Monday, April 14, 2014

For the times that require you to be still

My devotional the other day was perfect. God knew exactly what I needed.
Here is what it said.

"Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My Kingdom have been done from sickbeds and prison cells. Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.

     Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you. Do not despise these simple wasys of serving Me. Although you feel but off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.

"Be still before the Lord, all mankind, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.” Zechariah 2:13

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength" Isaiah 30:15

 "But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest upon me!" 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wow. I think the reason I haven't posted much in the past year is because I want to come here and have answers. I want to say that I can see the exact purpose in all that's happening, and I just can't. But I'm learning that that's okay. God's plan does not always include us knowing why something happens. When we don't know why, we cling to Him harder. We pray more. We use HIS hope when there is no hope anywhere else. 

During the past year especially, I have spent a lot of time being still. You see, I had my 4th abdominal surgery last May. That caused me to be still. On July 30th we flew to Reno, Nevada where my Lyme doctor is. We planned to stay for 4 weeks while I received treatment, but 4 weeks turned into 10 weeks. The treatments were really hard on me and in the middle of August, I got a staph infection that started in my port. I was admitted to the hospital in Nevada and had surgery to remove my port. I stayed in the hospital for about a week while on strong IV antibiotics for the staph infection that had spread throughout my body. It was just my mom and I at the hospital since my dad and brother were at home in Oklahoma. I was scared and didn't understand why I had gotten so sick in the middle of intense treatments for the Lyme. In the hospital in Nevada, I had my 2nd PICC line placed so that I could continue IV antibiotics out of the hospital. I was discharged from the hospital and went back to the clinic where my Lyme doctor is. I was on IV antibiotics every 8 hours. I finally started getting stronger once I was out of the hospital, and on September 8th, I got to come home to Oklahoma! We were in Nevada from June 30th until September 8th. That time required me to be still. I spent most of that time in a hospital bed at the clinic and in the hospital. 

Once home, I continued on the IV antibiotics for another couple of weeks. I was on  IV antibiotics for a total of about 7 weeks. I had my PICC line taken out when I finished the IV antibiotics! For the first time in 4 years I didn't have a port or PICC line! 

During the fall last year after we got home from Nevada, I started having more problems with my stomach that required a couple of ER visit. My primary care doctor sent me to a GI doctor. He did many tests and in January of this year, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis. That means that the nerves and muscles in my stomach don't work as well as they should. These stomach problems have caused me to be still. Weeks of nausea and vomiting will keep even the strongest in bed. 

This year I also saw a cardiologist who is working to try and fix some things with my heart rate. 

I wasn't able to be in school last semester or this semester due to all of these problems. All of these things have required me to be still. 

I'm doing better right now, thank God! But I still struggle with these problems every day. 

Being still is not something we as a culture are very good at. We want to go somewhere, do something, and see people. But it's during the times of quietness and stillness that we draw closer to God. In the Bible, God put the stories of Paul making a difference from jail and David and Job from their sickbed because it shows that God works during the hardest times. He uses us even when we feel unusable. Those times that cause us to be still are not bad. They are not useless, even though it seems like that. I can't tell you how many times this past year that I've wished I could do more. I want to go make a difference in the world. I sometimes feel like being at home and going to the doctor is not accomplishing anything. Sitting here in my house for so long is not okay! But God assures us that there is a purpose. I've realized that those long nights when I don't sleep are some of the most powerful times to talk to God. Everyone else is asleep and quiet. Maybe God wanted a little extra time talking with you. And during the day we don't give him time to talk because we too busy not being still. 

This is my story...I have no idea why all of this is happening. I don't understand why there is so much pain in this world. But I'm standing on God's promises because life has brought me to my knees. Maybe we need to slow down and be still for a while. 

My devotional last night said this:

"Be thankful for quiet days, when nothing seems to be happening. Instead of being bored by the lack of action, use times of routine to seek My face. Although this is an invisible transaction, it speaks volumes in spiritual realms. Moreover, you are richly blessed when you walk trustingly with Me through the routines of your day"

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always" Psalm 105:4

1 comment:

  1. Your faith is inspiring. I need to be more like you. Love always to my niece!