Being told that 'it is highly unlikely that you will walk again' is a shock and in the moment, very surreal. A nine hour operation didn't change that prognosis and 18 months hasn't either!
As I have made my journey with the Lord during this time, there has sometimes been an overwhelming desire to understand, why?
However, obeying rather than understanding, my resolve has been continue to serve my God and His church. It has not been easy I confess, but without God, it would have been impossible.
Well meaning folk have tried to reason as to why my journey with God would take on such dramatic events and in the end, it must be said, they drew no real conclusion.
In response to my situation I have arrived at a place of peace and confidence in my God. I can say with certainty and hope and understanding in Christ Jesus that:
Firstly - it is God that bought me here. It is by His will I am on this path. In that I will rest.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him."
Next - He will keep me in His love and give me grace to be His disciple and serve Him and His church.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
He will help me and strengthen me, perhaps not in my logical understanding, but in my obedience to Him...
2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Then - He will make each trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Matthew 16:24 "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Last - In His good time He can bring me out again - how and when, He knows.
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
When we come across this scripture we can feel a bit uncomfortable at its implications and miss three important things:
Written from a shepherd's perspective, the reference to the rod and staff are really significant to our confidence in God. The rod was used by the shepherd to fight off wild animals who would attack the flock - so God protects us.
The staff, or the crook, is used to catch sheep that wander from the path designated by the shepherd - so God guides us.
A final thought is how easy it is to miss that word 'through'. You see, any journey through a valley is a season, not a sentence. Storms don't last forever nor do valleys.
I am here - by God's appointment, in His keeping under His training, for His time and so are you.
So, in the Word of God there are the nuggets of understanding that God knows we need. Understanding that does not stop or become frustrated at a lack of facts or logic, but an understanding that is embraced and nurtured by faith that comes through the Word.
At this time when we remember and reflect upon Jesus going to the cross, I often wonder if Jesus thought at any time as he gave up His life for you and I, 'Sunday is coming!'
For us all who know and love the Lord Jesus, as we journey through life's storms and valleys, let us remember with faith, 'Sunday is coming'.
(Inspired by Andrew Murray)