Pain...it's effects, it's mental and physical anguish, and the way it tosses us up onto the lap of God and makes us cling to Him for dear life...is becoming a recurring theme with me these days. Yesterday I narrowly escaped being hospitalized for a bad case of the flu and respiratory complications which have set in. My doctor increased my dosage of steroids, continued the Tamiflu and the antibiotics I'm on and wants to see me back in ten days. I know if I'm not markedly better by then, it's back to 3-North in "my" hospital. And then there is the pain of watching my daughter suffer from the flu also, and the "regular" pain I suffer on a daily basis with a mixture of other physical problems...
But this post is not about my woes. It's about learning to trust God in the storms. The following is a re-post from another blog of mine which I wrote earlier today:
I had a dream the night before last. It was one of those SAGA-like dreams, full of detail and vivid images, that stay with you all the next day. I won’t bore you with all of the subplots and details…but I do want to tell you about one of the main scenes in it.
I was at a school, which was my daughter’s High School…and I was evidently teaching there as well. It was after school and the kids had left for the day, and as we were preparing to go home, I looked out the window and saw a HUGE tornado approaching. Then I was outside, flinging myself on the ground behind some kind of structure and holding on for dear life as the tornado approached and roared over me. When it passed, I looked, and there were at least five more off them on the horizon, all heading straight for us as well. I was praying aloud as storm after storm destroyed everything in their paths; people and buildings torn loose and tossed away all around me.
I was dismayed at the continual onslaught of tornadoes and heaven’s fury…but I wasn’t terrified. I had a great assurance that God would preserve me. I just continued to pray for myself, my family and those around me…and braced myself for the next storm. There were innumerable tornadoes, littering the horizon, and amazingly, I was in the path of each of them. As I gripped one thing after another, each building or structure was destroyed by the storms and I had to find a new mooring, I just prayed and prayed my way through the event. And God protected…just like I knew He would.
The next day, I thought about the dream…I wondered (duh) at it’s meaning…(that being a little obscured by the rest of the dream’s complexity and detail). I prayed about it for God to open my eyes to the understanding of it. He clearly said to me: “I’m with you in the storms.” I thought about the storm scene. I was not happy to see the appearance of each successive twister heading in my direction. But I was not terrified or even really afraid. I knew my God. I knew He is dependable. Also, the things which I gripped for support were all torn from my grasp, time after time…in the end, God was the only constant; my only real support. And finally, prayer was the thing that connected me to my Helper and got me through.
I also thought, with some concern, about what storms are in the offing for which God might be preparing me. I have that same sense of dismay, but the same assurance that my God is more than able to get me through it; and He is good for His promise to never leave me nor forsake me. And I know that God is calling me to greater discipline and vigilance in prayer…those areas having been a bit neglected because of illness and….what? Laziness? Probably. I need to remedy that NOW. I am glad for the dream…Even in the past two days, as the skies darkened and small squalls appeared and swept over, the sound of my Abba’s voice promising His presence comforted and assured me again and again.
And then, today, my father sent me a blog about the case of Hannah Overton. This is a story of "justice" taking a turn for the worse and society's hatred of "religious fanatics" being poured out on a woman who is now imprisoned in Texas and suffering greatly for her faith. Yes, in America. I will not quote the whole thing here but I would encourage you to click on the link and check it out:
And then, a moment after reading that, I read another blog, which tied up the whole thought process perfectly...Please also pursue this link. I would love to quote the whole post to you because every word is relevant, but I don't want to infringe on the author's rights. Please look into this one in particular:
I will give you just a taste of this blog to whet your appetite:
It's been said that pain is the second best thing because it leads us to the Best Thing (God). For, it is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we come to the beginning of God. And it is only when we come to the beginning of God that we come to the beginning of life.
Life is not easy. And it's not going to get any easier. But we have a God who is with us in the storms of life. Hang on for your life: you're in for the ride of your life. But oh, how great it is, to have that ride on Abba's shoulders!