Sharing: Finding God’s Upholding Strength

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

The silence echoed throughout the house as I felt the aloneness that I knew would be coming. My husband was in post-surgery recovery at our oldest son’s home, and our daughter had finally agreed with my urging that I would be fine to stay alone for a few days so that she could go home to her house. The temptation to succumb to worry suddenly felt like I might be suffocated, but I heard a question flowing through my heart: “Could I find God’s upholding strength here in this place of added trials?”

UNDERSTANDING MY WEAKNESSES

As I pondered the meanings of the words, “to uphold,” I wondered about the other synonyms that we frequently use together.  Refuge, support, sustain, uphold, carry: what do these words all have in common? Aren’t they words that speak about something that is weak, something that is small, something that needs to be held and helped?

There are so many times in this journey with chronic illness when we are left facing the depth of our smallness. And sometimes we feel guilty that we are unable to support ourselves. We might even embrace the temptation to fight against that weakness and try to be the strong one who can overcome any obstacle.

When the doctors pronounced a terminal illness diagnosis, Cardiac Amyloidosis, over my husband, the one who had been my strong support throughout all of my own chronic illness journey, I felt like my world was about to crumble. How would we be able to get through the days ahead?

What could we do when our last bits of strength had given way and there was no fight left within us?

GOD OUR REFUGE: HIS ANSWER FOR OUR WEAKNESS

Our Lord tells us in His Word that HE will hold us and he will sustain us. Even to our old age and grey hairs, he is longing to lift us up and bring the true refuge we so desperately need. He will hold every prayer that we lift to him.

We surely felt the weight of our old age and gray hairs on those days of difficult diagnoses and hard symptoms. Perhaps you can relate?

But regardless of the age, when chronic illness throws us a curveball, God is right there to meet us in our weaknesses. And truthfully, we found a new level of refuge and strength from the Lord as my husband went forward with the many tests and procedures required of him.

GOD OUR REFUGE: SURPRISING AND UPHOLDING STRENGTH

God surprised us with unexpected technicians sent specifically to guide my husband when I was unable to be with him. Our dear adult children stepped up to give us extra care. And lonely prayers in the middle of dark nights were answered with peace and comfort that only our Lord could provide, as he sent messages and texts from friends, new and old, across the miles at just the right moment. God truly became our upholding tower and support, even in this uncharted territory.

And so, on that lonely night when the temptations felt too strong to resist, the Lord lifted me closer to his refuge of support than I thought possible.

AN INVITATION TO JOIN IN PRAYER

Will you come with me over to the Chronic Joy Website for the remainder of this post? I know that I need to pause again with the questions for reflection and then pray through our 4 Scriptures and Prayers there this month. I am so grateful that together we can lean on Jesus through every storm we face.

Click here to join me for this month’s Prayer Prompt at Chronic Joy.

I am linking with #LegacyLinkUp #RememberMeMonday

28 thoughts on “Sharing: Finding God’s Upholding Strength

  1. Going to God in prayer brings me comfort and peace. When times are stressful and my body is filled with pain from arthritis, I go to Him. Bettie, thank you for your inspiring messages. I truly appreciate you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I am so grateful for your encouragement and hope too. Truly He does bring us such comfort and grace in all of these trials and valleys. Blessings and prayers for you today, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bettie I pray others long for Him after reading your posts. The intimacy you have with our Lord is something I desire more often in double portions. Bettie, I thank Jesus that He continues to give you writing to grow our faith, for He knows all who have suffered and all who need His tender touch. I am overwhelmed when I just stop and think how He connected us. One day, Bettie, let’s meet on Zoom and pray. Love, Julie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Julie, Amen, I join you in that prayer for all who would read these words. May hearts be stirred by God’s deep grace and love! His “tender touch” is such a balm for us in every place of suffering. And, yes, I would love to pray with you some time, dear friend. His weaving together across the miles really is such a gift. Blessings and love for you today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your following statement Bettie & can relate to it,
    “But regardless of the age, when chronic illness throws us a curveball, God is right there to meet us in our weaknesses. And truthfully, we found a new level of refuge and strength from the Lord” Amen & amen!
    Blessings sweet friend, ♥
    Jennifer

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Jennifer, Thank you for your understanding and for sharing the comfort that God has given to you. What a gift in the middle of the hard places! Blessings and love to you too, sweet sister.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement, Lisa. He does find ways to bring such comfort to us! And I am thankful that your stories are one of the ways He comforts me too. Blessings and love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry to hear of that hard diagnosis for your husband, Bettie. My heart aches for you all. Praying that you’ll continue to feel the Lord’s closeness in extra ways, and that your children will continue to be a blessing to you. You are surely a blessing to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement and prayers, dear Lisa. You have brought tears to my eyes tonight. God truly knows just what comfort we need. Blessings and prayers for you too, dear friend.

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    1. Dear Paula,
      I am so grateful that the Lord brought you blessing here. It’s such a gift to my heart that we can share together on this journey through chronic illness. I know that I need His mercy so much. Thank you for your encouragement too, dear friend. Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bettie, I am so sorry for the hard diagnosis you and your husband have received. I will be praying for the Lord to bring you both strength, peace, and healing. As I read the post in its entirety, I thought of how beautiful these prayers are to share with those who have had covid and are battling side effects or a long recovery. So thank you, for using this difficult time to bless us all with your wisdom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Joanne, thank you so much for your precious prayers and gift of compassion. And oh, how I pray that those who are struggling now, with Covid ill-effects, would be blessed along with us as we lift our prayers to Jesus. May each one feel His upholding strength. Blessings to you today.

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  6. That we need to be helped and supported – by a loving God – and by family and friends during the hard challenges! When those big challenges hit – yes, I feel so small – until I remember whose I am and that I have a BIG FATHER who fights for me in my helplessness! What a good! Good Father we have Bettie! Praise God in how He fights for you and your husband! ~ Maryleigh

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope things are so much better for both you and your husband by now. I am trying to catch up on your posts. May God continue to bless and heal you both, in Jesus’ name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl, Yes, our God truly is our support through so many trials. I am so grateful that we can pray for each other along the way. Blessings to you too.

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