I’ve spent the last three weeks without my computer. The first week was okay, even though I had nothing to do besides watch TV. The second week I started to become anxious and depressed because I didn’t have what I consider to be my lifeline. My laptop is the only way I can read the Bible, write my blog, and communicate with people through email, texting and phone calls.
By the third week I went into the death spiral. I had too much time on my hands and I started to get mad at God and people. What started out as frustration over not having my laptop-lifeline, turned into a whirlwind of negative emotions.
I began to question why my life was so difficult as a quadriplegic. I began to hate not having control of my body and having to rely on others for everything from hygiene to turning the volume up on the TV. I started creating anxiety driven scenarios. What if someone comes in my room at night and attacks me and I have no way to defend myself? What if I somehow lose my ability to speak and cease to be able to use my voice recognition software that allows me to connect with the world? What if? What if? What if?
And then these things came to mind.
Hebrews 13: 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Psalm 42: 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Somewhere in the midst of all those negative thoughts, I had lost sight of God. I had lost sight of his power, his compassion, and his unchanging character. My prayers were few and far between and were more like complaints than times of praise and honor to God.
Someone challenged me to thank God for whatever I am supposed to learn in difficult life situations. I hated that sound of that, but I did it anyway. I learned that I don’t have to be content with the situation to be thankful to God. In fact, I can go through times of hardship and depression and still thank God.
In the end, I thanked God for my quadriplegia and asked him to help me to learn as much as I can learn during this season of my life. I thanked him for the three weeks without my laptop because I learned a lesson about patience and trust. I thanked him for all the things I do have rather than the things I don’t have. I finally began to feel at peace.
Habakkuk 3: 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.