I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy…

Glued to the couch again.  I guess since God couldn’t get me to sit still with a fever, sinus infection and stomachache He needed to pull my legs out from under me.  And literally, that is what this pinched nerve feels like!  Since many of my blogs of late seem to surround my health and my cat’s health (gosh I’m so interesting), let’s take a moment and recap the circumstances of this particular time.  There’s a message, I promise.  There’s always a message (hence the subtitle on the blog).

As is par for the course (the one I play on, anyway), fall began its full swing right at the same time as my first sinus infection.  That meant two classes; one with substantial homework. Two new ministry commitments; Christian Education and Women’s Ministry Leadership Team.  And three new community groups; one with a couple in pre-marital counseling, one with several fine, young, strong believers, and a women’s study equivalent to BSF.  This is in addition to the curriculum Bob and I are writing and keeping up with this blog.  Now you know what a stay-at-home-unemployed-decorator-wife does all day.

So I persevered through, not willing to let chills and a foggy brain stop me.  Heck, if I pulled up the blankie every time I didn’t feel good I would never get out of bed.  On a side note, one of the positives of never having felt quite right is that as I age new aches and pains are nothing new; and definitely nothing to slow me down.

With all of these fabulous opportunities in my path—which, by the way, I tried to avoid for the past several years—I have been praying for a ‘pure heart.’  You see, if you know me at all, or if you have been in a meeting with me, you know from experience that I am an opinionated and blunt loud-mouth (although I always start out quiet and demure).  I did not want to enter into these new situations showing my sins on my sleeve from the get-go.  ‘Give ‘um a few months to hate me,’ that’s what I say!  Still that verse from Psalm 51 has been ever present in my thinking.  As well, I have been working REALLY HARD to memorize James 1:1-4.  Memorization of scripture has not previously been one of my talents. Imagine my surprise when I found how these two passages connected.

Here is where I link a really painful pinched nerve on top of a reoccurring sinus infection to my sanctification.  Ready?

‘Count it all joy dear brothers, when you face trials of various kinds; for you know that this testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, so that you may be complete and perfect, lacking in nothing.’

After stepping out of my car last night and feeling a strange, tingly twinge this is what I began repeating.  At 10 pm.  And 12am. Then 1am.  And 2am.  Then again at 3am I felt it necessary to say it again.  Otherwise I would cry and my sinus-infected nose would stuff up and that would simply add to my misery.

Then at 4:30am (ok, that’s when I OD’d on Tylenol) after my last sporadic hour of sleep I woke thinking, ‘count it ALL joy…’

Later though, as I began my daily demotions, for some reason I was compelled to look further into Psalm 51 and looky what I found…

‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.’

There it is again; steadfast.  So if I am reading this correctly (and I AM taking a Systematic Theology class, so this is a test drive of my skills) trials produce steadfastness and my prayer for a pure heart includes a renewed steadfast spirit.

Could it be?  Would He do that?  Did God answer my prayer by providing me with a trial of pain?  Hmmmm.  Controversial.

Regardless of the reason for this current infirmity, I am rejoicing for family and friends who JUMPED at the opportunity to help me via prayer.  I thank God for that odd little feature at my chiropractor of just showing up.  And someday someone is going to have to explain them little acupuncture needles I am eternally grateful for; they work!  I have about 20% less pain tonight, I don’t have this immediate need to crawl out of my skin and my sinuses are better.  But even if these prayer partners and improvements did not come to pass, my Savior still hung on a cross because I cannot keep my big mouth shut in meetings.  Joy Joy Joy! (thank you Jesus)

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