Praising Him In Our Pain


In the whirlwind of the last few months of Floyd’s illness, I have not had it on my mind to post anything on our website.  Then our website was down for a while being changed and revamped.  Now that it is back up, I thought I would try to post some news about our journey once a week.

This past week Floyd has gone through days of being really awake and busy with his active left arm, and then days of being really distant and sleepy.  He has struggled with horrible phlegm off and on which is something that we are really praying will clear.

The therapists have him up in his wheelchair several days a week, and they have started putting him on the tilt table on the days when he is strong enough.  He can only manage that for very short periods as his body is not used to being vertical after all the months in bed.

There are times when Floyd seems really frustrated with his situation. With him not being able to communicate, it is very difficult to know what he is thinking and feeling.  We continue to pray that the Lord would comfort him, and give him the grace that he needs to endure this.

This week a friend told of hearing a man preach after his mother, a very godly woman, passed away.  He was thinking of the joy she must be having in heaven as she worshipped Jesus with all the saints and angels.  The Lord spoke to his heart - "you know there is praise that you can give that they can't give in heaven.  It's the praise that you offer in the midst of pain, darkness, confusion - when you can't see all that the Father is doing."

I have been offering up that kind of praise this week.  A bit hard - but He's worthy!  And I trust Him completely.  

Someone also said to me that God "has Floyd in His grasp."  I loved that visual image.  I could just see God's big hand holding my gentle giant in the palm of His hand......holding him firmly, but not too tightly - never letting him go.  I know Floyd is in good hands!!

And while he's holding Floyd in His palm - I am grateful that He is holding my hand and guiding me along.

"For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you."  Isaiah 41:13

I absolutely could not have made it through these months without Him holding my hand.  I've told friends that I don't know how people could go through something like this without the Lord.  And then I had the strangest thought - "I help people even when they don't ask."  And, you know, I think God does that!

When we forget to ask.  When we think we don't need to ask.  When we don't think God cares.  When we get too busy to ask.  When we're distanced from Him and think we don't have a right to ask.  When we don't even know Him.  I think He's still there holding our hand.  He loves us in all these situations.  He loves us even when we aren't close to Him.

I thought of how many families I talked to while Floyd was in ICU - many of them didn't have a relationship with God.  And a number of them told me they felt God "with" them in the time of crisis.  How big and awesome is His heart that He reaches out to us in our need even when we sometimes don't reach out to Him.  I remember thinking how great His heart was to do that.  And I prayed for these dear ones to come to know Him personally during their trial!  I was even able to pray with some of them.

I love a God who is so big hearted.  It means there will always be room for me!  And He'll never let me go!  He'll always be there holding my "right hand."  I miss holding hands with Floyd, but I'm so grateful God is there holding my hand.  What immense comfort that brings.

In my quiet times the last few days, the Lord has been focusing my thoughts on thinking and thanking.

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise - think about these things." Philippians 4:8

It's so easy to let my thoughts wander to things that aren't on the above list - especially when I'm tired.  When I see Floyd's suffering, I can worry. When I think about the unknown future, I can be distressed.  When I try to face all the problems at once, I can be overwhelmed.  If I'm not careful, I can accept the worry/distress/thoughts of being overwhelmed as "normal" or acceptable in this journey we're on.

But God is saying I can control those reactions by focusing my thoughts on what is true, just, pure, things worthy of praise.  I have the power to rise above these things with my thoughts!  I just need to make use of that power God has given me.

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you."  1 Thessalonians 5:18

There is also wonderful power in giving praise and worship to Him in every situation and circumstance - thanking Him. 

I'm trying to be careful to think and thank by His guidelines!  I know it will make my load lighter.