In an attempt to cheer myself a few weeks ago, I tried to think of something I could look forward to, but it was difficult. Through a tearful struggle, I came up with a few things and kept my eyes on them with the expectation that I would be cheered once they happened. This gave me a precarious sensation of hope amidst circumstances that had been brimming with loss for several years. But… this was simply a recipe for additional disappointment.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
An interesting thing has happened during these years of my physical affliction; my desires have changed. At one time, I had a strong desire to go back out into the workforce once our children’s needs didn’t require me to be at home full time. I had visions of contributing to our household income so that we could live the way we thought we wanted to live. The prestige of the positions I had trained for called me to keep the pace going by striving to attain even more. Requests from customers and previous coworkers for me to return to this course stoked my pride and kept my head turned to what seemed most desirable at the time. As a result, I didn’t see the alternative, cooking and cleaning at home, as something that would be satisfying at all.
It has been during some of my times of greatest struggle that I have had the sweetest communion with God. Here is a quote from my book:
From “More Precious Than Gold”
I adjusted the ice pack on my head gently as it started to conform to my head. The gentle coolness was a mild relief after two days of unrelenting pain. I was spent, barely able to move my arms, lips, or eyelids. Unable to produce many words aloud, I silently imagined what heaven would be like. I pictured my glorified body, pain-free and easy-moving. My body relaxed as I thought of God’s presence. On this third day, unable to talk fluently with people carrying on with their earthly lives, I experienced sweet communion with God in a way that I never had before: peace.
A few days after my recent complicated migraine, I continued to reflect on what I had learned. I accepted that God had put me in a position that seemed limiting to me, but I also recognized He was working good in it, whether I could see the good or not. The Holy Spirit brought truth to my mind, encouraging me to endure. However, even though my mind was focused on what I knew to be true, my heart broke one evening.
I had collapsed on the couch very early one morning after a night of writhing in bed with the pain and nausea of a migraine. My left arm was strapped to my body due to a broken shoulder that would take many weeks to heal. This confinement increased the difficulty of trying to nurse my throbbing head with minimally effective comforts.
All block quotes are from “Prayer, the Cure for Care” by Charles Spurgeon
Turn everything that is a care into a prayer. Let your cares be the raw material of your prayers, and as the alchemists hoped to turn dross into gold, so do you, by a holy alchemy, actually turn what naturally would have been a care into spiritual treasure in the form of prayer. Baptize every anxiety into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and so make it into a blessing.
All quotes are from “Concerning Death” by Charles Spurgeon
What are the times when men are able to speak of death quietly and happily? Sometimes they do so in periods of great bodily suffering. I have on several occasions felt everything like fear of dying taken from me simply by the process of weariness, for I could not wish to lie any longer in such pain as I then endured, and I have no doubt that such an experience is common among sufferers from acute disorders. The sons and daughters of affliction are not only trained to await the Lord’s will, but they are even driven to desire to depart; they would sooner rest from so stern a struggle than continue the fierce conflict. It is well that pain and anguish should cut the ropes which moor us to these earthly shores that we may spread our sails for a voyage to the Better Land. Oh, what a place heaven must be to those whose bones have worn through their skin through long lying upon the bed of anguish!
…Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Oh, how I want to do that! But, how do I?
Over the years, my understanding of the gift of salvation that I received from Christ has grown. It started as acceptance of the fact that I am a sinner in need of a savior, and that Jesus is the only one capable of being the sacrifice to pay for my sins. The relief I felt when I first accepted this at the age of 34 was tremendous. However, I have gradually come to understand how He is enough for me on a daily basis as I have experienced many losses over the years.
Most recently, physical disabilities have drastically reduced my contact with people since I am mostly homebound. A year ago, I had started training to be a Biblical counselor, but I have found that I can’t commit to be physically present for a person. I am extremely sensitive to perfumes and fragrances from laundry detergents, dryer sheets, makeup, shampoo, etc. which cause me to be sick with vertigo and migraines for several days following exposure.
Around the time that I realized what was making me so sick, I suddenly had a desire to write a book. The words just poured out of me even though writing had never been a strong ability of mine. All of what I had learned from several years of being sick with vertigo, migraines, and insomnia was there…on paper…and it felt so good to think that someone else might benefit by seeing how God had been faithful to me through it all. He has taught me so much through trials, and I wanted to comfort someone else as I had been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4). Attempts to get this book published have been challenging, causing me to wonder if there might be a different way for me to fulfill my part of the Great Commission.
My desire is to share with you, my friend and reader, what I am learning as I study the Bible. When I was first saved, I found it difficult to be excited about study; maybe, I didn’t know where to start, but start I did. I have found such treasures as I have dug deeper and deeper. Sometimes, I even find diamonds where I only saw pearls the first time around. Sermons from people like Charles Spurgeon spark deep thoughts about what I read in Scripture, and I’m so eager to share these with someone. What a blessing it is to have technology to help with this commission; I pray that something I share will be an encouragement to you as I attempt to point you to the True Treasure.