatrist or a general practitioner with experience in treating this illness. Treatments may include medication, talk therapy, and support groups.

Wait On God’s Time: Streams In The Desert, November 24th. 2012

“Sarah bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” Genesis 21:2

The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11). But we must be prepared to wait God’s time. God has His set times. It is not for us to know them; indeed, we cannot know them; we must wait for them.
If God had told Abraham in Haran that he must wait for thirty years until he pressed the promised child to his bosom, his heart would have failed him. So, in gracious love, the length of the weary years was hidden, and only as they were nearly spent, and there were only a few more months to wait, God told him that “according to the time of life, Sarah shall have a son.” (Gen. 18:14).
The set time came at last; and then the laughter that filled the patriarch’s home made the aged pair forget the long and weary vigil.
Take heart, waiting one, thou waitest for One who cannot disappoint thee; and who will not be five minutes behind the appointed moment: ere long “your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”
Ah, happy soul, when God makes thee laugh! Then sorrow and crying shall flee away forever, as darkness before the dawn.  –Selected
***
It is not for us who are passengers, to meddle with the chart and with the compass. Let that all-skilled Pilot alone with His own work. –Hall
“Some things cannot be done in a day. God does not make a sunset glory in a moment, but for days may be massing the mist out of which He builds His palaces beautiful in the west.”
***
“Some glorious morn–but when? Ah, who shall say?
The steepest mountain will become a plain,
And the parched land be satisfied with rain.
The gates of brass all broken; iron bars,
Transfigured, form a ladder to the stars.
Rough places plain, and crooked ways all straight,
For him who with a patient heart can wait.
These things shall be on God’s appointed day:
It may not be tomorrow–yet it may.”