Today I sat by a beautiful pool pondering life, gazing at the palm trees swaying in the sunshine, and listening to water cascade over rocks.
About a year ago, I was struck with a bad case of cellulitis and spent 3 long weeks healing, resting, and wrestling. Here’s a link to that blog: Infectious Rest
Here I am a year later in a similar position, but this time it’s been longer and harder and more mysterious. My body is battling again and so is that lie: failure. This mystery illness meant I basically couldn’t do anything that required me to be actively moving without tremendous effort and pain. Not being able to do the jobs God called me to do made me feel pathetic and discouraged once again… and the hardest part was not knowing what was wrong with me and not getting better despite trials of treatments / tons of prayer. I knew it was all outside of my control, but I still felt like I was somehow failing God. So I waited and cried and read these words over and over again…
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
I remember reading these words for the first time as a teenager. I clung to them and desperately trusted in them as they pierced my soul in a way that words can’t express. These words breathe life and comfort and encouragement – especially when trouble comes. They remind me that Jesus has redeemed me, that He is with me and loves me and has a plan for me… even when life gets hard… especially when life gets hard. For whatever reason, God tends to use these times in my life to teach me deeper layers of truths about Himself.
Today I’m not fully healed, but I feel refreshed by God’s words and images of life. Today I can finally (honestly) say, “It is well with my soul.”