"God loves you. He loves you so much that He's allowed this trial to push you to the point where you have no choice but to look to Him." When Life is Hard by James MacDonald
The quote above was the subject of a post I wrote this past January 17, called Pain With a Positive Purpose. It is still the most frequently read post of all I have written this year. That tells me that there must be a lot of pain out there, and that most of us are trying to make some sense of it.
I happened to re-read that post a couple of days ago, and a funny thing happened, I found myself encouraged by what I had written. It felt a little odd, to be encouraging myself, but then I remembered that it was written of King David that, "...he encouraged himself in the Lord."
I don't recall just where that verse is found at the moment, and frankly, I am too tired this evening to look it up. But I am glad to know it is there. I spent the day today, as I have many days over the past 25 years in a hospital, first in the emergency room, then the surgery prep room, then post-op, and finally an assigned room, for my son. Finally, since his diet is unrestricted this time, I went in search of criss/cross cut fries from Carl's Jr. - and sat and watched him smile while he ate them.
As some of you know, he is a T-10 paraplegic, double amputee, with more than a few additional medical challenges. But that only partly describes what, and who, he is. He is also a special education teacher, a member of his city's planning commission, a dog lover (and his black lab, Annie, is the objective of his affection), a brother, a good friend to his buddies, and as valuable a son as anyone could ever ask for.
We had a three-legged cocker spaniel, named Duffy, who had lost a leg after an accident. We had him another 13 or 14 years after he lost his leg. My son said to me one day, only partly in jest, "Well, Mom, when I saw that you and Dave were going to keep Duffy, even though he had lost his leg, I realized you must still really love me, even though I don't have any legs." Then he made a joke and said, "Mom you should see the strange looks we get, when I "walk" Duffy. (Rolling along in his chair, with The Duffer on a leash.) I can just see what is going through people's heads, 'Good grief, look at that man and that dog. There should be six legs between them, and they only have three.' " :)
We are all looking for reassurance that we are valuable to someone, somewhere, for something. We all want to think that we will be "retained" for some value we bring to others. And yet, the One who brought the universe into existence, loves us so much that "We love him, because he first loved us." (I John 4:19)
And yes, God does allow very hard things to come into our lives. Being the mother of a paraplegic for the past 25 years has been a hard thing. I am not going to pretend otherwise. But I also know it has taught me how to value people for who they really are, not for what they have, or own, or can do, or who they know. Each one of us is valuable simply because God loves us and said we are.
So today was a hard day - another emergency surgery. More time spent on sterile waiting room chairs, tensing with anticipation every time a doctor walks into the room because maybe this time it will be the one you are looking for, who will have some answers to your questions. Sometimes they do. And often they don't. The good ones admit this, and tell you, "Here is my best guess." I respect that.
As the quote above says, perhaps God allows these trials so that we will be brought to the point where we must look to Him. What am I looking at, when I look to Him? The One who truly has all the answers, Savior, Friend, Source of my strength, Comforter, Prince of Peace.
What are you looking at this evening? I hope it is Him. Until next time ... Marsha