Sunday, November 15, 2020

From Days Past

 



I came across a post I wrote several years ago, and it was clearly a good time for me to revisit it. I'd love to share it with you. So, here you go.
"I recently spoke at a women's retreat at the Oregon coast. It was a lovely place, a condo right on the beach. Fabulous! An aqua blue sky contrasted the deep blue of the ocean, and foaming waves crashed against rocks tossing their spray high into the air. When I stepped onto my deck I a sharp breeze and the smell of the sea greeted me. It was gorgeous and inspiring.

And yet, it wasn't enough.

I wanted more. I wanted to walk on the beach, to feel the frigid ocean water suck the sand from beneath my feet. I wished I could hunt for seashells and special rocks and sea creatures. Instead I remained in my room, resting, reading and praying. Occasionally I'd step onto my deck and soak in more of the beauty. I didn't mope, but I considered it.

Years ago there was a truck . . . on a corner . . . and it hit my van and changed my life. Now, instead of being the first one on the beach I have to be careful. Too much doing brings on too much pain. Sometimes I throw a pity party, but when I'm able to put aside self I am rewarded with a God view of my life and I can praise him for the new me. But on this weekend I wanted to be like everyone else.

I was speaking Saturday night and Sunday morning so I had to be careful not to overdo. If I hurt myself I might not be able to speak, and I couldn't let the ladies down. Giving a speech from a bed isn't very effective.

Interestingly enough the topic for the retreat just happened to be Embracing Life's Disappointments. And it was exactly what I needed to be focused on. In recent months life had thrown stones at me and my world seemed filled with disappointment. While preparing for the retreat I came to see that God had something to say to me.

He took me to stories of His people and revealed details of their lives that I'd never fully seen before. In the midst of their disappointments God was always there. And in these situations it was clear the difficulties were God orchestrated. When Joseph was sold into slavery God had a plan. Moses missed out on the Promised Land, but God gave him so much more--Moses got to see God face-to-face. Paul suffered devastating consequences for his faithful service, yet while in prison he sang praises to his Lord.

If I were in control of the world around me, I probably wouldn't have allowed that truck to hit me. But I'm sometimes short-sighted. I can't see the big picure - not the way God does. He sees it all. And His Word says that nothing touches me without His permission. So, I must trust Him. He knows what He's doing. When that truck hit my van, God knew that "life as usual" wasn't the way for me. He had something special for me.

It's because of Him I can say, "Thank you for adversity."

Only in weakness can we learn to rely more completely on God. Only in our trials do we exercise faith. When we need more than we possess, God gives the power and courage to overcome.

May you trust Him. He wants to bless your life."

It's now 2020. Many years have passed since I wrote this. I still live with disability and in some way I am worse off than before, but my next visit I make to the ocean will include a stroll along the beach. I will search for special shells and rocks and sea creatures and feel the sand beneath my feet. I've been working since March to get stronger and walking is now a daily delight. I can't wait for my next trip to the coast. It's going to be awesome!

Grace and peace to you from God,
Bonnie

5 comments:

  1. God gives grace for every trial, whether physical or otherwise. This has been the toughest year I've ever faced physically as well as due to having lost my mother and my husband losing his father all within a month and half of each other and both from cancer. Through it all God's grace and strength has been sufficient to see us through the sorrow and the ordeal of my physical situation that isn't over by a long stretch. He gives joy and peace in the midst of it all. Thank you, Bonnie, for this blog. It was a blessing. God bless you through your own trials and difficulties that you face. God's grace is sufficient as you well know.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear that this has been a really tough year for you. I can't imagine losing and your husband both losing a parent within a month of each other. At least you have each other to lean on and God's presence and strength. Thank you for your words of encouragement. May the Lord continue to give you strength. Grace and peace to you.

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  2. Thank you, Bonnie, for these encouraging words! May God bless you!

    Hugs, Edwina

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    1. Hi Edwina. Thank you for responding. Hearing from blog visitors is a blessing and an encouragement. May you have a special day and be blessed.

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