Nine days. It's been nine days since I last posted. On one hand, I can't believe it's been that long; on the other, it seems like it has been years since I posted my last Monday Meanderings and Menu Plan Monday. We got caught up in finishing our science fair projects the first half the week, along with trying to keep up with school and home duties. Then Thursday morning at 5 a.m., I woke up with pain that we first thought might be appendicitis. I'll leave out all the details of the intervening week, and just say that it is *not* appendicitis, it *is* still here a week later, and after an ER visit, a CT scan, and a trip to the GYN, we still don't know what it *is*. Oh...and the prescription pain meds I was so thankful to get...don't touch it. *Sigh*
Even though this is not my first encounter with pain for which the cause is unsure and relief is elusive, I've really battled discouragement in this. It's been a discouraging week otherwise...an extended family situation that has now dragged on for over a year is becoming more and more frustrating. The knowledge that that situation will more than likely interfere with our schedule over the next couple of months, at the same time we are trying to find answers for the medical issues and heading into our busiest time of year outside the holidays, is frankly overwhelming. My children have needs that are demanding extra wisdom and mom-time right now. And for the last couple of days, the fear that this pain is going to be my constant sidekick through it all has threatened to completely unglue me.
This morning, once again, I woke up at 4 a.m., realizing that yes, *it* was still there, ready to accompany me through what promises to be a challenging day. After trying unsuccessfully to go back to sleep, I finally gave up and grabbed a book from the stack that sits waiting for my wee-hour reading marathons. I've been reading a biography of Jane Austen that is somewhat more *academic* than I was in the mood for at 4:30 a.m., so I decided to start a new fiction book by one of my favorite authors. I've been reluctant to start it, because it is the third book in a series in which I haven't read the second yet (Kathy, pretend you didn't read that part...:-D), but I finally succumbed.
It's funny how God can use a Christian fiction series to speak to us...He has used this series over and over to very specifically address issues going on at the time in my life. The circumstances the characters are going through may not be the same...but somehow there will be a verse or a phrase or a lesson that will jump out at me. And this morning was no exception.
The "Whys?" that I've struggled with over and over in recent years had hit with full force again this week. Health "whys?", extended family situation "whys?", parenting "whys?" all pushing to the forefront and clamoring for answers. All craftily working their way deeper and deeper in and creating fissures of doubt.
And then this morning, verses that we say over and over in times of crisis, words that are so familiar we sometimes allow their meaning to dissolve into nothingness:
"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
He lifts His voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see the works of the Lord,
the desolations He has brought on the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
He burns the shields with fire.
'Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.'
The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress."
In the margin of my Bible, I have a note written beside verse 10, "Be still=cease striving." I don't remember who said that or where I heard it, but I do remember at the time that I wrote it thinking, "that is where God wants me right now. He wants me to realize that there is *nothing* I can do about any of this. He wants me to 'cease striving'."
This morning I realized again that that is the answer to the frustration and discouragement that circumstances...health, extended family, the bigger-than-normal needs of my children, the chock-full calendar, and the ever-pressing needs of taking care of our home...have descended with recently. "Be still, and know that I am God."
He is God, He is sovereign, He created all that is, and He controls it. My job is not to question, my job is to be still, and know that He is God. That is the answer to all of the whys that my heart asks. Then I can trust Him, and be obedient, knowing that He is "our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Then I can rest in the knowledge that no matter what is going on in my life or my family or the world around me, He will be "exalted among the nations....exalted in the earth."
This morning, I am thankful that He is God.
To see what others are thankful for today, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.