Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Can't Fix It

As I have mentioned before, my husband has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He got this diagnosis when he was only 22 years old. My first thought when I found out about his RA was “It’s not fair”. People with RA are supposed to be elderly, not active basketball players and young doctors.

My main focus since marriage has been trying everything I can to “fix” my husband’s RA, to try and take away some of the symptoms by eating healthy whole foods, cutting back on sugar, increasing our exercise, spending more time in the hot tub or bath tub and researching like crazy…. and we had seen improvement. Before our lifestyle change, Mike had been on the strongest RA medicine on the market, Methotrexate. Now, he is completely off the Methotrexate and doesn’t need to take his anti-inflammatory medicine every day.
We had been doing SO well. He was experiencing so many pain-free days, moving around easier, and he was actually able to RUN (if you know anyone who RA you know that isn’t a possibility, AT ALL).

Then, for the past week or two, we’ve had some MAJOR flair ups. It seems that all the progress we had been making was unraveled over night. And I was devastated. I had been working SO hard to keep my husband healthy, doing everything I knew to do to make him feel better, but it just wasn’t enough.

As I sat down to do my devotions last week, feeling defeated and a bit hopeless, I opened my bible right to the verse below. This passage has been one of my favorite passages for a long time. Every time I read it, it brings tears to my eyes. The version below is from The Message, a modern translation of the bible and is my favorite translation of this verse:

"Don't be afraid. I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You are mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place it won't be a dead end --
Because I am God, your personal God
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you."

-Isaiah 43: 1-5 The Message

The Lord used this verse to gently remind me of two truths:

1.)    I can’t heal Mike. - I had been trying so hard to do everything in my own way to heal Mike that I forgot to look to God for direction. While God has blessed us with the knowledge to take steps towards healing, the ultimate healing will come from the Lord and the Lord only. I need to remember to lean on and trust in God everyday of this journey.

2.)     God has a bigger plan. How many of us look at our current situation and think “This stinks. Why do I have to deal with this? Why doesn’t God give us something better?” I know I am guilty of that on a regular basis. Isaiah 43 is such a great reminder that God really does have our best interest in mind; he just sees a bigger picture than we do. While I can’t begin to tell you why God placed this hurdle in our lives, I do know that it is part of a bigger and better plan that God is perfectly orchestrating in our lives.

One of my favorite illustrations of God’s provision is from the book, The Shack. They use a woven rug as an example. They explain how we, on earth are looking at the bottom of the rug, seeing only the gnarled knots and disarray of strings. The picture we see looks confusing, even ugly. It doesn’t seem to make sense. However, God is working on the rug form the top, and eventually, we will get to see that same view. We will get to see how every ugly knot and string on the underside is working to create a masterpiece on the top side.

God has a better view than we do. He sees the whole picture. We won’t get to see that view until we are in eternity with him. So until then, we need to learn to trust in him, trust that he has bigger plan and is creating a masterpiece with our lives, even when it feels like our life is a bunch of loose strings and knots. God really will make beauty out of the ashes that we are trudging through.

*If you don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord and would like more information on how you can know his all encompassing love, compassion and mercy I encourage you to talk with a Christian friend or leader. Or, please feel free to email me at ajeannettefay@ gmail (dot) com. I would love to pray with you or for you and share with you.

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