Sunday, May 25, 2014

Learning through Suffering (2)

     I believe God works all things together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.  Even debilitating sickness.  Even tragedy.  I have talked with many women lately who are extremely sick.  Many with autoimmune diseases like mine.  They are on medications that damage their bodies as it fights the disease.  This past year and half I developed high blood pressure due to prednisone. My whole body is changed. My face is two times bigger than normal. When I look in the mirror, I don't recognize myself. My eyes developed cataracts and I had to have eye surgery recently. My ability to think was curtailed, which is why I did not blog.  My body was in pain constantly and fatigue was so severe I felt like I was walking through thick mud  up to my thighs.  I spent most of the time in bed, getting up to try to help with light chores and help our kids the best I could.  It's been a tough time.
     Yet, the holding for was Romans 8:28.  That God will bring good from this time.  That He is allowing if for my good, the good of my family and for the good of His will.  I believe God is control. I also believe He can do whatever He desires, but what He does will always be within His character. He cannot deny Himself.  He is good and loving, righteous and just, faithful and holy.  He will never change.  He loves me.  Allowing this time of sickness was God loving me by doing what is best in the light of eternity, in light of His will.  
     So I can rejoice.  I can lie in bed and be thankful that inside, at the core of who I am, I am a child of the living God and He loves me.  That even though my outer appearance is drastically changed, my inner person remains the same, created by God through His grace.  
     And now, I asked God to please relent. To release me from this sickness.  And I feel that perhaps He is.  I have been able to decrease the medication more rapidly than before without the dreaded side-effects.  I have been more mobile and able to actually do heavier housework as we pack to get ready to return to Canada from our sabbatical in Texas.  I believe I am on the mend.  I hope I am.  But still I look to God to learn what He wanted to teach me.  Why He allowed this season of sickness.  
    I may never fully know the reason, but I do know that He as build more compassion in me for people who suffer like this, who are in pain all the time, who cannot move and who have gained weight and have changed features due to strong medication.  And I know above anything that no matter what God allows He allows it because He loves me.  And He is working out His greater purpose, a purpose that I cannot yet see.   
     I rest in that reality. And I have joy in the midst of tears.  I am so thankful that with the lower dosage of medication my brain is functioning again. I'm grateful to be learning from His Word again.  And to have music fill my heart again.  I'm thankful to very possibly be on the mend.  And I'm thankful to know that God is faithful.

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