“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
I’m sure that many of you with a chronic illness found the Christmas season to be full of mixed emotions. You enjoyed many things—celebrating your Savior’s birth, relishing the sensational music and the glittering lights with all the fun festivities. Yet it was also a challenge as you struggled to feel well enough to enjoy everything.
My Christmas was basically free of my illness, yet I experienced the paradox of very mixed emotions. I so enjoyed the children and grandchildren who came for the holidays, the bountiful food, gift giving, and cherishing my Lord’s birth. I enjoyed the oh-s o-special birthday cards two of my grandchildren (10 & 7) made. “We love you more than words can say, Grammy,” they wrote.
Yet there was excruciating sadness for one of my children who is dealing with a devastating situation. As his mother, I could feel his pain. But God always makes a difference. I’ve come to expect that.
One morning in my parked car after an appointment, I was so low that I decided to me read my online devotion. Richard Rohr as he quoted St. Francis wrote, “In my deepest wound, I found you, Lord, and it dazzled me.”
Oh my, it was like a brilliant light enveloped me and God reminded me what my experience has been when I place my trust in Him. Nothing else at that moment seemed to matter for I was dazzled by His radiant presence.
Every day I say these beautiful words to myself. It doesn’t mean the pain has completely gone, it means that as I trust Him through this dark time, He showers me with enough blessings and hope to dazzle my despondency. Just this knowledge enables me to healthily detach enough from my obsessive need to protect my son in order to trust my God. That in itself is dazzling.
Prayer: My precious Lord, I come to You with mixed emotions. I’m in pain and I’m dazzled by You. Life is full of paradox. Yet, You will see me through no matter what happens and ultimately You will show me the way, the best way that You have chosen for my son and I. We will look back and be dazzled. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
About the author:
Jackie Smith is from Knoxville, TN near the beautiful Smoky Mountains. She struggles with Sjogren’s Disease and migraine headaches. Jackie had a bilateral mastectomy over 25 years ago. A few years ago she had her colon removed necessitating a permanent ileostomy. She has her master’s degree in Child and Family Studies. Between her and her husband of 35 years there are 5 children and 12 grandchildren who provide much joy. Jackie loves sharing the rich experiences God has lavished upon her.
What has God done in your life recently that changed a devastating situation into a dazzling situation?
This is a beautiful, calm, quiet song “I Will Trust in Your” with gospel singer Fred Hammond. He sings of how we cannot do it all on our own, and no matter what life throws at us, we will trust in Him. If you are wondering how you are going to get through one more week of this pain and suffering, take a moment to listen and use it as your very own prayer. ((Hugs)) to you. -Lisa