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One Smooth Stone

I’d like to share with you some facts about my health because it relates to this post. I’m not trying to come across as feeling sorry for myself or complaining, I just think it’s important to gently remind us who’s really in charge.

Since my major surgery, I’ve lost a lot of weight, and I was small and thin to begin with. Because of my weight loss, my blood pressure drops dangerously low when I am sitting up in my wheelchair. My blood pressure is so bad that I spend a lot of time reclined in my wheelchair, positioning my feet above my heart. In that position, I am unable to look at my laptop, which is my lifeline and connection to the world, and unable to leave my room. On top of that (yes, there’s more!) I have a pressure sore on my backside that is not healing the way we had hoped. It’s all been very overwhelming. Often when these things happen, I look to Scriptures like the following:

Proverbs 3: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

1 Peter: Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Lately I’ve been feeling like it’s not so easy to trust in the Lord with all my heart, or to cast my anxiety on him. It’s like I’m holding on to my anxiety for dear life, unable to cast it anywhere. Many days I feel so unmotivated to pray or read the Word. I just want to numb my mind by reading the news (now that’s uplifting), looking at Facebook or watching TV. I just don’t want to face the facts of my life.

I look at my body every day and it seems to be withering away. I’m at 85 lbs. This is a fact – something that I can see that’s happening to me and is reconfirmed by a trip to the scale. Not being able to sit up in my wheelchair because I get dizzy and break out in cold sweats is a fact. I experience it every day and it is proven by the blood pressure readings. The sore on my backside has gotten very deep, it’s almost down to the bone. My greatest fear is that I will be required to stay on strict bed rest, which will mean I’m not able to sit up in my wheelchair, to go outside and feel the air. I will be completely restricted to my room. I’ve gone through it before and it’s so depressing.

Before I get in to this next part, which is the good part, I want to make a few statements. My weight and my blood pressure are being closely monitored daily by a physician. We are trying different ways for me to gain weight. We are also trying to modify my medication dosage so that I don’t feel like I’m going to pass out all the time from low blood pressure. As for the wound on my backside, I am going to the Wound Clinic at Duke University Medical Center on a regular basis. I’m getting some of the best care possible. I believe it is so important to use the resources God has made available to us.

Even though what is happening can be proven by facts, God is greater than facts. He has more power than a pill. He is wiser than a physician and he guides them in what to do. Jesus healed a man’s blindness with spit and mud. We’ve come a long way in terms of our sophisticated medical breakthroughs, and I don’t think spit and mud is a necessary component of any of it. Most importantly, God is more powerful than any dire outcome I think will occur as a result of what I see happening to me every day. What I see are facts of this world. What God sees are opportunities to glorify himself.

Recently I decided to stop looking at worldly facts and to look at God’s truth. David and Goliath came to mind.

1 Samuel 17:  A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.  5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.  His shield bearer went ahead of him.

The facts about Goliath: he was 6’9″ tall. He had trained as a warrior since his youth and he was a undisputed champion. His armor weighed between 125 – 194 lbs. Just the head of his spear weighed between 18 – 24 lbs.. I’m sure his armor and spearhead weighed more than David’s own body. When he threatened the Israelites his monstrous size and booming voice was probably nothing less than a display of thunder and lightning, and the Israelites were terrified.

And what about David?

1 Samuel 17: 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

Facts: David was little more than a boy. He was a deep thinking poet. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He did not know how to wear armor nor did he know how to wield a sword. He had never been trained as a soldier. He was a shepherd, not a killer. His weapons? Five smooth stones and a slingshot. Doesn’t sound like much when you’re facing a monster like Goliath. His powerful advantage? He had the true Giant on his side.

The facts showed that the odds were stacked against David. Sometimes I feel like the facts show the odds are against me. Maybe you feel the same? Let’s remember, God shows us that it only takes one smooth stone to conquer even the greatest giants in our lives.

 

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Descriptions of Goliaths armor taken from: http://www.tabernacleofmoses.org/davidandgoliath/DGcH3.htm

Unless otherwise noted, all quoted Scripture is taken from the New International Version (NIV) Bible, Copyright 2011.

About Terri Nida

In August 2013, I fainted in my kitchen and woke up paralyzed from the shoulders down. I am still trying to make sense of all this, but one thing I know is that God is with me and he loves me.

26 responses »

  1. Your post is inspiring. Thank you for reminding me who is in charge. I have so much respect and admiration for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  2. Thanks for showing and reminding us how to overcome giants. As a person you have always been beautiful, and we learn through you.

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  3. Terri,

    You are such a gift. I know days are so challenging and it is difficult at times to understand why and how?! God is showing you so much and you are using what you learning to reach out to others and show God’s glory. Praying for you to have true healing (Spiritually) and trusting that God will continue to provide for you peace in the storms. Much love in Jesus… thanks for writing and sharing your heart.

    Jamie

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  4. It hurts my heart for you to be going through these 2 issues but at the same time what you say always lifts my heart and my eyes to Him.

