Permission granted: struggle away!

I decided to read Job. Seems like a good decision. Nothing like a book that talks about losing all you have, family, material belongings, health...paints the portrait of a man sitting in ashes and scraping his boils with a broken pot while wondering why he was ever born...to put your own trials in perspective! I found great encouragement there this morning, as I contemplate this new twist my life has taken. Let me just be brutally frank, and admit that fainting several times a day makes it incredibly hard to keep on keepin' on. I am afraid of falling while carrying one of my kids, I am afraid of cracking my head open on something sharp, I am afraid that someday I won't come to quickly and Katy will have to call 911. That's a heavy burden to carry. Yet, at times like these, it is my instinct to circle the troops, so to speak: I can't bear the thought of having a house full of friends or family to help me. I need routine, I need silence and the quietness of country days at home with the kids. And so, here I am, in the familiar spot between a rock and a hard place. And now it seems I will remain here for a while. So how to cope? How to deal with this in a way that will reflect glory back to God and submerge my obvious suffering in the waters of Truth, Grace and Mercy?

Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? For the thing I fear comes upon me and what I dread befalls me. (Job 3:23, 25) As I read these words this morning, I felt the sigh of all the fears, dread, confusion, consternation that had pent up inside me yesterday releasing. Here is Job, who God called blameless and upright, feeling the same way I did yesterday. So it's o.k. to feel that way. I felt like this verse was God's silent way of giving permission for my questioning. It is permissable to ask the questions. But what do to after that? Number one, where am I turning for answers? I found the clue further on in Psalm 146, verse 2 of which I felt echoing in my heart yesterday and posted here as a mantra to my soul: I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. (was I really ready yesterday to trust my cardiologist to find the magic bullet for my suffering??) When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very days his plans perish. (now, here is the clue - here's where to turn:) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.

Wildflower is an explosion of light in dark foliage.

I wrote to a friend recently, noting the various poor characters God chose to do His great work. Eve, head turned easily by knowledge, became the mother for the entire race. Sarah, who sent another woman to conceive with Abraham, so great was her doubt in God's plan. Jacob, who wrestled with God, became the father a nation. David, who lusted and killed, was a man "after God's own heart". Esther, who protested when her uncle urged her to join the King's court, and tried three times before she gained enough courage to ask for the life of her people, saved a nation from extinction. Jonah, who ran in the opposite direction and didn't even desire to save the lives of the people to which he was sent, turned an entire population to praising God. Peter, who denied Christ three times in one horrific night, was the rock on which Christ built the church. I take comfort in that list of late greats of the faith: I may stumble, I may fall, I may cry my eyes out before the Throne, but it is, after all, a Mercy Seat, and there I will be forgiven and used for the glory of God.

If I am willing.