Most of the time this blog is all about past life and how God can take a broken vessel, restore it, and make it useful. Today I want to relate something that is happening right now which opens my eyes to a compassionate and loving God.
Last night my wife had another attack of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the virulent auto-immune disease, which is becoming such a large factor in both of our lives. This time it attacked the hip-joint.
It was around midnight. We had gone to bed early, tired from a long day, part of which included an appointment with a homeopathic doctor, helping us to sort out ways to control and live with this disease. I was roused from sleep by soft moaning and restlessness from her side of the bed. As I awoke I could see a figured curled in the dark, almost in a fetal position. She quietly asked if I still had ibuprofen. I handed her two capsules. I knew the pain must be unbearable if she was willing to take pain meds, so my concern grew. She rose to a sitting position I could feel the tension and pain as I touched her shoulder. My first reaction was to say a quiet prayer. Evidently the ibuprofen kicked in and with another night-time trip to the warm soothing waters of the hot tub, the attack subsided.
You might ask, “Why does a story of human pain make you think of a compassionate God.” The answer is complicated but I will try to explain the best I can.
A little over a year ago my wife and I met on Facebook. It was more than an unusual meeting. Both of us widowers, who had adjusted to our lives as such. Neither of us were looking for a mate. Yet almost immediately both of us knew there was something going on that was beyond just boy meets girl. We both quickly believed that God was involved and we were ready to follow where He was to lead us. Marriage, my retirement from an over forty-year career and a cross-country Oregon to Georgia move was involved. And many times, through this process I couldn’t help but question God and His plan.
At first I prayed daily just for clarity. I knew one thing for sure. Our love had grown through and because of His love, we were bonded, deeply, by that love. But as I prayed I began to see it went deeper than that. God had a plan and it is all summed up in verse 11 of Jeremiah 29 that I quoted in a recent blog, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God knew our needs. He knew I needed moral and emotional support to start writing again. A person who would allow me to seek God with all my heart and do everything it took to be sure that could happen. He knew that person and she was living all the way across country in Georgia. God knew that same woman would need a person to support her in the upcoming trials with health. He knew she needed a friend and a lover to support her day-to-day life and he was living all the way across the country in Oregon.
Maybe you start to get the idea. A compassionate God. No, it does not mean that if you have a deep loving relationship with Him, that He will keep you from the pain and trials of this world. In fact, Jesus told us we would experience them, “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33). So yeah, compassionate because we have hope in the salvation that is ours in Jesus. But also, compassionate because He knows our needs, right here and right now! In our case taking the impossible relationship and making it a reality to not only comfort and strengthen one another, but share it with others!
We both realize that more trials and sorrows are to come. But as we sat in the hot tub together last night it came to me how loving our God is. As my wife’s pain receded and we went back to bed. I could only thank Him. Sleep did not come to me easy, but she slept and joy filled me for the mercy He had shown. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:3) Yeah, that is what I am talking about.
Blessings & Happy Sabbath