How many years have I prayed to be healed? Uncountable times I have petitioned God to take away my illness. And, usually it’s a one-sided conversation involving me doing a lot of crying and pleading, and Him staying pretty silent on the subject.
Sometimes, there are whispers in response. I will hear a quiet voice say:
There is a reason.
The timing is not right.
And, those whispers keep me going on the really rough days. For, if there is a purpose for my misery, then who am I to argue?
But, sometimes I wonder if the whispers come from my own imagination. In my desperate need for solace am I putting words in His mouth?
And, the doubts come again.
Am I cursed? Am I unloved? Perhaps there is no reason at all for my illness and God doesn’t really care if I am healed or not. Maybe, he has forgotten I even exist.
I have been hit hard this month with a flare-up of my disease. As days have turned to weeks, it has grown harder for me to “keep the faith”. Each day is a marathon of exhaustion, extreme dizziness and vision issues. It’s hard to believe that there is any kind of plan for my life when I can barely make it out of bed to sit for a few hours in my chair each day.
My sweet husband always looks for ways to ease my burden. He feels so bad that he can’t slay this beast for me. So, when I mentioned that a birdfeeder would be nice to look at, he ran out and bought one and mounted it on the deck railing where I could see it from my chair. On my brief forays out of bed, I can now watch the blue jays and chickadees frolic and eat their fill of birdseed.
Today was an especially bad day. I had been getting a bit better for a few days and I was filled with hope that the worst was behind me, only to wake up feeling horrible again.
Angrily, I forced myself out of bed and into my chair. I was so bored of the weeks stuck in the house, so sick of being in bed, and completely through with being seasick and dizzy. In a complete snit, I decided I was also bored of blue jays and chickadees. Was this what my life would be from now on? Me watching the same boring birds every day?
Why couldn’t God send me a different kind of bird? Heck, I’d even be happy with a lowly robin just for some variety. Why couldn’t he send me a sign that my life mattered to Him and wouldn’t always be this boring and miserable?
But, for the next half hour, only chickadees came to feed with a few quick visits from a blue jay. Of course, my prayers weren’t answered. Apparently, God had forgotten all about me.
And then it happened. I saw a flash of color out of the corner of my eye and the biggest, most majestic woodpecker I’ve ever seen flew onto my deck. I barely breathed as I picked up my phone and snapped a few pictures.
The bird posed for a few seconds, seemed uninterested in the bird seed and then flew away.
It was as though God had reached down and hugged me and said:
I see you and I do have a plan for your life, trust me.
I wasn’t instantly healed. The rest of the day was just as hard as the beginning had been. But, I had been reminded that God does care and that he does have plans even for crabby, sick women who complain about birds.