Wednesday, November 2, 2016

When Yet Another Calamity Strikes...How Do We Endure?

Well, the good news is the Physical Therapist who saw me for the first time yesterday believes my shoulder is not fully frozen yet, and she can help me. In fact, in the first hour session, she only hurt me a tiny bit, and I felt better with a looser, more mobile arm when I left. She told me she will reserve judgment till right before my Thanksgiving trip to Florida but thinks I might be allowed to kayak with the dolphins and manatees. She would prefer I not kayak before then.

On a less happy front, my appointment the following hour with the dermatologist revealed a likely carcinoma on my forearm. It is not melanoma, which is good. It will have to be biopsied, and likely surgically removed. She froze a suspicious scaly area off my forehead, which has bubbled up now and makes me look a little gross.

The fun just never stops.

I read one of my favorite verses in the Bible yesterday for my daily study, and I think it is relevant here:
I will repay you for the years the locust have eaten...Joel 2:25 

God does not always bring joyous events our way. Truth be told, much of life is painful and difficult. Lately, I have had a fair share (or really, unfair share in my humble opinion) of trouble and discomfort. Yet, I trust that God has His purpose even in this.

I am not superwoman. I grow discouraged, particularly when the pins are just reset, and a new bowling ball knocks them down before I have even finished aligning them properly. This verse in Joel gives me hope. God sees and knows our despair and disappointments. This world may seem endlessly impossible but His promise is clear. What we have lost will be restored if we do not lose faith.

I am counting on that.

Joel 2: 12-27

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
16 Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.
17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”
18 Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.
19 The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.
20 “But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odor will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”
21 Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!
22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God

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