If you follow me on Instagram then you would have seen this great blessing that came to me this week:
The Lord overwhelmed me with the gift of a new wheelchair through a dear friend! And then another friend mailed me the beautiful mug that expressed my cup-of-joy heart overflowing with gratitude to a God who truly sees.
But what you may not have known was that at the same time these gifts of grace were flowing in, the pain and a feeling of being unheard were also flowing in.
It has been a long summer of reducing the dose of prednisone, the only medication that affects the inflammation of this chronic disease my body carries. But the lasting poor effects of prednisone outweigh the help that is given, so my new Doctor has been reducing that dosage. Of course, the disease itself has responded in kind and flared up with increased inflammation and pain again.
My nurse advocate recommended a call to the Doctor, to inquire about a possibility for reducing the dosage more gradually. But when that request was met with a flat-out “no, I will not increase the dose at all,” my heart once again felt the sense of being shut away, minimized, and left stranded on my own with no help.
Jesus met me in the middle of that drowning, with His own gift of compassion flowing in and around me. And I knew I was covered in GRACE when nothing else could meet me, as He gave me a prayer for myself and for those dear sisters and brothers who are part of the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond ministry of Chronic Joy. You can read the prayer by clicking here: on the Facebook group, where we come together to encourage each other in prayer. Or click here to go directly to the beautiful Prayer Pond page of Chronic Joy Ministries.
But what of those who have no other help? My heart broke as I was led to listen to their similar stories. The opioid crisis has left many stranded, with no pain relief offered.
An informative website RheumatoidArthritis.net that I have followed for several years offered this article by one of their long-time contributors who was recently confronted by a similar sense of being shut-down and stranded: “Just Take Tylenol?!”
And then I read this article and listened to this recording from a Canadian Newscaster who is researching more deeply into this international crisis. Click here to go to the website of Global News, Roy Green.
Yet these are stories that have only arisen recently because of the Opioid crisis. What of those who have struggled for years without a diagnosis, or with minimal help given for illnesses with no cure in sight? What of those whom the church has forgotten, those who have been unable to be part of fellowship for so long that no one even remembers the time when they were there?
As I sat with those stories resting in my hands, my heart broke open. I heard the tears of Jesus falling next to my own.
Tears are Falling
The tears fall
drop by drop
till the torrent
is a flood
My heart aches
for my own pain
for the same pain
I see in my sisters
We are left out
cut off and stranded
Accused of complaining
Not listened to
How could a whole group
How could so many
Hurt in such different ways
Become kindred in the leaving
The tears of Jesus
fall next to mine
drop by drop
He cries and sees
But when the world
Walks coldly away
Jesus calls warmly
Come here with Me
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
Into the hardest of days, my Lord has met me with gifts of grace. And I continue to learn that His compassions never fail. He wraps me in the gifts of His love while the grief and pain try to shut me away.
His boundless grace is new every morning.
How my heart longs to pray with you today. I know such small pieces of your stories, but Jesus knows every hidden part. Will you join me as we pray?
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the gift of Your grace that meets us in our darkest days. Will You open our eyes to see You waiting for us and weeping with us, and will You open our ears to hear You calling our names to come? Will You open our eyes to see those around us who are walking a lonely path with such deep heartaches? Help us to share the grace that we have been given. Help us to let Your true compassions overflow. Only in You are we truly blessed.
In Your Name, we pray,
I pray this song might bless you even as it so blessed me:
I am linking with: