My friend, Paula, is the best! This week has seen more of Satan’s attacks on our family in regards to our health, and here comes Paula. In the midst of her own health issues, she’s writing and listening and sharing with others. Enjoy her recent reflections.
I am sitting in my room staring at the five balloons that my husband and children got me for my birthday. I’m amazed that after almost three weeks, not only are they still aloft, but three of the five appear to be as firm and full of helium as they were on the day Mike purchased them. If you’ve ever purchased helium filled balloons, you know that many times after just a few days, they are drooped and sometimes even completely on the floor. The gas escapes slowly into the air and literally drains the life from the balloons.
Have you ever felt like those balloons? Life is weighing down on your shoulders and it seems that the worries and fears are draining the very life out of you. This week has been that way for me. Monday, a trip to the doctor revealed what I’d been dreading to hear: that the damage to my back was in the actual cord, and not the discs. It was irreversible and permanent. I had, just a few days before, cried out to a friend that I simply couldn’t live like this anymore. The pain of simply walking was at times unbearable. I know that God is in control and has a plan, but still I wonder why He has chosen this road for me. I felt like I had nothing left to give, and like the balloons with no helium, wanted to just slump to the ground.
All around me, Satan is attacking God’s people. Long term Illness that not only drains the life out of the one that is sick, but all those around them. Divorces that leaves its victims strewn behind it, hurting and not knowing where to turn. Job losses that are leaving Godly men (and women) wondering how they are going to pay the bills and feed their families. Deaths that to those of us left behind often seem senseless. Heartache from the loss of a parent or a fight and parting of ways between a parent and a child. Drug and alcohol addictions that tear apart marriages, families, communities and yes, even our churches. But through it all…God is in control and has a plan. Yet we still question "Why God, did you choose this road for me?"
Several weeks ago, my friend Tonya came and brought Baby Quinn, to visit and cheer me up. As we sat and talked, I had the television set to the Contemporary Christian Music Station, playing quietly in the background. We were talking about this very subject and praying that God would show both of us what we were supposed to in our own lives. We began to notice the sequence of songs playing on the Music Choice station. "The Voice of Truth"; "His Strength is Perfect"; "Slow Fade"; "Empty me (of me so I can be filled with you)" "You Never Give up on Me" ; "The more I seek You" and "Completely". If you aren’t familiar with the songs, I encourage you to look them up on YouTube and take a listen. Tonya and I looked at each other and with eyebrows raised asked "Do you think He’s trying to tell us something?"
I seem to be using the Psalms a lot lately. Perhaps because it’s where I most often find comfort. Today is no different. The 142nd chapter is short…only 7 verses. But its words are powerful. I’m using The Message Bible this morning, because its translation mirrored what I and many others around me have been crying out.
I cry out loudly to God
, loudly I plead with God
I spill out all my complaints before him,
and spell out my troubles in detail:
3-7 "As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away,
you know how I’m feeling,
Know the danger I’m in,
the traps hidden in my path.
Look right, look left—
there’s not a soul who cares what happens!
I’m up against it, with no exit—
bereft, left alone.
I cry out, God, call out:
‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’
Oh listen, please listen;
I’ve never been this low.
Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;
I’m no match for them.
Get me out of this dungeon
so I can thank you in public.
Your people will form a circle around me
and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!"