I must confess that my last few days have been like the tumult of a great storm, with raging waters and bellowing winds within my heart, mind and soul. I have felt lost at sea and a long way from the peace of my loving Father and God!
I know in my head that He is always with me... but oh... how far away my Lord has felt from me. I learned long ago that we don't go by feelings... we go by facts... the facts of God's Word... but somehow my physical pain has gotten in the way... and the truth has eluded me.
When the weather gets cold, damp or rainy my body rebels... my disease takes hold with all its might and the pain can be oppressive and intolerable. I have learned to handle minimal pain... that may just be in my neck or lower back... but when my whole body becomes utterly taken over with suffering and infirmity... I get downright discouraged and it seems all I can do is complain about it.
As I read Psalm 116 this morning... verse 17 stuck out like a gigantic red flag. The psalmist tells me in this verse to offer a "sacrificial praise of thanksgiving" before calling upon or offering a prayer to the Lord. It said absolutely nothing about my being discouraged or complaining. The psalmist is asking himself and me to look at the blessings that God has already poured out and to offer thanksgiving for them... to offer my heartfelt thanks without any complaining, and then I can pray or call upon the Lord for his mercy and help.
I have been calling on the Lord Jesus to help me... while at the same time I have been full of complaints. I know there is absolutely nothing good in complaining... it is a negative force that breeds only more groaning and grief. Complaining also builds upon itself and if we are not careful... it will lead us to depression.
God's Word clearly shows us how to avoid complaining... and it is so simple... I seem to miss it all the time. My mind and my words should be full of thanksgiving... not that I have to be thankful for the pain... but I can find thankfulness in so many other areas. When I feel like complaining... I need to start counting my blessings. In doing so... the attitude of my heart and mind will change.
So, Lord Jesus... I thank you for the many blessings you have given me. I thank you that I am not on a hospital bed, I thank you for doctors who are trying their best to help me through all of this... with as little pain as possible, I thank you I have a home and a bed to rest upon, I thank you for medications that help, I thank you for my husband who is very understanding... I thank you for your Word that corrects me and I thank you for your mercy and love that is always there... even when I don't think so. Thank you Lord Jesus for loving me and understanding my failings. I will offer you praise and thanksgiving!!!
I am not where I want to be in my walk with the Lord... but I am also not where I was! I just want my walk with the Lord Jesus to keep going forward and to never, ever grow stagnant.
I keep this little dity always on my mind:
Three men walking on a wall... Feeling, Faith and Fact.
When Feeling took an awful fall... and Faith was taken back.
So close was Faith to Feeling, that he stumbled too...
But, Fact remained and brought back Faith...
And Faith brought Feeling too!