A New Perspective

— Dana

I read a year’s worth of my blog posts this week, and I realized how negative I’ve become. I think it’s because I only take the time to write when I want to vent…instead of when I’m doing well or when I want to proclaim how good the Lord is in my life. When I was finished reading my blogs, I read Galatians 6:1-5…and it really spoke to my heart.

“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

I realized that this blog is where I come to do my “creative best” and where I can make a “careful exploration” of who I am and the “work that I have been given” by the Lord. Take, for example, my health…some days I can get really frustrated when I think about all the stuff I have to go through right now (or even when I look back on the whole journey of my health problems). By writing things out and wresting with issues, I can look back on my blogs and see how far the Lord has carried me and how faithful He has been in my life. My health is improving with each passing year, but it’s difficult to remember that fact when I am still faced with health problems. It is by looking through my blogs that I see the Lord’s hand in it all. Otherwise, I would let Satan remind me of all the times that I failed or how I am not “100%” better. I have seen, first hand, how Satan is the author of condemnation (to mark for destruction) and Jesus is the One that comes into my life and encourages me to change.

With all that said…

I went to the Emergency room yesterday. I had mixed feelings about going…and I found myself feeling “hopeless” again. You see, I had my gallbladder removed in May of 2007. Then, I found myself having a “gallbladder attack” in November of 2007…even though I don’t have a gallbladder (how does that even happen???). I thought once I had it removed the pain would be gone forever and I could “check” that off my list of health problems that have been resolved.

So, now I find myself in March of 2008…and I had another “gallbladder attack”. My pain level shot from a 0 to 10 in an hour, and I found myself (once again) on my knees in prayer…begging God to remove this “torn” from my side. The verse in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 kept repeating in my brain as I rocked back and forth, trying to decide what I should do.

“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size–abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

I don’t want you to think that I was all like “HALLELUJAH…Thank you, Lord, for giving me this pain”. But He was there with me…holding me in His eternal arms. “My grace is enough; it’s all you need” is what He kept telling me. To be quite honest, I really struggled yesterday. “How, Lord, will I ever be able to pay for this,” I pleaded. “What if they don’t find anything…I don’t want to go to the hospital…this pain is too much to bear.” But He whispered in the depths of my pain, “My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”

So I surrendered.

I prayed and then I called Aaron so he could take me to the hospital. The pain eventually stopped yesterday. I would like to say that it happened in an instant…but it didn’t. I took a Hydrocodone at noon and then we went to the hospital. On the pain scale, it lingered from a 2 to a 6 for 5 hours (which was WAY better than the 10 I had experienced at noon). The doctor ended up giving me some stuff at the hospital, and then they set-up an appointment for an MRI on Monday to see if they could find the causes of this pain. The doctor told me that it’s difficult to diagnose, because the pain doesn’t happen every day. If it happened more often, they could assume a number of possibilities and pursue some specific tests to diagnose it.

This is the story of my life.

“We don’t know why this is happening…so I will send you to someone else and they can poke you for a while and see what happens.” You would think I would be use to doctors telling me this by now…but I’m not. So, in the mean time, I am very thankful for my caring husband and loving Jesus…and I rest on the promise of heaven that the Lord told John to write down in Revelation 21:3-5…

“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He”ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good–tears gone, crying gone, pain gone–all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down–each word dependable and accurate.””

In the mean time, I am trying to see the blessings instead of the curses in this situation. I am tired of looking at life through a “paper towel tube” and only seeing this narrow perspective of what’s right in front of me. I want Him to remove the tube so I can see God’s eternal perspective…and understand the trials and the blessings as He sees them. I can easily put myself in bondage when I look at life through a “paper towel tube”…because all I see is the problem that is 3 feet in front of me. If I put down the “tube”, the Lord will show me the things that are 2 inches in front of my face…and also things that are miles away. I just have to be willing to let go.

So, in the end He is giving me a new perspective today. I pray that the Lord will teach me to abide with Him more as I weather these storms. And I am forever thankful that the Lord gave me an amazing husband that will take my “tube” away from my face and help me see God’s eternal perspective.