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  5. You are such an inspiration for so many ( I don’t know how you do it). I had surgery on my butt ( sort of like a hemorrhoid and a laceration, not sure how that happened), but I have been dealing with it for months and haven’t felt like doing much. Finally I’m feeling better ( so don’t feel bad about feeling down sometimes, the rest of us can hardly deal with small stuff). Have you lost weight because you don’t have a appetite for anything, because if you can think of anything that sounds good to you I will be happy to pick something up. Maybe some kind of protein. Please let me know if I can do anything for you.

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  6. Terri,
    You have been on my mind a great deal lately as I have been facing some troubling times and I try to think about scriptures like you do to help me deal with issues. Your post today reminds me it is God who is in charge and I need to give him my anxieties thank for your inspirational words

    I love you and I pray for you daily for God to give you comfort and peace

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  7. I just heard a sermon in church last month about David and Goliath and this just lets me know God is wanting me to understand that He has given me the ability to fight any giant in my life because He fights the battle for us. Thank you Terri and I’m sorry to hear of these challenges you are going through. I’ll be praying for you. Love you♥

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  8. Terri,
    In view of how you have been feeling, I was amazed to see your current post! Thank you for giving us your heart and soul during this difficult time. Your emphasis and explanation of Goliath and David’s battle is encouraging. David’s heart and respect for God gave him the courage to fight Goliath. I was just praying this morning asking God to help me realize how big and powerful He is over the worldly intimidation I can feel, so that my heart will be at peace. I am praying for you also to allow God’s love to bring you a great peace as you struggle with your body. As you have stated, you are under God’s mighty hand. Love you deeply. -Gayle

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  9. Terri this post is so powerful. What a wonderful reminder of the greatness of God. I hope you can stay strong – sounds like surgery put you a few steps back – but you have your smooth stone and I’m going to pray for you and for God’s healing. You ARE an inspiration and I love you. – Lynette

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  10. Terri, it is both humbling and inspiring to read your thoughts and feelings. You have endured much and God is still teaching you things. Thank you for sharing your heart. Makes me think about how Abraham faced the facts of his situation as well and considered God faithful. I don’t know what is around the corner for you or me or any of us, but I know God’s presence is real and His promises are true. Sending you much love today and healing from your current challenges. Love, Cindy

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  11. Rebekah Hotelling

    Terri
    You are amazing. I remember the days of our youth with you, Margo, and others sharing our hopes and fears.. you are a dear soul and a strong, remarkable woman. I love you .

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    • I remember those days fondly, as well. The good old days. I am also very inspired by your sister’s journey. I think her cancer occurred just before I had my accident. Somehow I relate to her on a deeper level because of the timing. At times I thought of sending her a message on Facebook, but then declined to do so, afraid that she would think I was some kind of lunatic! I love you.

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  12. Hi Terri. You are often on my mind and I love you and your family so dearly. Your perspective in this blog is a needed reminder for all of us, and I am grateful. Much love!

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  13. Terri,
    I was so moved by your blog. I don’t know
    how I can feel sorry for myself after reading
    your blog. You are one of the strongest
    people I know and I am so happy to have
    known you through the years. I love you and
    I will continue to pray for you every night.

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  14. Well said, Terri! Exactly what I needed to hear.

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  15. Terri,
    You have been on my mind a great deal lately as I have been facing some struggles and I think of you and how you turn to scripture to help you deal with your problems. As always, your posts are so timely and inspirational. You have never ceased to amaze me and have much to teach all of us.
    I continue to pray daily for you….for peace and for comfort. Love and hugs, Megan

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    • Megan – I have thought of you often and heard about your health struggles. I am so sorry I didn’t contact you sooner. I will send you an email soon so we can chat more personally. Love, Terri

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  16. Kimberly Eastman Zirkle

    You write beautifully Terri! Thank you for sharing your journey and your faith so profoundly! I love smooth stones and collect them. I now have another reason to be drawn to them and will say a prayer for you, your healing and continued faith whenever I see one. May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you; and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace! (Numbers 6:24-26). Kimberly

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  17. Over and over Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” comes to mind when I think of you, Terri. That you still have faith in God despite so much pain and so many setbacks speaks volumes to me and so many others. That you honestly wrestle with tough questions and don’t sugarcoat your struggles in the midst of your suffering but continue to put them on the altar before God shows me the very essence of what God wants our relationship with Him to be like. I am so sorry you continue to go through so much, I just want you to know I am praying for you every day and I so admire your testimony and your witness for Christ even under the most distressing conditions. I hope things get much better for you soon 🙂
    Love, Crystal

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  18. Terri,
    THANK YOU for reminding all of us that our sufferings are all part of God’s plan for our lives. It certainly is hard to understand sometimes from a human perspective, though! 😬 I truly am sorry to hear about your most recent sufferings and will pray that you will be granted relief sooner than later! I sure do miss seeing your smiling face everyday. You are such a beautiful person! Love ya!
    Anita

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  19. Boy Terri, I needed the truth through your words in turn. After a week of little to no sleep I was losing it on Sunday. This morning I got up at 3 and spent a powerful time finishing up Acts. I remembered that is not “why” but “what” I should be asking. What do you have in store for me God? What truth will you reveal through my weakness and vulnerability? Thank you for sharing God’s truth. My prayers are with you dear friend.

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