Have you ever had a time in your life when something big goes awry, and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel? If you are like me, despite being a glass-half-full type of person, it is easy to start jumping to worst-case scenarios. It is times like these my mind and imagination work overtime and my body responds negatively to the stress of my thoughts.
Recently, I had one of these experiences happen to me. As many of you know, I struggle with two autoimmune conditions that cause chronic pain. Usually, I manage to push through the pain with a couple of acetaminophens and some medicine that helps with muscle stiffness and inflammation.
However, the first part of July, I started to experience severe pain in my left hip - which truly scared me. After a few days of having the pain, I reached out to my rheumatologist, and we tried a new anti-inflammatory medicine to see if it would help with the pain. However, it caused side effects and I had to stop taking it. As the days progressed, the pain kept increasing. Eventually it was to the point where it had become debilitating, and I dreaded even shifting my body.
Finally, one evening, I ended up going to the emergency room, as it felt scary to even walk to the bathroom. They did x-rays and thankfully there were no broken bones…but I was still left with a hip that I could hardly walk on, and each day it was getting to the point that I wasn't even sure how to push through the pain. I kept thinking what if this pain never goes away…
That is when my imagination took over. In my mind, I think I had already decided that maybe this was my new normal, and if it was, how was I going to be able to live and care for myself? Especially since my family was leaving in a couple of days for vacation, and I would have the house to myself.
This is truly humbling and hard to admit, but for the first time in my life, I felt afraid to live alone. Which was crazy, because for the bulk of my adult life I had lived alone and enjoyed it. However, this time, I kept thinking what if I fall and nobody knows it? What if I can't take care of myself and I have to go to a skilled nursing center??
Then, about a day or two before my family was scheduled to leave, I was looking for something in Testimonies, volume five and my eyes were drawn to Chapter 21, “Looking Unto Jesus” -- I decided to abandon what I was searching for and read the chapter. And I know, without a doubt, that the Lord led me to this chapter, especially the following paragraph.
“We need to trust in Jesus daily, hourly. He has promised that as our day is, our strength shall be. By His grace we may bear all the burdens of the present and perform its duties. But many are weighed down by the anticipation of future troubles. They are constantly seeking to bring tomorrow's burdens into today. Thus a large share of all their trials are imaginary. For these, Jesus has made no provision. He promises grace only for the day. He bids us not to burden ourselves with the cares and troubles of tomorrow; for “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” 5T 200.
Upon reading this chapter, a peace began to settle over me. My thoughts were now turned heavenward. I had let my imagination create future trials even though I had no-way of knowing what the next second would bring. I truly felt and understood the depth of the scripture in Matthew 6:34 where it says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
I bid my family farewell for their vacation. And with my newfound peace, multiple times throughout the day, I would ask Him to be with me, for his angels to support me, and to help me not fall. And as always, He ever so wonderfully cared for me!
I begin to take in home physical therapy and move more, which seemed counterintuitive to me because of my high levels of pain with movement, but with the physical therapy, my pain lessened and decreased to a level beyond belief. As I spent those eight days alone, I enjoyed an incredibly refreshing time with the Lord! And, as I am writing this blog, I am almost pain-free in my left hip.
In the Mount of Blessings, Ellen White beautifully encapsulates how our loving Heavenly Father’s grace is now and will always be truly sufficient for the day!
“Christ has given us no promise of help in bearing today the burdens of tomorrow. He has said, “My grace is sufficient for thee” 2 Corinthians 12:9; but, like the manna given in the wilderness, His grace is bestowed daily, for the day's need. Like the hosts of Israel in their pilgrim life, we may find morning by morning the bread of heaven for the day's supply." MB 101.1 "If you have given yourself to God, to do His work, you have no need to be anxious for tomorrow. He whose servant you are, knows the end from the beginning. The events of tomorrow, which are hidden from your view, are open to the eyes of Him who is omnipotent." MB 100.1
As pilgrims on this earth, we all face situations that feel and seem overwhelming, but no matter what we are facing in our lives, there is nothing that Christ cannot bear for us! - Sharon Patterson