It has definitely been a week! Monday started with Ron having a stroke about 1 PM. We thought it might be a TIA. It only took until 10 PM to discover that no, it was actually a few small strokes in a completely different part of the brain than has been affected before. In the process, we now have a new neurologist! Ours has moved away for further study. That was a surprise. But we like this new one. He seems very on top of things.
It’s our automatic habit patterns that hold us in good stead during a crisis. While life is calm, put those patterns in place.
Seems that during some of the rockier times in the journey, we have to go with good habits we already have. Long devotional times don’t tend to happen during the crisis. There are lots of short, frantic prayers. Right now, my life is full of interruptions. While writing Wednesday’s post, I had texts and phone calls, visits in the room from doctors and therapists and of course, needs from Ron to go to the bathroom. The interruptions weren’t unpleasant. They just interrupted my train of thought or whatever train track I was moving on mentally.
Your mind is jarred. It is difficult to concentrate in the craziness of an acute situation. It’s the part of the journey that is the actual battle. It’s what you prepare for when you develop habits throughout your life. This is when the Spirit brings Scripture to your mind to encourage you that you memorized early in life. He brings people to your path to bouy you up along the way. They tell you, you are going to do ok; they hug you; they stop by for visits; they bring comforting foods; they do the impractical things; they do the things that show they care for you. It touches you deeply. Each call, text, comment on facebook, or visit is a gift. But what gives you hope? The hope that people will do those things? NO!
Our hope comes as we have confident expectation in the person and promises of GOD.
Our hope is not in people or even in doctors. It’s not even in modern medical care. They will let us down. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it probably will. The moving parts in medical care are human. There are too may ways for communication to fail. It has happened to us in the past, and I’m sure it will in the future.
Our hope must be in Someone much larger than we are. Do we believe GOD is in control of our lives? Is He in control of both the big and small events? The good and bad? Yes. If He can’t prevent the awful things from happening to us, He isn’t GOD.
But the thing is that GOD can do something no one else can do. He can redeem everything that happens. He allows some awful things to happen to His children. Otherwise, we would be impossible to be around! He wants to teach us to be tender to those who are grieving. The only way to do that is to go through it ourselves. How do we know what it is like to be ill or have a loved one who is dying? When we go through it ourselves. But, He is able to use each painful thing we go through to not only bring Him glory but to grow us in grace and the other fruit of the spirit. (cf. Galatians 5:22-23)
How can this happen? Because He knows what is best for us in the long run.
How can that happen? Because only He knows the future. Only He knows His plan for each individual person as well as the overall plan for history and how they meld together. GOD has promised to heal us of our sin. He completely forgave us on the cross if we came to Him, recognizing our need.
He doesn’t promise to heal us of our physical diseases…or even our mental ones. We can pray and ask Him to. He may, He may not. When Jesus was here on earth, He didn’t heal everyone. He healed some people, but not everyone. He didn’t heal Paul. He actually gave Job extreme suffering including illness…for a time.
He did make it possible to for everyone to have spiritual healing however. That is our hope. We will physically die someday. If we are GOD’s child, we will go to be with Him forever. It won’t happen a moment before GOD has planned it. Our death will be right on His timetable. Then we will go to be with Him forever. Meanwhile, we continue on the journey with Him. He is the One we can trust. He knows the journey we are on. He has a purpose for our lives and He will complete that purpose.
“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
Job 23:8-10, 13-14 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are
not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it,
in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption
and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:18-29 ESV