“Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith. . .” (Philippians 1:25)
Can you identify with Paul in verse 23, being torn between preferring life or death? It is a place we visit frequently as believers who travel the narrow way while ill and in pain. Chronic pain and illness with no imminent resolution brings us to such a place more often than the average pilgrim. I’ve had a nasty bout with this recently. It wasn’t really suicidal, just a longing to have a cold and lifeless (thus, painless) body and a free spirit.
Indeed it is a selfish wish, my desire for escape. It is one of several thorns that chronic pain and illness have brought forth from my depths. Our faithful God, however, cured me of my most recent flare up in this area.
After lecturing seven children to make a habit of praying before shift a car into gear, I picked up the habit myself eventually. The deputy later told me I was the fourth vehicle to lose control at that spot in the past two days. It had been single digit cold and the road was snow-covered. Salt was no longer melting the ice.
As my swerving began, I called out (okay, I yelled it) a simple prayer: “Here we go Father, be present please!” Then I relaxed and steered as best I could. I heard the road sign go down, and then as I sped downhill into someone’s yard I saw a good size tree trunk and was certain this would be bad.
Suddenly I was stopped. The car was running and in neutral (a standard transmission) my foot on clutch and brake. I just stared at the tree trunk not even two feet away; as I stared I could picture an angel right there between the car and the tree.
Someone could have been coming the other direction, in which case it would have been fatal. Had I hit the tree it could have been fatal or at least gravely serious. I walked away in awe. God could have granted my death wish in a flash, but He did the exact opposite. It was another reminder that my pain and illness journey is an ordination. And I need to mind the job He has given me, for whatever His purpose is. It was time to quit hoping for early parole or sabbatical.
The next miracle came the following day. I expected to be an aching mess; the stress alone was enough to throw my body into a tailspin. But there was not a pinch or cramp, not even what healthy people experience!
Prayer: Lord, it is good to be here, because it is your will that I am here. You have been beside me in near death situations and together we walked through every one. Thank You for showing me how special You count my life. Thank You for reminding me again that my days are in Your Hand, always. Amen.
About the author:
Elizabeth Vendley is the wife David, and lives in North Central Michigan. They have raised seven children. Elizabeth has lived with severe Interstitial Cystitis since 1996. Her passion is glorifying the Lord by writing out the lessons He has taught her. She would love to hear from readers through the Sunroom.
Have you ever had a life experience that made you suddenly realize you still wanted to be here, whatever the circumstances?
When I read Elizabeth’s devotional it reminded me of Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel.” When was the last time you asked Him to take the wheel of your life? -Lisa