Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Where We Dwell
If Doug hadn't had so many surgeries, we would never have seen the way that God surrounds us with people who love us. Each and every time he has had a hospital stay, friends, family members, neighbors, even nurses, pharmacists and soccer coaches have offered to watch kids, make dinner, do laundry, or even grocery shop for me. Allowing others to help me is something I struggle with, so I rarely accept these offers, but just knowing that there is an army of willing helpers is such a source of comfort when I am sitting in a surgery waiting room or next to a hospital bed, awaiting test results. An email from friends letting me know that they're delivering dinner to my children while Doug's surgery unexpectedly drags on for hours or arriving at the hospital at 9am to find dear friends in the waiting room, ready to pray with us are such a wonderful gifts.
Our family relationships are strengthened during these times. I adore how my children help each other so completely during Doug's hospital stays and illnesses. They watch out for one another, entertain each other and rarely argue. They tell me stories of games they've made up while I was gone, Youtube videos they've re-enacted, or ways they've helped out around the house. They're learning how to adapt to changes and still get their household duties finished, complete their schoolwork, and even fill in the gaps for Doug and I when we're busy or at the hospital. Skills they will need in adulthood are being perfected at their young ages. My oldest son can put a casserole in the oven for he and his siblings, remember that Friday is trash day, and he has even learned to plunge the toilet! These small things are big things when my mind is full and scrambled with other details.
One of my most-favorite Psalms is Psalm 91. Psalm 91 begins, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." More times than I can remember, I have sat in waiting rooms with my Bible open to this Psalm, thinking about how remarkable it is that God would be covering me with his feathers!
This Psalm continues on, "Because he loves me, says the LORD, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation." What comfort this is to my heart! I may spend the entire drive home from the hospital crying and praying and pulling myself together before arriving home to be smothered in hugs and kisses from my children. Being worn out from spending hours upon hours at a hospital makes me an emotional mess at times. Coming home to a box of tea, some chocolates, and some wonderful shower gel and lotion, left by a sweet friend is such a much-needed reminder of not only the love of my friends, but also the love of our Creator. He provides for ALL of our needs and lifts me up, using His people.
This Psalm and witnessing how completely God's promise has shown itself in my own life are strong reminders to me that the Lord does not promise to keep us from trouble. Instead, he promises to be with us in those times. I have thought about how dreadful it must be to live a life without Christ as the center. Unpleasant circumstances will come to everyone; it's not "if", but "when." I am grateful that God chose me. Even when I'm in a situation that I'd rather not be a part of, I am able to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.