As I enter this new year, I wonder what the Lord would have me experience and what new doors will open up. I stop to look over my shoulder and reflect back on the year that just ended. As I was flipping through my journal, I noticed the words I had penned three days before I was hospitalized with a flare up of acute recurring pancreatitis.
Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth: Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness”.
At the time, I couldn’t relate so much to a wilderness experience…I had come off a delightful year of traveling and getting my book published and launched.
It had been three years since I had been sick with pancreatitis and I felt great.
I read on in my journal.
Help me to look upwards to see the ‘something new’-spring it forth Lord! Help me to see all this in relationship to You completing Your work in me. When fiery trials come, show me how to have pure joy in the midst of them. May my desert experiences draw me closer and closer to You. I woke up this morning thinking of the song “I need Thee, O I need Thee, Every hour I need Thee”-can’t get it out of my head!
Steve and I had planned to go to Dallas to see our kids and grandkids and then I had a speaking engagement for Repurposed Faith that I was very much looking forward to. As we prepared to hit the road, I began to have a familiar ache in my abdomen, wrapping around to my back. We decided it would be wise to rule out the pancreatitis, so I made an appointment with my doctor. A few hours later, the pain had intensified and I was admitted to the hospital where I was for the next four days. The only thing the doctors can do for this condition is manage the pain, take away food and drink for a few days and wait for the pancreas to settle down. The pain meds are really only good for about an hour before they wear off and then I just wait until it is time to give them again. That’s when I remembered the song. I need Thee, O I need Thee, every hour I need Thee”. The Lord had prepared me. After a week at home recovering, I began to feel good again…pain free. I looked forward to Christmas with all my kids here this year.
As I headed out to do some errands, I felt some pain again, but thought it was just left over from my last bout. I did, however, call my doctor. Once again, the lab tests confirmed I was having another attack. Within two hours, I was back at the hospital with a more intense pain than I had the first time. My sweet husband was at home with the flu and so my son Dan took me to the hospital and his presence with me those first couple of hours meant so much to me.
Once again, the words of that old hymn sustained me, as I prayed each hour for strength to endure. After a week, I was released home. This time I was emotionally and physically weary but able to enjoy a delayed Christmas with my family which was a delight.
Despite how hard this month had been, I had a promise that God would provide a roadway in the wilderness. #newyear #repurposedfaith #Isaiah 43:19
So the first week of the new year is almost over, and I sit reflecting back on how quiet time spent in the Word is so powerful. God speaks so specifically to our point of need. Not only does He prepare us for what is up ahead, he gives us hope as well. Today my scripture was:
Psalms 6:2 (NLT)
Have compassion on me Lord, for I am weak-heal me for my body is in agony.
Teach me Lord to have faith in your healing power, and in the meantime, show me how to look to you, hour by hour, for strength, hope and comfort!