Friday, November 20, 2009

The Joy of the Lord

In July, I wrote about how God used a pinched nerve to teach me how to deal with temptation in “Temptation – the Ultimate Pain in the Neck” (July 10, 2009). It turns out that my pinched nerve was actually caused by several herniated cervical discs in my neck. The pain eventually subsided after two months of chiropractor visits and a lot of ice and ibuprofen.

Last week, I managed to aggravate those discs, and again, I found myself in pain and unable to do so many of the things I used to take for granted like standing up straight instead of hunched over, driving, picking up a book, taking out the garbage, holding my cell phone to my ear… the list goes on. Normally, I’m not that “I can’t” type of person and this week has been really hard on me because this week – I really can’t! However, now that my condition is starting to improve slightly and I’m a little less disabled, I can look back on this week with joy. I won’t say that I enjoyed this week at all, but day after day, I was truly blessed to see and know God’s love through the actions of friends and family.

Several friends made it a point to let me know that they were praying for me. My best friend spent hours with me on Saturday watching old movies on TV because I couldn’t do anything else. On Sunday, my mom brought me lunch and let me cry some of the pain and frustration out on her shoulder. My sister-in-law made dinners for me that my brother delivered and he helped clean my kitchen and gather up garbage before he sat down to chat. My nieces and nephew made a get well card for me. My out-of-town brother called and talked with me for a while. Coworkers took time out of their busy schedule to carry stacks of papers and equipment around the office for me and a volunteer came in to fold the Sunday bulletins for me.

I felt God’s love permeating all of those moments and the memory of that fills my heart with joy, even now, through the pain. I can’t help but smile when I think about that fact that God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe cares enough about me to show me his love by ensuring someone was there to open a window for me when I needed it most. He saw to it that I was not alone in my misery and supplied my daily needs when I couldn’t. He loves me so much that he reached out through the words and actions of those around me to tell me that he knows I’m hurting and that it matters to him deeply. What a Holy and Awesome God he is. Praise the Lord who loves me like that.
About the pictures:
Marshall Island, North Park (August 2009)

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