Went to the doctor yesterday–all the news was good, in a way. I’m not getting better, but I’m not getting worse either. My infection indicator had sky-rocketed when the “little surprise” cropped up, but fell back down to where it was. We’re going to keep an eye on it, and if it stabilizes, I’ll get to shift to oral antibiotics instead of doing these IVs three times a day.
As my appointment was winding down, the doctor commented that I had such a good attitude about all this. She said she didn’t know what she would do if she had to go through months of illness.
And being the idiot that I am, I said, “I have no choice, and being a pain about it isn’t going to change anything.”
I beat myself up for that all the way home and periodically through the dark hours of the night. What kind of Christian am I? To God be the glory! I can do all things through Him who strengthens me! Why didn’t I say that?
Right now, more than any other time through history, we are supposed to be about the Lord’s work. These are the times that were prophesied. The seals are snapping open and the horses are beginning to ride. All over the world: war, death, economic distress, peace taken from the earth that people kill one another. While everyone goes about their daily business, the world is turning into Sodom and Gomorrah. Everything that is happening right now, God told us it would.
I hate to admit, but I haven’t been actively evangelical since college, so I don’t know whether my doctor is a Christian or not. Had I responded the way I should have, I’d know, but I didn’t.
And this isn’t the first time I’ve stolen glory from Him.
I have no earthly idea how He puts up with me. I don’t believe that diseases are put upon us as forms of punishment, but if it were true, I deserved it, and I’m surprised it’s so mild.
This morning, I opened my Bible with the intent of studying Isaiah 53, but God directed me to Isaiah 43 instead: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are Mine” (vs 1), “And there is no one who can deliver you out of my hand” (vs 13).
The words hit my heart with unspeakable joy. How could I not cry? How could I not be humbled? I am redeemed! What a glorious thought! He loves me in spite of my stupid self, and I am His!
This Easter weekend, as I think of Him on the cross and think of His glorious resurrection, I can internalize the event. He did it for me. For stupid ol’ self-centered me, who can’t do even the simplest of His tasks right. He loves me, He redeemed me, He called me by my name. I am His and no one can snatch me from His grasp.
Linda, it was during the same kind of personal revelation, on a Palm Sunday years ago, God blessed me further with a vision. During the sermon, I was spiritually transported into a white void. I wasn’t alone. Jesus was there. He held out His arms. I ran to Him and was enfolded in a tight embrace.
It was so real, I could feel bone and flesh beneath His white garment, and the coarse texture of the cloth. It looked like soft linen, but felt more like burlap. As I snuggled deeper into His arms, I was engulfed in an ecstasy no earthly words can describe. I needed nothing, wanted nothing, but to remain in His embrace for eternity.
After a moment, all my past transgressions paraded in front of me. How dare I touch Him? I was so unworthy to be in His presence, let alone in His embrace. I pulled back, my head held in shame.
He urged me to look up. There was no accusation in His face, only love and deep compassion. He loved me just as I was, flawed and imperfect. It didn’t matter how many times I failed, only that I keep trying. It was the effort that counted.
He then directed my gaze to the left. There roared a huge pit of fire. Black smoke and heat roiled out over red-orange flames.
He told me I had to walk through the inferno, not as a punishment for my sins, but as a natural part of my life. I would endure great pain. I argued I couldn’t do it. The pain would be too great. He told me I had no choice.
I stepped into the pit, expecting a horrific blast of heat. Instead, His hand reached through the fire and grasped mine. As long as I held onto Him – my faith – the flames would never burn me, and He would be waiting on the other side.
The next instant, I was back in church.
Forgive me for being long winded, but I had an overwhelming compulsion to share this story. We are all blessed to be loved this much. I pray your health improves, and God grants you complete healing. Happy Easter, Linda.
That is so beautiful, Ceci. His love is amazing, isn’t it? There is nothing He won’t forgive and there is no limit on the number of times He forgives. His compassion is boundless. What an incredible God we serve!
Happy Easter to you too, and you can be as long-winded as you like, any time you want!
Oh this is an amazing post! And I LOVE the verse that God led you to! Such powerful words!
I love the verse too and am in awe of what it means. *All* who accept the free gift of salvation are redeemed and can personalize that message. Can you get any more amazing than that?!
I gotta tell you, during a few years when my son searched to make his faith his own, I prayed this verse over him all the time! Along with Ephesians 3:14-19. Such power in those words!
I’ve been hanging out on Facebook too long–I wanted to “like” your comment, but couldn’t find the button. 😀
You’re not alone! It’s easy to blow a chance to glorify him out of fear or any number of reasons. But the good news is he loves us anyway! I bet he gives you another chance soon…so YOU’LL feel better. Praise you Lord!
I hope I don’t blow it again! Thanks, Cheryl.
You brought tears to my eyes, Linda. As usual.
So glad you came by, Jess. Love you!
Linda, I haven’t been online as a part of the writing/book blogging community in a long time and I just had the urge to check in with you to see how you were doing. I didn’t know you’ve been ill until I started reading a few of your posts. I just wanted to say I stopped right now to pray for you and will continue to do so whenever you cross my mind. You are a blessing to everyone who knows you online or in person, I’m sure you’ve impacted that doctor in ways you aren’t even aware of.
Oh, my sweet friend–you bring tears to my eyes! Thank you for praying for me. I hope it’s been nothing more than pure busyness that has kept you offline. Praying all is well with you and yours!