My family and I were very blessed to share a fun-filled Thanksgiving Day of Monopoly and movies with a couple of young military men from our church this year. They would say we blessed them, but I see it the other way around. 😉 Ronnie made his scrumptious Lasagna, and of course we had rolls, green bean casserole, and pies. The guys were very sweet when I was overcome with emotion as I took my turn thanking God for His healing hand in my life this year. In October I was diagnosed with a very scary health issue and scheduled for a test on the 16th of this month, to allow time for the “episode” to subside. The test would show us what stage it was in and which direction we would need to go to treat it. I had four weeks to wait for the procedure, and believe me, I went through many different phases of emotions and thoughts during that time.
Being who I am, my first reaction was one of anger. I did go to the Lord asking, “Really Lord?! I finally understand what it means to totally turn my life over to You, and desire to serve You more each day, and now You say I am done? You don’t need me any more?” (Maybe I did not turn my life over to Him as much as I thought I had, right?) I do believe it is okay with God for us to interact with Him that way. Now, I am not saying we ought to disrespect Him or curse Him in any way, but I truly believe He wants to hear from us concerning all things, especially things like this. He did create us for His good pleasure, and I think that means that it pleases Him when we sincerely communicate our feelings to Him. I thought about how Jacob wrestled with God and how Hezekiah asked God for 15 more years of life and God granted his request. I remembered how Job spoke with God when satan was allowed to “test” him. (It just so happened that we started in the Book of Job at church during this time; God’s timing is indeed perfect. I tell you, I felt our God speaking directly to me as I read His response to Job.)
Then there was a time of sadness and reflection on everything that God has ever allowed to happen to me, good and bad, which brought much understanding and seeing that God’s hand was in it all along. In the midst of these emotions, I experienced a Grace that I believe came from my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ’s prayers pleading with God to heal me. I finally was able to say, “Thank you Lord for what you are teaching me through this.” My prayer is that I will keep growing in Him and come to the point where I will honestly and earnestly say thank you before responding in anger and mistrust.
I tear up now as I am so very thankful to say that after the test, my doctor said, “It looks like it has gone away.” (This is unheard of medically speaking, but as children of a great an awesome God, we are not surprised.) Of course you can guess my immediate response, “Praise the Lord!” (Well, there is a slight condition, but nothing compared to what they initially said. Maybe just enough of an issue to remind me of what God has done for me.) I believe God is still moving this verse from my head to my heart: Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I thank thee Lord for they mercy and thy Grace that you continue to bless me with. Guess You are not done with me yet! 🙂
I can truly say I am closer to understanding the meaning of the saying and the promise from God’s Word “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength!” When we can say, “Thank you Lord. I know You are in control and You are allowing this for Your purpose and for Your Glory,” we do indeed experience joy that can only come from YAHWEH. Nehemiah 8:10.