Tears of frustration filled my eyes as I sank to my knees for what seemed the hundredth time that day. "Lord, give me strength just to get through today," I pleaded. "I cannot go on without Your mercy!"
I staggered weakly to my feet, heart pounding wildly. Grasping furniture for support I turned to face what little remained of my seemingly wasted day. Considering how far behind and overwhelmed I felt, it seemed I had been sick forever...but three weeks was a closer estimate, not counting two earlier, shorter bouts with weakness. Now that I had a cold on top of everything else I could hardly function.
"Why, Lord?" I cried inwardly as I faced mountains of unwashed dishes, dozens of unanswered letters, and a barely-started issue of HW. "What's Your purpose in all this? Don't You want me to fulfill my responsibilities? What's Your point?"
The answer did not come immediately, nor did it come as a single sudden revelation but my heavenly Father slowly and gently continued to teach and comfort me, often by using friends to send an encouraging note saying they were praying for me, or bringing special verses and poems to my attention.
This trial of my faith was taking place this past June as I was endeavoring to get HW finished on schedule. I wasn't able to use the computer for long periods so this was a real challenge. Of even bigger concern to me was how I would handle the long, strenuous day of copying, collating, stapling, folding, and trimming all 325+ issues. I found it very hard to have to admit I couldn't handle everything like usual.
Right around this time the Lord, in His divine wisdom, arranged for me to start a year-long Bible memorization and meditation program. As it happened, the main passage I worked on as I was struggling to finish up HW was 2 Cor. 4:1-4: "Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not
When the big copying day arrived, I told the Lord that the only way I would ever endure through it all would be in His strength alone. Never before had I felt so utterly weak in myself and so wholly reliant on Him. Through all this I was learning in a very real way just what it means to "glory in my infirmities" (2 Cor. 12:9-10) that's the only way "the power of Christ may rest upon me." I must come to the point where I relinquish my "right" to be healthy, and truly thank God for the trials. Fighting against them just makes things much worse! Only when I realize how truly weak I am on my own can I fully have Christ's strength and power in my own life. That's why Paul could honestly say, "When I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Cor. 12:10).
I can't say that I was supernaturally healed or that the day of copying was an "easy" day for me but the Lord's strength sustained me in a very real way. The copiers jammed up much less often than usual, the print quality was much higher than the previous issue, and we were able to assemble the issues in record time. We were even blessed with a superior quality, promptly finished trimming job at a place we'd never tried before. Truly, as I had received mercy I fainted not! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!
It wasn't until several weeks later that the Lord blessed me with a slow but complete return to my normal health. It was so encouraging...Never before have I been so thrilled to be able to do dishes or walk to the mailbox without being exhausted! :-)
This sickness was not at all something I'd have chosen to fill my summer yet now I can see a glimpse of the good God has already brought from it. No doubt these lessons of trust and reliance will come up in my life again...but I'm thankful for what He has taught me here and now, and for the fact that He doeth all things well.