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: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
1 Peter: 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 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: 4 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; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 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.