Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mid-Week Message - Time in the Wilderness

"Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow." Isaiah 35:6-7 (NIV)

The most traumatic time of my life was in 2012.  Near the end of January, I started having pain in my left calf.  At first the pain would come and go.  Then it began to get very sharp and incredibly strong.  Within a week and a half I was unable to walk without leaning on something.  During the second trip to the emergency room we discovered that my tibia was severed.  While in the pre-surgery area the surgeon that was going to place a rod in my leg to repair it, told my husband and me that because of my weight I would be unable to touch foot to floor until the leg was healed.  

After surgery I was sent for two weeks to a rehab program where they tried to come up with a way for me to be able to maneuver myself enough to avoid being bed-bound.  It was unsuccessful.  I was sent home with a hospital bed.  For the next four months, my life was spent in that bed in my living room, from which my husband had removed our furniture.  It was then that I realized that I was in my wilderness.

I had no control over anything.  I was at the mercy of the "wilds", otherwise known, in my case, as other people whose worlds had also been turned upside down by my condition.  I could do nothing for myself.  Nothing!  However, I was never alone.  I kept my Bible beside me at all times.  I read its words and cried on its pages.  I cried out to the Lord because there was nothing else I could do.  Being unable to care for myself was uninhabited territory.  I was lost.  

He made Himself incredibly real to me.  He brought people to me to bless me and to be the physical hands of His love.  The daughter of a lady in our ministry was one of them.  Karen Hanson came daily, Monday through Friday, for the duration of my time in that bed.  She did everything for me and she barely knew me when we began.  She made my lunch, helped me toilet, bathed me, changed my sheets, washed my hair and did anything else that I needed at the moment.  What a blessing she was, and continues to be.  Her heart for Jesus is incredible and her service to me was proof.  Chad Walding came into my life as my physical therapist.  I have to admit he put up with a lot from me.  Many days that he came he ended up doing more emotional counseling than physical therapy, but there was never a time that he showed anything less than grace and patience.  God showed up through these two loving souls and many others.  

My precious husband and daughter stood beside me the entire time.  They were thrown into a world of care-giving that none of us were expecting.  It was extremely difficult for them as my husband had to also work all week and my daughter was in school.  I begged for God's blessings on them during that time because I knew each of them was struggling to manage all that had to be done.  I had to depend on the Lord to watch over them, comfort them and give them strength. 

This is what I learned during my time in the wilderness.  There will never be a time that my Father in Heaven will leave my side.  When I depend on Him, He will show His might and His tenderness.  When there is nothing else to hold onto, I can grab onto His hand, which I should have had hold of already.  And there is no circumstance that can arise that will be too difficult for Him.  From my pain and sorrow, He brought an intimacy with Him that changed my life forever. 

Wilderness times arise for each of us and come with many different circumstances. I know mine may pale in comparison to others. Are you in the wilderness today?  Are you going through a time of difficulty?  I promise you that if you reach out to Him, He will join you there, walk you through, provide all you need and become more real to you than ever before.  I can make this promise because I know.  God bless you.

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