Do you have a storm sweeping through your life? Do you feel as if everything has been taken, that life has been very difficult and you haven’t a single blessing in your foreseeable past or future?
I hear you. Ever since we went to MX for dental work, we have had one issue after another.
We went as a last ‘hurrah’ before buying land this year. If the right property came up and if we bought it and if we had a mortgage, we knew vacations such as this would be out of the question. Not only were we going to take a vacation, but we were also going to get some very expensive dental work done…for half the price.
Away we went. With a sore mouth the entire time, we returned with dental work done. Finished. Completed.
Upon returning our feet to home soil, we caught the flu. Great. It’ll pass.
For my man, it did. For me? It didn’t.
Days turned into weeks, until I was so fatigued I could hardly do simple housework.
A check up with a not-so-happy-I’d-gone-to-Mexico dentist told me that the thousands we’d put into my teeth was a foolish decision-his tone implying much more than that- and that the work was terrible and must be redone.
Crunch! went our hopes of buying land this year. I almost cried walking home from his office. If this was the case our vacation and money-saving scheme hadn’t been worthwhile!
Still feeling poorly, we got a second opinion which wasn’t so bleak as the first. Not the best work in the world, but not the worst either.
I continued to feel worn down, weaker and sicker. Suddenly, my stomach was tense and in pain. We decided to return to the center that had given me so much help with their extensive testing and natural remedies.
Test results turned up poorly. Very poorly. And it appeared I’d contracted some “extra things” in my body while visiting MX. Too much for my body to fight.
Sigh. Oh well, these guys will help me get my feet back underneath me!
And on the drive home, my jaw began to feel inflamed. It began to swell. In spite of the ibuprofen I was taking, it wouldn’t cut the pain. Stopping at a hospital, I was given strong pain-killers and antibiotics. I had an infection in my jaw bone.
I stopped my other treatments to first get this ball of fiery pain under control.
Anti-biotics made me sick; much sicker than I’d been. And in that time I thought “surely it can’t get any worse!”
Hullo, yes it can! Coming off was far worse. And when I tried to go back on the treatment for everything I’d brought home from MX? I’ll spare you the details.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I found myself curled up on the bed. And I let loose with a big ole’ “its not fair! Why do some people seem to have everything and then some while we have to struggle with daily, normal functions…or perhaps struggle to stop them?!
It seemed everyone I knew was doing well. It seemed like everyone I knew had whatever they wanted. A stronger body? They workout and get it! More money? They take on side jobs. A need for relational connection? They pursue it.
In the midst of my complaining, it seemed it couldn’t get any worse.
Know what? It did.
As the physical issues progressively grew worse, I found my focusing shifting from what others had to what I had but wasn’t aware of until it was taken away.
The ability to teach my few music students or visit with people? What a gift! To sing in church without the drums knocking my brain into the side of my skull? How amazing it is to join in with voices!
No stomach pain? The ability to hold my bowels? I couldn’t wait for things returned to normal! Having muscles that weren’t tight and the source of pain? The energy to go on a short walk and see the new life, fruit blossoms and birds? Life truly was rich and beautiful.
Suddenly my “normal” life seemed so sweet. Peace. Rest. Head-and-stomach-ache free. No buzzing. No aching eyeballs. My life, limited as it was held so much!
And when in the midst of all the goodness, I couldn’t see it.
Today, I read Psalm 73 and it struck a true, pure chord.
“When my heart was embittered and I was pieced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me with honor.”
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
“For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.”
“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord YHWH my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works” (Ps 73:21-28).