This week I had the sad job of telling my pastor that my health will no longer allow me to attend church. I went last week and Wed. was the first day I had any relief at all from the severe neck/spine pain that resulted from sitting in church on Sunday.A sore neck was not the only way that my being in church hurt me. One lady, God bless her heart. came up behind me in my seat, grabbed me and kissed me twice on the cheek. It warmed my heart. Now some people said hi. "Hi" like I-see-you-every-week "HI"...not acknowledging that i've only been their twice in about 6 months. One lady said "Have you lost weight? Just below the shoulders that is" - her way of acknowledging my fat steroid face. Made me want to cry. Or hit her.
I was considering buying a prayer book for the chronically ill by Lisa Copen and one of the things she addresses is our feeling that we are unmissed at church. This is something I really struggle with.
(BTW if you are interested in her book. here is the link: Refresh me Lord
And then I went to my Bible Memory program and clicked on this verse:
Psalm 103:15, 16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
(I am memorizing all of the "Fearing God" verses in the Bible.) But that is not why this caught my eye. Note verse 16. When the storms of life pass over the beautiful flower that God has made us to be, the storm roars over...and we are torn from our "PLACE" -- the place from where we serve. The place from where we worship. The place where we do just about anything. And then what happens?
"OUR PLACES REMEMBERS US NO MORE"
NOW, we can cry. we can punch pillows. We can kick the dog. But that will change nothing. Chronic illness is forever --aside from miraculous intervention.
NOW I want you to look at the verse preceding this one
Psalm 103 : 13,14
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.