Sunshine in the Valley

humor and encouragement from my heart to yours

Darkness is only temporary…..

on July 5, 2012

Sometimes life can get overwhelming to every one of us. No matter how much we know that the Lord is in control and that His love and faithfulness never end, we just have those days when it seems like darkness closes in and suffocates us with its oppressive fear and uncertainty….we cannot see the path ahead, and glimpses of light seem few and far between. Have you ever been there? I think most of us, if we were honest, would have to say “yes”.

I have not posted here in a while, and must admit that one reason is simply that I have been dealing with the severest stage of my illness to this point. Many days have left me completely wiped out, with a variety of problems and weakness like none I have ever experienced before in my life. I have missed more days of work than I could possibly count. Although I had long been warned that treatment of Lyme disease worsens the symptoms for a time before things improve, experiencing it is a whole ‘nother matter. ;) For a time, I thrived on the antibiotics (and actually kissed the infusion bag a few tim—wait, did I just admit that?? hehe) but since then have seemed to be on that downhill course in some respects, briefly “bouncing-back” for short times at least, before plunging again. My doctors have assured me again and again that I have a remarkable resiliency which should get me through this rough patch and ensure that I will regain a normal life once we get the disease under control. But on some days, it seems like that will never happen….that this….will never end..

The past two days felt this way. I was so helpless, my mind so literally clouded by the many seizures, my body rendered so incapacitated by all the old symptoms with new ones in addition, that I could not seem to find my way out. I was not in despair, thankfully no, but the darkness was so thick that I honestly felt that I was groping around desperately without any idea of how to get out….trying so hard to find the grace and peace that the Lord has faithfully provided every step of this journey…..which seemed so elusive to me now. My heart cried out….“Lord, where are you? what is happening to me? how do I get through this?”

As is often the case, there was no immediate answer. Only silence. I struggled to grasp what was happening, and how to figure this out…..but ultimately found myself only able to muster the strength to ask a few friends for prayer, one of whom reminded me that more than anything I needed to eat and sleep as much as possible in hopes of restoring what little strength remained. As it turns out, this was exactly what I needed.

Not too very long ago, my wonderful pastor preached a sermon about hard times, using the example of Elijah. After the wonderful “mountain top experience” on Mt Carmel, a very deep valley followed when Elijah fled Jezebel in fear of his life. (1 Kings 19.) The prophet was depressed and discouraged to the point that he asked the Lord to take his life. He was utterly exhausted from running for so many miles, and felt that he really had reached the end. The Lord’s response is a wonderful one to me. :) He did not reproach Elijah for saying such a thing, or for running away from a woman, or for being discouraged and “at the end of his rope”. Nope. Instead, He sent a ministering angel, who brought him the sustenance he so desperately needed, and provided rest and sleep for the weary prophet. The compassionate angel told him the plain truth: “the journey is too great for thee”. What he needed more than anything at that moment was simple food and sleep.

Sometimes this is exactly what we need too. Those times when “the journey is too great for thee”,  the grace of God may seem to come in the most lowly of forms….but is precisely what we need for the moment. While we are looking for clarity from the Lord and more “spiritual” answers (which yes, are often what we need…don’t get me wrong….but only when He knows we are ready), He is wise enough to know that sometimes this is not our most pressing need. When our bodies and minds are weak, we need the rest and sustenance required to be able to receive that clarity, those answers seeming so out of reach.

This was true for me. Symptoms began easing yesterday evening, and a talk with a dear friend further helped me regain the peace that I so needed. (here again displays the wisdom of the Lord….He knows there are times when we need to talk to “someone with skin on”, and this was one of those times) When I awoke this morning, to my delighted surprise, I found that the “peace which passes understanding” was ruling my heart again.  Not that my physical problems were all gone, but I was now in a place to receive the spiritual encouragement I needed. As I have continued to improve throughout the day, the Lord has graciously renewed my vision for the weeks and months ahead, and given me fresh perspective and reassurance that He has a purpose in all this. I may not see it all, but He knows, and will not allow this illness to remain even one day longer than He has ordained. His grace is still sufficient, yes for me…..yes, for you.

I do not know what trials you dear ones may be facing today, but please be encouraged that the Lord has never left your side, no matter how dark your days may seem. If you are tired and weary, sometimes rest is exactly what you need in order to come to the place where you can clearly hear the Lord’s voice again. Let me encourage you, in our fast-paced society, to take time to rest and restore both your body and soul. May you, too, be reminded that darkness is only present for a season, before it passes…..but God’s grace, light, and peace always remain, even when not immediately felt. Be of good cheer! :)

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3 responses to “Darkness is only temporary…..

  1. Rachel Keeth says:

    I really needed to read this today. After being in bed (with no good days) for months and starting to get worse I have been feeling really discouraged. I am thankful that it is not as bad as it could be, I don’t have seizures, but it is really difficult not being able to do anything and feeling like it will last forever. Thank you for reading this and the encouragement! I hope your medicine continues to help and you get better soon.

  2. Lydia says:

    Thank you, sweet girl! My heart so goes out to you with all you are going through right now….especially so young. I just like to think *I* am young; I honestly cannot imagine suffering like that when I was your age. (ok, now I sound old, haha) It is so hard not being able to participate in fun times with friends and instead being trapped in the house….whew, so hard. You have maintained such a sweet testimony in the midst of it all, and I promise….in the Lord’s time, this darkness will end. I pray that time is very soon, and that you will be blessed with some good days in the very near future.
    Chronic illness is hard….but remember the Lord is right there with you. :hugs: Keep smiling….the joy of the Lord truly is our strength….and His strength is only beginning when our own flags and fails. A verse He often brings to my mind is Isaiah 40:30-31: “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Hope this gives you comfort as it has me on those hard days. :HUG:

    • Rachel Keeth says:

      Thank you so much! It is hard, I did not think I would be spending 17/18 this sick, but it is the Lord’s will. Maybe the Lyme will be under control when I am in my 20’s, which would be great. Thank you so much for the prayers! Today is easier, not health wise, but emotionally. Reading my Bible and praying really do help, more than anything else. And then the Lord has also blessed me with some really close friends I can talk to online. It is a blessing to be able to talk to most of my friends online in chat, it helps with not being able to see people. Thank you so much! That is a wonderful Bible verse for this. :hugs: I am praying for you, for the pain, for comfort, for healing. Thank you for the encouragement! :hugs:

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