John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
When I read this verse, it reminds me of the early days after my injury. It was the first time in my life I realized that I could do nothing.
When I think back to almost 4 years ago, I remember the terror I felt when I woke up lying on my kitchen floor unable to move. After lying helplessly for almost 3 days , I was raced off to the ICU where I had surgeries to repair my broken vertebrae and insert a feeding tube and trachea. Because of the apparatus in and around my throat and larynx, I was also unable to speak.
With the chaos of the ICU, I was unable to process the gravity of my situation. The real earth shattering shock set in when I moved into a nursing facility and found myself at the mercy of other people. I could do nothing on my own. People bathed me, fed me, took care of personal hygiene, exercised my stiff body, picked out my clothes, and many other embarrassing things that I won’t list here. I truly understood what it felt like to be physically powerless.
After four years of being a quadriplegic, I have accepted that I can’t do anything on my own physically, but I still seem to mess up when I try to handle my spiritual well-being. It’s a different type of control, but the same dilemma I faced as an able-bodied person: I realize that apart from Christ, I can do nothing. Oh – I know I can do a lot of things, but nothing that nourishes my soul. And apart from God, nothing else matters. I can have everything in the world, and yet none of it will satisfy me.
Psalm 16: 1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
Before my accident, I remember all the time I spent in vain trying to make dysfunctional relationships into happy relationships. I think about all the money I spent on various gym memberships just to try and achieve a look that the world defined as attractive. I am ashamed to talk about all my credit card debt, the people pleasing, struggling to move up the ladder at various jobs… Should I go on? As spoken by the words of King Solomon, it is a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2: 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself once again discontented, irritable and impatient. Especially with other people. It seems like I’ve just been in a bad mood for a long time, which explains why I haven’t made a post for a good while. The thought of it just made me grumpy.
After spending quite a bit of time contemplating and praying about what could be causing my angst, it dawned on me that I haven’t been in my Bible much at all, nor have I talked to any of my Christian friends about my dismal state of mind. And my prayers have been few and far between.
What I’ve been doing in place of meditation and prayer is filling my mind with Facebook and the news. Although these things are not bad in moderation, I was doing it ALL DAY LONG. (I don’t believe all news #fakenews, but I do believe much of it is bad news!) And for that reason I have been doing nothing more than numbing my mind.
I’m so thankful God is merciful and shines the light on the truth. I’m so thankful nothing is hidden in his sight and he never leaves me even when I get off track. I am so thankful that he is always holding on to me whether I go up or fall down. I think David said it the best:
Psalm 139: 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
What I am the most thankful for is that he is God and he knows exactly what I need and how to run my life. When I take the wheel, I seem to end up with nothing much to talk about. I pray in the future to always remain in him so I can gain so much more.