It’s been almost 5 years since my stroke, and there’s still a lot of residual effects/disabilities from it, both in my brain and physically too. I’ll have a few days or even a week or two of feeling really good, but then inevitably go back to feeling bad for a stretch.
The hardest part of that is the sense of frustration with the back and forth of it. I mean, the feeling good will go just long enough to give me an inkling of hope that maybe some of the disabilities are finally shifting once and for all… and then, it all drops out and goes back.?
I was thinking about it in light of what Job (in the Bible) told his wife when she, in her understandable frustration and sorrow over their hardships, told him that he should just curse God and die. Job quietly and profoundly asked her: “Shall we accept only good from the Lord, and not adversity?”
I’ll be honest, I’ve only ever really thought about that in terms of BIG adversities. Like, the stroke itself was a BIG adversity. It happened, and there wasn’t any changing it. Still, there were choices to make. I could have, like Job’s wife suggested, ‘cursed God and died’. And at one point in the hospital, it was like Satan came and asked me if I was going to keep believing in a God who let such awful things happen to His children.
I remember thinking, but what else is there? I could walk away from Him, but where would I go? He’s my only hope in the whole thing. I have no other choice but to accept this and go forward—with Him—in it.
To hold on to God in hope was the needed thing in that BIG moment… but these lesser moments in my life have the exact same need; the exact same choice.
…Holding on in hope.
I mean, in light of accepting the overall traumatic thing of having a stroke, accepting a lame leg hurting isn’t so big. But holding onto him in hope when the pain in that leg is off again and on again, back and forth, is still the need.
I totally accept it as from him when my leg is feeling good. I thank him. I give him praise. I’m excited. I’m happy. High fives for Jesus.. and me! ?
But when the pain returns…. and the muscles bunch up, and it’s super painful to walk or stand and everything that needs done is just sitting there looking at me, mocking…. When it becomes obvious he hasn’t healed it as is my desire… when I’m so tired of it and just want out.. that’s when the choice to hope comes.
Will I accept only good from the Lord, but reject pain and limitation and struggle and weakness?
I see him as being with me when good things are happening. But isn’t he MORE with me in problems? Isn’t his grace shown MORE in struggles? Isn’t his strength MORE given to me in my weakness?
These things can be true even in my lesser everday trials, but only IF I WILL HOPE IN HIS LOVE. Only if I choose to embrace the adversity of it instead of running away from it by complaining, moping, trying to avoid having to go through it and feeling sorry for myself.
I hold onto the knowledge that I will be healed one day. Might be at my physical death, but that day will come. And at any moment, even right now, God could change things… Will I be found in faith when he does? Or will he come and find me a miry mass of frustration and discouragement?
Will I accept only good from the Lord and reject everything bad?
I choose to hold onto him in hope.
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