The past couple of months have been a bumpy ride for me. I’ve had a lot of health issues that not only make me feel bad physically, but wear on my faith. The worst problem I’ve had has been low blood pressure. I’ve actually passed out in my wheelchair a couple of times. If my blood pressure drops, it is necessary for me to lean back in my wheelchair so my feet are above my heart. Sometimes my pressure will correct itself within a few minutes. But sometimes the whole day is wasted over nonstop periods of dizziness and headaches.
Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)
I’ve always loved this verse and have dissected it to death. There are so many things in my life that I just don’t understand. But this verse teaches me that I still have to trust God, regardless of my understanding of the situation. In fact, I may never understand my current circumstances in this lifetime, but I still have to trust! It’s so easy for me to ask, “why, why, why, God?” But I’m called to acknowledge him in these situations. To me, that means to acknowledge that he is sovereign, loving and in control. He is a compassionate God.
Verse 6 says… And he shall direct your paths. I am promised that he will direct me in the way to go. The NIV version says he will make my paths straight. That doesn’t mean the path will be smooth or easy. It doesn’t mean I won’t face uphill climbs in the mud. It doesn’t mean I will always get what I want. It just means he will send me in the right direction.
The question is, how do I keep my faith on those muddy uphill climbs? I keep learning the same lesson over and over: prayer is the key.
Philippians 4: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Peace will never come as a result of life circumstances. That was true for me as an able-bodied person and it’s true for me today as a quadriplegic. We tend to think that the right job, the right relationship, or the right amount of material things will bring us happiness and contentment. But peace will come only from prayer and trust in God.
James 5: 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (NIV)
We are no different than Elijah! I have persistently prayed for many things having to do with my care at this facility and my physical health. Many of these prayers have been answered; some of the prayers, however, are requiring me to continue to emulate the persistent widow (Luke 18) with perseverance and faith. One thing I know is the more consistently I pray, the more my faith is bolstered and the more peace I will receive from God.
Muddy days are bound to come, but prayer is our weapon.