After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. – 1 Peter 1:10
Approximately six years ago, my life changed drastically. One day my vision was changed. A week later, I lost one side of my face. The next thing I knew, I was having trouble with balance, walking and speech. It took 3 years to get an accurate diagnosis. I have a rare and debilitating brain disease. I have had 2 brain surgeries. And I just found out this month that I am losing brain matter. It’s terrifying.
I am clinging to my faith more than ever now. I am doing what I can to renew my trust in my Savior. In this world we live in, where people believe that healing is a given for the faithful, people can be cruel. Doubts can creep in and the enemy is never without plenty of ammunition to use against me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the here and now, in light of eternity.
Some days are so difficult, so trying and so long! It’s hard in my human mind and this flawed human body, to focus on anything else.
I get into the Word, I spend hours in prayer, I connect with others, I do everything I can to keep my heart and my eyes where they need to be. But the background music of my physical reality is sometimes a jarring tune that refuses to be drowned out.
But our God has a different perspective than I do. His plans are centered around getting my soul and as many others as possible into Heaven with Him.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of any parent (of human or fur-babies)… do you sometimes have to allow your child to have discomfort for a moment so that their future well-being is more secure? I think about vaccinations, IV’s, or maybe a foul-tasting medicine. Do I enjoy my child’s tears? NO! But I recognize that this momentary hurt will make them more healthy. I realize that the pain will be fleeting and that these things need to happen in order for things to work properly and according to plan.
Our Father’s promises are based on an eternal viewpoint. When He says He will bring about good for those who love Him, He is referring to things that get our soul where it needs to be. When He promises we will not be shaken, He is expecting that we will lean on His strength and that our faith is what will not be shaken.
He has salvation in mind. And like a dog with a bone, He’s relentless, He’s focused, and He’s possessive. His love for us is that far-reaching.
God’s compassion is unfathomable to us. But it is also not exclusively a physical compassion. It is a compassion that puts Heaven in the forefront! We are standing on the front lines, and God’s main goal is not to keep His soldiers from any and all harm. It’s to win the war. It’s to gain as many souls as possible. Maybe my pain gains mine, maybe my pain gains yours. Either way, I signed up to fight and I am willing to bear whatever it takes.
His love for us is that far-reaching.
I kneel and say, “Right Now. I’m in pain. Please fix it. Please heal me.”
The Father answers, with tenderness in His voice. He is willing me to understand. He wraps His arms around me and says, “Just a little while. I will give comfort when and where I can, but this is to be used for my glory, no matter how it came about originally. Your soul is whole, and that is what I see.”
Then He softly asks, “Do you trust me?”
Dearest Father, Thank You always for keeping watch over my soul. Thank You for making my puny existence a vessel You can possibly use to reach others for You… even one, Lord, even just as a tiny part of an encouragement or a salvation. I do trust You. I will continue to trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension and Essential Tremor, among a myriad of other issues mostly stemming from these two. She had brain surgery in 2012, to install a VP Shunt, and had a revision in January 2014. She now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com