Sometimes we think that life with a chronic condition is too messy (It will never be neat and tidy),
but with God’s love enfolding us, we can live out His best plans. Natalie Hall
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
CHRONIC ILLNESS IS LIKE FITTED SHEETS
Back when Martha Stewart was queen and I was newly married and trying my best to be an exemplary wife, I watched a segment on her show about how to “properly” fold a fitted sheet. I understood folding the corners together but, in the end, there always were pieces sticking out and parts flailing around as I quickly shut the linen closet door. The crisp flat sheet is folded square, fitting neatly into the life we’ve planned — but there’s that fitted sheet, untidy and often out-of-control.
I think chronic illness is like the difficult fitted sheet. You can’t quite fold it into submission. No matter how hard we try, chronic health issues can act out like rogue pieces of our lives that we want to hide, lopsided and misshapen parts that refuse to yield to our control. My disease just won’t straighten up and act right!
GOD IS LIKE A FLAT SHEET
God is the flat sheet, straight and hemmed and starched, that neatly wraps around the messiness of a life filled with challenges. In His grace, He covers us along with all our infirmities, so that we can live our best life for Him.
Like a fitted sheet, my life with Lupus can be taut and tight; I’m often afraid it will snap back at me, but most of the time it doesn’t. Instead, the perfectly squared flat sheet of God’s love wraps around the messy fitted one, securely tucking around those difficult parts, the set now complete.
REAL LIFE IS MADE UP OF BOTH FLAT AND FITTED SHEETS
Life is about fitted sheets and flat sheets together: the twists and turns, the adventures and risks, the good days and the bad. With unexpected elastic just where we need it and the steady, well-anchored love of God wrapping securely around those testy corners, God is enfolding you every moment, even on the worst days. Remember the fitted and the flat sheet. Real life is made up of both.
Father, thank you for being with me in every moment of my life. Allow me to trust in Your enfolding love when I feel like things are out of control. I know that You are with me every day. Amen.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
(Isaiah 43: 1-3 NLT)
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Which parts of your health challenges make you feel out of control?
- What verses could you post nearby to remind you of God’s love and care for you?
- When you fold sheets this week, remember God’s love enfolding you!
Originally from the Deep South, Natalie Hall and her husband along with their three children, served twelve years in the Far North of Alaska with SEND North. They now continue their work with SEND from the much warmer state of Texas. True to her southern roots she loves sweet tea, front porch rocking chairs, and a strong cup of morning coffee. Natalie frequently writes about her many Alaskan experiences and has a passion for sharing with others how they can step out in faith to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives – whether near or far. Connect with Nataile at nataliedhall.com.
You Are So Loved
Do you love yourself like God loves you? Do you live like you’re valuable? And do you live like you’re set free?