Not Alone

On May 28th, I returned from my 90-day stint in China getting traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture and Chinese herbs, plus physical therapy and more). We received blessings from heaven through all the love, concern, prayers, encouragement, and financial support. We prayed for significant healing, but also tried to rest in whatever the Lord might do.

After my return to the U.S., I had improved in some areas, but my biggest goal of independent walking was not even close to being reached. I have to admit that it has been a huge disappointment. Almost crushing at times. I long to be more independent with more mobility, more serving opportunities, more initiative in others’ lives… and less boredom. But it hasn’t happened. So, Brad and I have struggled with this. We’ve wrestled with disappointment, anger, and even despair.

Then on July 25th, while Brad was helping me get on my treadmill at home, the machine inadvertently started before I was ready, and I fell hard. Three weeks later after a second X-ray, I realized I had broken my left shoulder. My only good arm.
Another crushing blow. My independence, which was minimal before, is now even less. And it will be that way until it fully heals, hopefully within 4-5 weeks.

So, both of us have wondered, where is God in all this? Does He answer prayers? Does He give us more than we can handle? When is enough, enough? Surely the Lord has some long-term plan in mind for our good and His Glory, but what is it, and if we knew what it was, would it help?

All of this sounds rather gloomy, doesn’t it? Well, don’t despair. The Lord has been faithful and is holding on to us. And He has been deluging us with love, service, and prayers from our church and family. His comfort has been remarkable.
Today, I was thinking about Psalm 3:3 and the tune we sang to it years ago (so long ago that dirt had just been invented):

“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill.” – Psalm 3:3–4 ESV

He is my shield, protecting me from the battle. He is my glory. He lifts my head. When I cry aloud to Him, He hears and He answers. And He cares.

I am not alone.

Something I read several years ago has stuck with me during these days: “Don’t waste your trials.” The author’s point was that God, in His care and wisdom, has ordained trials for us, and we don’t want to waste them. We don’t want to miss the lessons the Lord has to teach us: lessons of a deeper knowledge of God; lessons of perseverance in faith; lessons of deepening character.

So today, Brad and I are still fighting the good fight one day at a time. We hope our trial ends soon, but even if it doesn’t, it will end someday. And it will surely end on the day of hope, the day we meet the Lord. That will be the best day of our lives.