The whole saga began on a very windy, chilly, Wednesday morning. An outdoor project was in desperate need of completion, and in spite of the hurricane force winds (bit of an exaggeration), this was the day to knock this chore off of the ‘TO DO’ list. What a sense of accomplishment filled our home that evening as the work crew, aka…two old crows…settled in for a well-deserved night’s sleep. It wasn’t until the next day that the true challenge began.
Upon awaking the following day, I noticed a bit of an earache, just a dull soreness in my left ear, certainly nothing that would interfere with my daily schedule. But with the vision of hindsight, that was most definitely the calm before the storm. Within twenty-four hours, the ear pain was excruciating, all the teeth on that side of my face throbbed, my balance was topsy-turvy, and I felt, in a word, lousy. The condition would continually deteriorate for a week, as my days became a vicious cycle of heating pads, ice packs, and pain medication. But then came the worst side effect of pain, a spiritual focus that was becoming blurred and a faith that was faltering.
I found myself pondering the title of a book written when I was fairly young in my walk with Christ, a book entitled Where Is God When It Hurts. To be perfectly honest, Satan hurled that question at me a few times during those long, lonely days and nights, when pain overwhelmed my spirit, stole away my sleep, and sapped my stamina. I felt the desperation of Job’s tearful words, “Even today is my complaint bitter; my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him! Behold I go forward and he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him…he hideth himself…I cannot see him.” My prayers for relief were fruitless, my pleas for a few hours of rest appeared ignored, my peace-giving Father, seemingly absent. But thankfully, through the gentle nudging of the Spirit, I found strength from Job’s words as his focus returned to the Source of all strength, as he reassured his spirit with this declaration: “But he knoweth the way that I take.” Job may have felt alone, but His God was ever-present, walking with His child through the valley.
I don’t understand the ways of God, why He sends those difficult trials to His children, but I do know that “The LORD will strengthen (ME) upon the bed of languishing;” He will sustain me, even on the bed of sickness, suffering, and pain; He is always good, and He will give me, in His perfect timing, “an expected end.”
The medication is kicking in, the pain is subsiding, strength is being restored, but the lessons of the valley always remain. If you find yourself there today, if the waves are overwhelming you, if He seems distant, restore your focus and renew the joy of your salvation. Remind yourself that NOTHING can “separate us from the love of Christ,” absolutely nothing. Even at our weakest, “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Hang in there, fellow pilgrim, He loves you more than you could possibly imagine and He will give you “an expected end.”
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3660-6391def3ee467' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3660&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3660-6391def3ee467' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3660-6391def3ee467' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>