So, in light of where I am in my life and walk, I was thinking today about all the little scrapes and nicks and bruises we get on our hearts just living and going through everyday life. Whether they be big, huge life altering "wounds" or just small ouchies, I am a firm believer that all of these things happen for a reason- and we are the ones responsible for the outcome...like I said in my last blog- the throne or the pit? When we are handed a set of circumstances it's so crucial to remember that they have passed through His hands before our own. His desire is that we become more like Him!
10 years ago my baby sister was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is a hereditary disease that causes severe inflammation of the joints. It usually requires lifelong treatment, including medications, physical therapy, and possibly surgery. That was a pretty big pill to swallow for a young 15 year old girl, don't you think? She began a long road of doctor's visits and many medications, some which would later be taken off the market because of found dangerous side effects. Several years ago she began taking an injection 2 times a month that was $1500 per shot! But, it managed the side affects of severe pain and serious fatigue so that she could pursue her career in nursing. Now that's the background info....stay tuned for the miracle!
Over the last 10 years "HOPE" has become Ellen's motto. We all buy her all the little nick nacks we see with "hope" on them. She has claimed in prayer for the last 10 years for God- Jehovah Raffa- to heal her body, as have many of us who love her. I know sometimes praying for "healing" can sound so cliche'......but let me just tell you, the amount of conviction that she has prayed with would put many to shame. It was part of her everyday conversations, "Well, when God heals me this ...and that." She never doubted that this heartache (or entire body ache) was in the hands of an Almighty, holy and fully capable God!
This past August she and her husband moved all the way to San Fransisco for Colby to attend seminary, after which they will follow God's calling on their lives to South Africa. As a result, insurance changed, and she had to find a new doctor. Which, as many of you know, is such a waiting game. She went a month ago to her new doctor and he decided to run an entire new panel of tests to re-evaluate the progression of the disease. This past Monday Ellen went back to the doctor- and guess what? She has NO arthritis! Now, THAT is a God sized Band-Aid!
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." - Romans 5:3-4
So, if God has a Band-Aid big enough for a lifelong battle with a disease, He most definitely has one just for me that fit the broken pieces of my heart exactly. That has been my prayer this week, that He would be the healer my heart and the insecurities that continue to try to take root there- what if it happens again? what if you can't have another baby?...what if? what if?....and on and on! Let's face it, we have all tried to patch up our pain with things that we think will "help"...but the truth is those are like the cheapo Band-Aids that peel off as soon as you put them on! God size Band-Aids have some serious lasting power- they're like the ones you get at the doctor when they draw your blood that you have to practically rip your skin off to remove- the healing is there to stay!
Here's one more band-aid miracle I just had to share- it has encouraged me to the core! ...Just a few months ago one of my best friends called and just said pray! Her sister had suffered from a miscarriage early in her marriage, much like I had when I lost my first baby. It gave me an opportunity to pray in way for her and reach out to her in a way that I couldn't have if I didn't have those little patched up, band-aid covered spots on my heart from that same loss. And you know what? I heard last week she was expecting again- so exciting! But, then, I heard yesterday she's not only going to be getting one special little bundle but 2-TWINS! Now, isn't that just like God?
I will close with a quote from one of my favorite women of all time- Elisabeth Elliot. Her entire life was a reflection of living under the grace and healing of God. For those who don't know, her husband, Jim Elliot, was a missionary to a people group in South America who murdered him and several of his collegues. Just a few short years later- and a God sized Band-Aid, Elisabeth returned to the tribe who claimed her soul mates life. The Lord used her to win their village to Him!...incredible!
"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son., A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process."
Lord, make us more like You!