Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Unwelcome Gift - In Other Words

But this disappointment, those tears,
this heartbreak is God’s gift.                                       
In this quiet empty ache, He enlightens.
By it, He plants and grows within me a certainty
that there must be more.
And that He is the More.”

by Jo at Mylestones

                                                                              # # # #
My sister, who just lost her oldest son to cancer two months ago, said to me the other day on the phone, "I just don't understand this."

Amazingly, she was not referring to her own loss, which would have been very understandable.  Instead, she went on to say, "I just don't understand why God has allowed K. to be sick again.  To have to have this awful surgery and to go through another three months in bed.  I just don't get it."

K. is my oldest son, who has been a paraplegic for over twenty-five years and is currently bed fast, due to a particularly nasty emergency surgery two and a half weeks ago. 

She went on to say, "I dealt with home care and the strain of it for 7 months (the time from her son's diagnosis until his death); but you have been dealing with this for twenty-five years.  I don't know how you do it.  And I don't know how K. does it.  I just don't get it."

While I appreciated her empathy, she was apparently assuming that I do "get it" - that I understand this current situation.  I do not.

According to today's quote, this current situation is "god's gift" to me, and I suspect the author may be right.  It does not mean that I must like it, but if I am to honest with the Lord and myself, I must acknowledge that in this, as in all things, He is acting according to His own principles of justice, mercy, kindness, and love.  It just doesn't look much like it at the moment.

However, even the unwelcome gift, is sometimes accompanied by some welcome by-products.  When I met my sister briefly the other day, her first remark was, "My gosh, you've lost weight."  A welcome gift from days of non-stop of fetching and carrying.

Darker circles under my eyes, and until last night, no more than 2 hours sleep at a time, not so welcome.  The constant tension of knowing his wound vac machine could "alarm" in the night, and I might not hear it quickly enough caused me to lay awake for hours.  But last night I slept nearly seven hours, a welcome gift.

From my phone calls home to my husband, who is eighty miles away,  I learn that my roses are dying despite his efforts to water and tend them.  Unwelcome.  But from my son's front window, I can see across the street the lady's roses which are beautifully healthy, and I get to enjoy looking at them without worrying about rust, black spot, or aphids.  A welcome gift.
So this current trial is one of those unwelcome gifts that God sometimes allows to come our way. I have been the reluctant recipient of more than a few of those in my lifetime, and my guess is that if you are older than twelve, so have you.  Stuff happens.  God allows stuff to happen.

Do I understand it?  No.  But do I still believe that there is a greater purpose and plan than I can currently perceive?  Yes.

There is an old song (perhaps by Patti Paige - long before my time) that I think is called "Is That All There Is?"  The lyrics are about life and ambition and achievement, and disappointment and loss, and ultimately the utter dissatisfaction that accompanies all of them, outside of a relationship with God.  The plaintiff refrain sums it up as "Is that all there is?"

Thankfully, for the believer, the answer is a resounding "NO"!  There is more, He is more and through Him we can become more.

According to Romans 8:37, " No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Through Him, I can either embrace this unwelcome gift, and welcome His working in my life - or I can resist it, although I will still have to deal with it - but I will simply have to do so with less peace and less strength.  Seems like a no-brainer to me. 

Thank you, Lord, for this unwelcome gift.  I nevertheless, welcome your working in my life.  Make me more like you, the One who is More than all my needs.  

Note: Today's hostess for IOWT is Loni at the Writing Canvas.


  1. Amen.
    So nice to read the words of one obviously mature in the Lord. He has grown you up nicely. Your words remind me of Paul's, the great man of God who had learned to be content in all things. I pray that strength and unexplainable joy will be yours as you tend to your son.

  2. I read this quote the other day and it came to mind as I was reading your post:

    "Sometimes God calms the storm & sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child."

  3. I also have been the recipient of some unwanted gifts, lately, and I am leaning on God. I know he can work out all things for good (Romans 8:28). Your post gave me encouragement today :)

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your gift today...I am so blessed. My husband turned to me today while I was saying, "I just don't get all of is just too much"...he said, "it is life!"
    I don't understand the suffering many go through, but I do know the Savior that supplies all the grace that is needed and His promises are true...and those promises don't rely on if "I get it" or not.

    Blessings and hugs as our Savior meets your needs.

  5. You have been granted wonderful wisdom. Thank you for sharing it with us. God bless you.

  6. You are a courageous, wise woman. You're going through difficult times, and yet you find the gifts. Amazing.