20 December 2009

drops of faith

It’s Sunday morning. A cold, snow blanketed, church-has-been-cancelled Sunday morning. And I’m distracted by God’s Word. Again.

The last week has been a struggle.

Chronic pain is miserable, but when the chronic suddenly gets worse, the miserable gets worse too. I’ve had shoulder pain for nearly 9 years. Reaching into the back seat of our mini-van to help two toddlers during a pregnancy caused the initial strain. Then I developed calcific tendonitis. I’ve had a cortisone shot in that shoulder and weeks of physical therapy. The pain diminished for a time, but then returned. Not a permanent solution. Now it’s moved to a frozen shoulder.

Pain does something to me. And let me just say here that I’m always a little afraid that I’m being wimpy and whining about nothing. But during a massage earlier in the week, the massage therapist said, “Doesn’t that hurt???” “No. Keep going.” She remarked that I have a very high pain tolerance. And that’s coming from someone who causes pain on a regular basis. :o)

Back to the pain doing something. . . I’m finding that it’s causing me to have a deeper compassion. I’m loving my children more. I’m caring on a different level.

Another thing I always think about is: What will happen to my faith?

When I was in my late teens I had a severe trial of faith. And when I reflect on it nearly 20 years later (no, I’m not 40 yet, although my hair might cause anyone to question that statement), I wonder if I even passed that test. I was angry at God. It seemed He’d abandoned me. Through the passing of time God has brought healing to my heart and helped me to understand His presence. But it seems every time I walk to the brink of a new chasm of difficulty I wonder if I’ll pass the new test. Will I have the faith to trust that God will carry me over the chasm? Might He build a bridge for me? Will He part the rushing waters? Perhaps an eagle to ferry me across? And, if this is the “valley of the shadow of death” and I must pass through it, will He be there with me?

So often as I stand at the chasm of the latest difficulty, the demons of doubt and despair and mistrust and fear rush up behind me threatening to drive me over the edge. I doubt the greatness of His love and wonder if He’ll even care enough to show up and rescue me.

Standing at this chasm of pain God’s word to me has been “wait.” I don’t know yet what His healing will look like for me. I don’t know when it will come. But somehow at this chasm He’s given me faith to know that He is listening to my pleas for help. He sees the tears I cry. And He’s giving me endurance.

Today I’m made aware of the fact that faith doesn’t often show up in great ocean waves. It’s more like the drip of a leaky faucet. One drop at a time. A little here. A little there. Just when I need it to keep me moving forward.

Nope. My pain is not gone. I’m learning from it. I want to embrace it and be able to articulate the lessons to my children. My amazing husband has been so loving and helpful and caring during this season of pain. The children have been helping with everything from cleaning to meals to helping me comb my hair (something that is currently impossible). I think perhaps they’ll learn a new measure of compassion and care as well.

So, when I think I can’t handle another second of pain God lets loose another drop of faith. And grace.

And I’m humbled to recognize that I can’t even have faith on my own. Everything comes from Him.

Even my drops of faith.

So, do you want to know what distracted me? Check this out from the Message: Psalm 20.

"God answer you on the day you crash,
The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.
When you win, we plan to raise the roof
and lead the parade with our banners.
May all your wishes come true!
That clinches it—help’s coming,
an answer’s on the way,
everything’s going to work out.
See those people polishing their chariots,
and those others grooming their horses?
But we’re making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust,
those horses pull up lame—
and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.
Make the king a winner, God;
the day we call, give us your answer.

May God shower you today with extra large drops of faith. . .

12 December 2009

pure Canadian humor. . .

I have no idea who gets the credit for this movie clip. If I did, I would mention their names. And then proceed to tell you how crazy I really think they are.

Papa Hobb(it) laughed until he nearly cried. And he's not even Canadian.

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