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.