SURRENDERED TO GOD’S ANYTHING
There are times we pray safe. “Lord, I’ll do as you say, go where you send me (–if it fits my schedule, and as long as I can understand Your request)”.
There are times we pray dangerous. In that moment of surrender when we declare “Lord, let Your will, not mine be done. Glorify Yourself in my life. Whatever it is you want from me, I’ll do anything,” we think we can imagine what anything might mean.
However – anything means anything.
The anything He chose for me was to walk through a medical condition I did not expect.
It started slowly. At work, I always held the phone to my left ear with my left hand so I could keep my right hand free to take notes. When I had difficulty differentiating between words like fifty and sixty or twenty-three and thirty-three, it was difficult to accurately record telephone numbers and addresses for my client files. I thought it was the still new-to-me Canadian accents causing the problem, so I didn’t worry about it. I simply asked people to repeat themselves – once, twice, or more.
One day, quite by accident, my left hand was occupied, and I answered the phone with my free hand, holding the receiver to my right ear. I was amazed at how clearly the voice came through! I realized that it wasn’t other people’s speaking, it was my hearing that was off. I remained unconcerned but changed how I worked and would scrunch my shoulder up to hold the phone to my right ear, leaving my hand free to write.
HEARING LOSS AND CHRONIC ILLNESS
Maybe there was something wrong with my ears. I spent time taking online hearing tests. The simple tests showed I was missing sounds both in the highest and lowest ranges.
I assumed this was due to aging and heredity (My father had developed hearing issues as he grew older.). I grew used to saying “What?” more often, but I didn’t investigate any further for years. When I finally saw an audiologist, she confirmed profound loss.
Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
God’s presence filled the room when I went to Saskatoon to meet with the recommended neurosurgeon. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he did not believe I needed major open-skull surgery; instead, he referred me to the co-director of the Hearing Centre in Winnipeg. I believe God knew the plan all along. I leaned on Him every step of the way and never hesitated to speak of Him.
With that experience to look back on, when the pain from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis settled in deep, I sensed God asking, “Will you bear this if I ask you to?” I was able, without hesitation to say, “If it be Your will.”
Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.
Father God, thank you for Your abiding presence in the lives of those who call on You. Help us to lean heavily upon You and find rest for our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits. We love You and desperately need You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
- Have you ever told God you would do anything He asked of you? What happened next?
- If you haven’t ever said such a thing to God, why not?
- How have you sensed God’s presence in your journey with chronic illness?
- Can you find joy knowing God is with you?
Chronic Joy® Staff Writer and Prayer Team
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
Stewardship of Courage
The stewardship of courage begins with a deep faith in God, accessed by prayer, and lived out in patient waiting and hopeful trust.