This is for those of us who sometimes wonder where God is when it hurts~ Life hurts - whether it be in body, mind, emotions or spirit….There are those time in life when the storms “overtake” our ability to see beyond them…because all we see is the blackness of the boiling sea below and the pitch of clouds above.
We look out onto the horizon….straining to see a glimpse of land ahead…but we can’t even see land let alone concoct a glimmer of sunlight along our path…Weariness overtakes us…
A couple months ago, I decided it was time to deal with pain management for my arthritis…I simply could not take it anymore. Chronic pain was sucking the life out of me by day and by night…It was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain patience for simple bumps in the road…I sought help from my doctor for the pain and depression.
“Are you suicidal?”, she inquired….
“Oh no….I still enjoy getting together with friends…”
But after my appointment, I began to reflect…suicidal?….No….Wanting God to take me Home and say that I had completed what He’d called me to do…Yes. I just wanted to be out of the constant grind of pain. I was exhausted; wanting to be out of pain; wanting to have a "good" night's sleep.
Exhaustion…Yesterday writing to my dear friend, Clo. “Please pray for me…..” Her words…God’s words of comfort in return…bolstering my spirit - just to know she was there and praying - taking the burden off my shoulders. (Yes, my hubby is a support - for those of you who might wonder…but sometimes, it’s too close…and he needs his own support person….and this is why friends are so vital.)
Personal struggles make it difficult to “find” God in the darkness as we grope our way along…as a blind man reaching out to touch the next stable point in life…the next step….tentative…and then at times, stopping altogether…resting…catching our breath…or just plain too weary….
Where’s God?….”Lord, I enjoyed your presence so much in the land of plenty…but in the desert, I’m not sure anymore where You are?…Have I disappointed you in my weariness of body and You have given up on me and walked away?…Did my pain give way to You turning Your back on me in my time of need, because I did not meet Your expectations?”
And it is in these types of times that I find myself wrestling with God….like this morning….I had read something yesterday that someone else wrote about the Lord’s Presence being so close…and agony hit…”Lord, we enjoyed such communion…but it is as if I can’t find You right now….”
Yesterday at the nursing home, sharing a testimony of my friend, Becky…recovering from shoulder surgery…How the Lord’s Presence enveloped her - encouraging her heart - for one reason only - His loving kindness, compassion and mercy.
Then the Lord gave me an image of a mother sitting on the side of her young child’s bed - feverish - delirious at times - a cool cloth on her head - bending over her child - stroking her face - praying - loving - touching…never letting go….sitting through the night watch…at times taking her unconscious child from the bed to cradle her in her arms…rocking…singing…praying…stroking back sweat soaked hair…Her child at times seeing her only through fluttering eyelids…then drifting off into feverish sleep…until her child finally awakens…eyes wide open…”Hi Mommy…Can I have something to eat?…I’m hungry.”
Her child has “come back”…
“Yes, my love…“
“I didn’t know where you were…I was so afraid…I couldn’t find you…”
“My darling child…I know. You were so sick…but I was right here all the time…Holding you, loving you. You are my precious one…”
And that’s how it is at times in life, isn’t it? Sometimes we are that little child…and sometimes, He gives us the privilege of sitting beside someone else’s bed to get them through the night…to be Jesus to them in the darkness of soul….
This morning…watching the little finches outside our living room window…reflecting…turning on the music I so enjoy during my times of reading scripture or writing…soft and soothing…comforting…non-invasive…
“Lord, where it is so easy for me to encourage others…please encourage my own heart…It’s been so long since I have really “felt” You close….We enjoyed such communion in the land of plenty…Reveal Yourself to my heart in the desert…”
And I had no more finished this prayer, than He broke into my thoughts…”Can a nursing mother forget her baby at her breast? Though she may forget, I will never forget you, for I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…”
Isaiah 49:13-16 says it this way….”…For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
In closing, I pray your heart be encouraged this day…If you are the child in this image…He is with you….
And if you are being used as a “mother” to someone else right now…praise God…Continue to be there in the night watch…God is using you to encourage the heart of another weary traveler until “the fever breaks”.
(P.S. If you suffer from chronic pain and have not yet done so, I encourage you to seek assistance from your physician. It may take some trial and error as you work together to find the combination that is right for your body, mind, emotions, and also approved by your insurance company. Eat heathly...and tell someone you trust what you're going through....We all need someone to hold up our arms when we get weary.)
God bless you all~
Ever in His love and mine,