Why are the Rakestraw’s asking for prayer?

Rakestraw Prayer Request (12-12-18)

Grace Quest Ministries Update from Bob Rakestraw

sun shine

I have been holding back from writing for way too long, because I haven’t wanted to complain and I haven’t wanted to bring others down.  Life has been hard over the past several months, but I didn’t want to whine about our stuff. Nor did I want to sound all smiley! But we (Judy and I) do long to stay in touch with you and have you stay in touch with us. We have now lived in Phoenix over nine months. We enjoy the area, our church (two blocks from our apartment), and Judy’s delightful family members here. Yet we surely do miss our friends and loved ones in Minnesota and elsewhere. We miss you!

My main reason for writing, other than to say we highly value you – our special GQM subscribers and friends, is to ask for your prayers for our health issues and spin-off difficulties pertaining to them. (Here I had a sketch prepared of specific issues and details, but I just now scrapped it because I thought it would be TMI – too much information; Instead I’ll be brief, and try to focus on the positive primarily.)

We are not doing poorly, nor are we doing well. Our struggles are daily. For each of us, in quite different ways, almost everything we do now is hard. Judy deals with some eye problems, some head pain and dizziness, and some other issues, while I have very little inner strength or outer strength due to chronic heart transplant vasculopathy. I “push” my way through each day, and sometimes have attacks of what I call the “death pull” – a sensation of suffocation — which last about 20-25 minutes. We ask prayer for our physical health and (even more so) for daily encouragement. We are grateful that neither of us is battling depression – a truly awful condition as some of you know by experience, and as I knew in 2008. 

There is good news, however, and it truly eclipses the unpleasant. While it is quite difficult to write the previous paragraph, it is a delight to write this one. Our God is very near and very real to each of us daily. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). We know this and experience this regularly.

Our trust is in him, and we send out this message so that yours may be also – whatever you are facing. Life is not easy, as you know. But our heavenly Father soothes us mightily when we hear and receive his gracious words: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). We wish you God’s very best this Christmas season and as you move into the new year.

God cares for you and yours more than you can ever know. No matter how awful you feel about your circumstances, your past, your future,your sin, or all of these, “Come near to God and he will come near to you”(James 4:8). God’s love for you is not conditioned upon your doing everything right! He wants you to boldly trust him and cling to him constantly, as a little child. He loves to sense your nearness!

**Other GQM articles, and helpful links, are at www.gracequestministries.org. Our email: bob@gracequestministries.org.Address: 3033 E. Thunderbird Rd., #1056, Phoenix, AZ 85032.