It’s been many months since I’ve updated or posted. I am in a season of life where almost all energy the Lord grants is poured out into the care of my sweet family. I’m tired and extremely foggy, but truly thankful. The Lord impressed on me a sense of purpose in suffering at an early age. I was born with 2 heart malformations. At the age of 2 I had one of the malformations, a coarctation of the aorta, surgically repaired. Without the surgery I would’ve only lived into my teenage years. In the future I may need a 2nd surgery on my aortic valve which has 2 cusps/leaflets instead of 3. I realized as a young child that the Lord was incredibly merciful when he granted my first surgery a success. When I was baptized at the age of 15 I remember thinking, “He must have a plan for me.” Little did I know that much of His plan for me would be to keep me fully reliant on Him for the strength and grace for each day. My health struggles multiplied into adulthood beginning with a mono infection at the age of 23, just months into marriage. I now battle with POTS, Chronic fatigue, allergies/asthma, chronic migraines, seasons of anxiety, insomnia, neck/shoulder pain, etc. After living in this reliant position for many years I must say that although it’s very difficult and my sinful heart wants to fight against it at times, living humbly and fully reliant is a wonderfully refreshing place to be. Where else can I be and see daily displays of His grace, strength and resulting peace? At the age of 35 now, I see all the more clearly that in my weakness, He is faithful and uses weakness/trials for my good and to remind me of my helplessness. He is so gracious and knows my heart better than I do. He knows that I constantly need to be reminded that I have no strength apart from Him and that He is glorified in my weakness.
Last night I read this devotion from Susannah Spurgeon. Her words resonated with me.
“My blessed Lord, how tender and pitiful are you to me! What a delight it is to tell of your mercy and grace to one so unworthy! Yet it is no singular story, for this is your sweet way and will, dear Lord, towards all who put their trust in you. When depression and sadness come to me, by reason of the sin within, or the discouragements without; when the thorns and briers of daily cares and vexations prick and tear the weary pilgrim’s feet and hands; then you turn my footsteps to where the pines and myrtles of your loving mercies grow, and in their shelter and fragrance my troubled spirit finds rest.
No, more than this, dear Lord, your power is so great that you sometimes transform the very things that hurt and grieved me into means of grace and blessing to my heart and life. Disappointments in my work, obstacles to its performance, the estrangement of friends, conscious incompetence and weakness, and often an overpowering sense of deepening responsibility — these experiences are all like thorns and briers, which irritate and worry by their persistent and close contact; yet all these vanish when you, my gracious God, give the word, and I wonder as I find myself walking peacefully among the fir trees, where the pine needles lie thick upon the ground, spreading the softest of carpets under my tired feet; and where the myrtle’s snowy blossoms and glossy leaves promise perfume and sweetness even to those who bruise them. Your ways, O Lord, are past finding out, but they are very gracious and tender; and this turning of seeming evil into good, of making your children’s trials grow into triumphs, and their pains into pleasures, is a wonderful proof both of your pity and your power.
‘It shall be to the Lord for a name.’ My Father, can this be really so? Does your great Name receive added glory when you thus manifest your sovereignty on my behalf? When I come to the next sharp thorn hedge in my path, will it honour you if, instead of trying to force my way through it, and getting wounded for my pains — or attmepting to avoid it by some roundabout course, and plunging deeper into the thicket, I should just calmly sit down before it, and pray, and wait for you to wither it up, or turn it into a myrtle grove? Yes, I believe it will, and I seek faith and grace from you to do constantly this otherwise impossible thing. Past mercies and deliverances should strengthen me to expect yet greater displays of your marvellous love. Dear Lord, when troubles come, I should like to learn to look upon them as ways and means of glorifying you, to accept them as tests and trials of my faith, and to meet them with a brave heart, expecting the salvation of God!
If my path were always smooth and pleasant, with never a thorn or brier to vex and trouble me, there would be no opportunity for the glorious exercise of your love and mercy in deliverance from them.
Courage, my soul! Your God will give you grace to say as did his servant Paul, ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me’.”
Oh how I pray Lord that your “great Name will indeed receive added glory when you thus manifest your sovereignty on my behalf.” Your power is indeed so great that you “transform the very things that hurt and grieved me into means of grace and blessing to my heart and life.” What a great and merciful God you are!