Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thankful For..... Heat & Humidity?

It's been sooo extremely hot and humid here. I am NOT in my happy place. I know that we're supposed to praise God for all things, but I find it very difficult to be thankful for this humid weather. It's simply draining what little bit of energy I actually do have.

This week has been the week with the most sports events for Jared. SIX games in four days! Extra games were scheduled to make up for some cancelled ones from last week due to heavy rains. He's had three soccer games and three baseball games. Fortunately we were able to make it to all the games except one baseball game tonight. It was an extra game that conflicted with an already scheduled soccer game.

I do NOT know how those kids can play in this heat. They had water breaks, but still..... it was hard enough for us parents to WATCH them play, let alone actually run after a ball for well over an hour! Way to go, kids! You're amazing!

So this humidity has been playing some games with my joints. I have been bothered with some pain in my right leg, especially my knee, as well as my feet and my hands. There's no swelling, but the throbbing pain is terrible by times.

Blake was feeling some discomfort today with one of his legs as well. I really do believe it is the weather toying with our bodies.

However, I cannot blame the humidity on some abdominal pain that Blake is experiencing last night and today. And actually, pain isn't the correct word. Discomfort is what he is feeling. This means that the June 22nd dose of Remicade did it's job for two weeks, and now we need that next dose to continue the healing of his intestines. We are waiting for a call from the hospital to have him admitted. I confirmed today with the secretary that we are on the Urgent List. I made her aware of Blake's discomfort, and I asked her to let the doctor know so that we might be able to get the ball rolling a little faster in getting him his next infusion.

I think that I am quite over-tired this week because my brain is just not, well, working properly. I am feeling "out of sorts" and seem to have a bit of anxiety. I don't know why, but I do know that I do not like this feeling. I have sometimes felt this way, off and on, years ago; and it usually passes quickly. This time it's hanging on longer than I like. Maybe I've reached "that age". haha. So I decided I needed to just sit and do some reading and re-program my way of thinking.

I picked up a book that was loaned to Blake. It's called, "The Journey Home - Finishing With Joy" by Bill Bright. I am enjoying it.

Mr. Bright, who is now in Heaven with Jesus, suffered from an incurable disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis. He wrote this book, "The Journey Home", during his final time on this earth; and much of what he said in a particular chapter really touched me. I wanted to share it with you.

Here's what he writes:

"One day, my beloved [wife] asked me: "Why do you think you are suffering; why would God put you through this?"

Immediately, I sensed this reply in the Spirit: "I'm not suffering!" At least, it does not seem that way to me. Suffering is what our Lord endured. There is no comparison between what I'm going through and what Christ went through. He was beaten beyond recognition; He spent six hours suffocating on the cross; He bore the sins of the world; He was cut off from God because of our sins for there was no other way for man to be redeemed. The agony of the trial that had been totally illegal. Then you can think about Peter being crucified upside down. Paul's persecution and his eventual beheading. All the disciples were persecuted and finally martyred, except John, who, after being burned in oil, then was exiled on an island by himself. Through the centuries there have been many martyrs. For their faith in Christ, millions more have spent many years in prisons infested with lice and rats, suffering torture and deprivation of all sorts.

"How can I say I am suffering when I am here in a bed of relative ease? I am surrounded by people who love me; suffering is a matter of perspective. It is not pleasant, humanly speaking. All disease comes from Satan, but God allows only so much --- we can see those limits in the lives of Job, Joseph and others."

Romans 5:3-5 says: "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us --- they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." ..........

I looked at [my wife] and said: "We are most blessed; we are to look to God's grace, and oh, Father how great You are."

[My wife] told a friend nearby: "Bill has been filled with such praise. What a man."

But, dear reader, please know I tell this so you can know for certain that God is faithful to His Word and He is present with you to help you through whatever stages of difficulty you may face.

The Journey Home
- Finishing With Joy
by Bill Bright
Pages 38 - 40

What a blessing those pages of that book were to me as I read them. Although I am not suffering from an incurable disease, I could put my name in his place, and it helped me to put things in a better perspective. I could also put Blake's name in there, as he battles this Crohn's disease, and I could see how the same could apply to his own situation.

Sometimes I think we forget how good things really are in our lives. We have soooo much more than others in the world. And I am not talking about fancy cars and boats and luxurious houses and all the bells and whistles. I'm simply talking about a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, loved ones around us, and, for many.... good health.

We can be like Bill Bright and praise God even when things aren't going the way we'd like them to. No, it's not easy. But God didn't promise us an easy and fair life here on earth. But we can still praise God for the many things we do have, for the things that he daily provides, even for the air that we breathe.

Even for the humidity. Boy, I'm stretchin' it here! Sometimes we must praise God for things that we don't even understand, because somehow it all works into His plan. He is all-knowing. We are not. And if humidity plays a part in the bigger picture, then who am I to not praise Him for it?

So Lord..... I don't fully understand why, but I am praising You for this heat and humidity. You have a plan. Help us to bear it. You can somehow use it for good. Our suffering is nothing compared to Your's. Teach us to be truly thankful in all things and in all situations.

And thank You also, Lord, for air conditioners.


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