I sip soup.
And ache. And just try to keep breathing through the heart pounding fierce behind feverish skin. My eyes let drop the burning pain and I pray "You know what You're doing, LORD... But I don't get it".
After an entire week of my back being out and weak so that I can't even pick up my children,and the continual pain draining the last bits of my remaining energy from my pregnancy induced anemic state, I now lay wrapped up in comforters, finding no relief from the burning and freezing and aching.
I can't take another week "off". And when I get sick... It's usually a several day struggle. Seems my body doesn't know how to do things half-way.
I sob exhaustion between sips of peppermint tea and ask what is hurting me more than my physical condition:"how can I lift my loved one up while I am feeling this way?"
It has been this way lately. The six year old asking at my bursting point of daily frustrations how she can know if someone is really beautiful on the inside, and not just the outside? How can you tell if someone really loves and follows God? A sister wearing a silent face just streaked with private tears when I was just loading up to leave. As I review bills and struggle to pray the choking anexiety to stay laying down at His feet... up pops the desperate text message subtly, or not so subtly, begging the questions "does He love me even now?... Can I really depend on Him in spite of all I see?"
Why now, LORD? Why in this moment so exhausting, difficult, discouraging?
His response has been the same. Over, and over, and over He's said: "ALWAYS be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have..." ~1 Peter 3:15
I am prepared when I know I'll be standing behind a podium, prepared before I enter a counseling session, prepared in the moments after a good, long time in His presence.
But all the other moments? The majority of my life...
How can I ALWAYS be prepared and able to share Truth in the most "inconvenient" of times? The most painful? Stressful? Exhausting? When I feel depression or discouragement bearing down hard to smother any Light that could be placed on a stand?
I have been pushing through for them, my loved ones, because how can I keep from sharing the One I would fall apart without?
But it was when I felt I could not open my lips in praise because of the dominating pain that His encouragement to me was as crisp and clear as the fall breezing straight through my open window:
"These truths I am giving you the opportunity to share... They are exactly what your soul needs to hear, too."
In this world of discouraged... Lonely... Sick and tired... I need to ALWAYS remember the One who re-members all that is broken.
When I remember Him... Who He is... I am prepared to share the reason I do not despair.
He is the Hope I have in me.
He is the real person of Peace... Not an imaginary friend.
My own spirit needs to hear the truth I am asked to share, at the very moment when I feel least able to share it.
When I am praying "LORD, I don't know HOW... I don't know WHO... I don't know the WAY... I don't know the unspoken SECRETS in their hearts... I don't know ANYTHING... I JUST DON'T KNOW..."
He reminds and I re-member and can share, even in sickness and weakness, the Healer who KNOWS just what is needed.
"The LORD knows HOW to rescue godly men from trials..."
"The LORD knows those WHO are His..."
"He knows the WAY that I take, and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."
"He knows the SECRETS of the heart"
"God is greater than our hearts, and He knows EVERYTHING."
~1 John 3:20
"THE LORD IS A GOD WHO KNOWS."
~1 Sam. 2:3