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He Goes Before Us – Do Not Be Dismayed

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I just returned from a three-day visit to Duke Hospital for an infection. They weren’t sure if it was pneumonia or a bad UTI, so they treated me with the strongest antibiotics available and I am feeling so much better. A three-day stay is just a flyover for me. I began to think about the hospital stays I’ve had over the last eight years and some of them have lasted months. When I think back, I am surprised that I had the patience to lay there, unable to get into my wheelchair, unable to access my laptop, and enduring needle pokes, examinations, and other invasive procedures.

Deuteronomy 31: The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Isaiah 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

On this particular trip, I believe God went before me and had everything planned out well in advance. Because his word encourages me to not be afraid or discouraged, that he will continue to strengthen and uphold me, I felt strong and at peace.

As wonderful as all this sounds, it sometimes causes people to read my blog posts and make comments with ideas like, “I’m never going to complain about these headaches again! She is so much worse off than me and she stays positive!” Or, “If she can have faith in her circumstances, I must be a completely faithless before God!” I completely disagree with this way of thinking.

We all have a race to run (Hebrews 12:1-2) that’s been marked out specifically for each of us. I don’t believe one race is harder than another, because they are individualized by God according to each person’s need, and for his own glory and goodness.

Some of us have lost loved ones, or jobs, or meaningful relationships, or are having significant health problems, and we are questioning God’s goodness and struggling to crawl out of a pit of despair. As we learned in Deuteronomy 31 and Isaiah 41 (both above), God went before us on this journey and He will not leave us as we walk through the pain. Just because we don’t understand the purpose behind what is happening doesn’t mean He is absent.

It is imperative that we stay in the Bible and connected to our fellowship of believers in order to hear the truth about our circumstances. When we isolate in our pain, our adversary, a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies, enjoys filling our head with falsehoods (John 8:44).

Even this morning as I began writing this blog, I felt so faithful and almost high after the first couple of paragraphs. When the aide came in to bathe me and take care of my personal hygiene, I immediately felt discouraged. It was a man I had never met and who had never even worked on my hallway. No one took the time to orient him and he was so unsure of himself. I got so anxious I completely lost my desire to continue with the blog post. Thankfully, I forced myself to get in the Bible, spent some time in prayer, and got back to writing.

So yes – I can spend weeks and months in the hospital somehow holding on to my faith, but sometimes something so simple as what happened this morning in a single moment will send me to the edge of a cliff. I’m thankful I didn’t take the plunge and I hope you will also decide to hold on if you are feeling down.*

The silver-lining I found after it was all over, is that it was such a blessing that the Olympics were on because I never would have watched them had I been at my home facility. I enjoyed them so much and I found myself thanking God for arranging my hospital visit around this grand event. It made the time go by.

May God bless all of us and keep us in good spiritual and mental health.

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*If you need help, there is always help available. Please reach out for counseling or reach out to me as a resource by clicking the Contact tab above. If you are finding it difficult to find meaningful fellowship in a church, click the Church tab above.

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.

22 responses »

  1. I do admire you. I know that was hard with the new person helping you. I know they probably appreciated however you were able to cooperate in the situation you are in. I think you are right, each person has hard things in life to deal with. No matter how able bodied we may feel we know we are totally unable without Gods help. A daily and moment by moment surrender is needed. It seems just when we think we are capable, something in life comes along and destroys any pride. Humility is a real hard thing for humans and I have a feeling we will each have to learn this if we are to get to be anywhere in the vicinity of being “like” Christ. We are daily being refined. Much love for you… thanks for blessing me today and every time I read your posts.

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  2. Beautifully expressed Teri! You are making a big difference in many of our lives. Thank you!

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  3. As you know, discouragement can take over during all kinds of circumstances. I can’t even imagine what life would be like without our loving God and the word he gives us to get through the dark times.. Great Blog!

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    • There is a lot of darkness in the world right now. If I didn’t have God, I wouldn’t want to live in this place. So thankful for what I have. As always, thank you for your kind comments.

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  4. I always appreciate hearing from you. Thanks for always being honest.

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  5. Terri. Thank you for sharing your faith with us. You have taught me that God can powerfully use us on whatever situation we are in. Your faith is being heard around the world and refreshing the hearts of the saints.

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  6. Terri,
    You write like an angel with words of peace in this dark world, letting your light shine. Knowing God’s sovereignty in every circumstance is such a great comfort and source of peace. Thank you for reminding me of that. May God bless and keep you, sister.
    pax,
    dora

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  7. It is very encouraging Terri, just to know God himself has been where we are at and is with us through each moment. Thankyou for your personal testimony on this. It’s easy to know something in our head and yet not trust it’s truth for us in everyday living

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  8. “We all have a race to run (Hebrews 12:1-2) that’s been marked out specifically for each of us. I don’t believe one race is harder than another, because they are individualized by God according to each person’s need, and for his own glory and goodness.”

    Beautifully said.

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  9. Terri, it’s so good to hear from you! I was wondering this week when you’d post.
    Thank you for sharing an uplifting word, it’s what the Body of Christ needs. I agree,, we all have our tribulations and our own race to run. And those who’ve run ahead of us and overcome a struggle are an inspiration to those along the way.
    Please keep posting – we love to hear from you! I hope you see more of the Olympics! 🎳 ⛳ 🏅

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  10. Thanks always for the reminder that in a moment our attitude can change. Thanks for sharing how keeping our focus on the word we can be strong. Love you my friend.

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  11. Thank you for these words, Terri! And I agree, the Olympics is something for us all to enjoy, and cheer our teams on to victory (hopefully 😊)! 🤗🙏

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  12. Your positive attitude is so inspiring, Terri. How nice that God rewarded you with some Olympic games to watch. 😉
    P.S. Please pray for the athletes and others there.

    https://seekingdivineperspective.com/2021/07/30/pentecost-2021/

    Blessings!

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  13. Thank you Terri. I’m so glad the treatment you received has worked, that you feel so much better, and are able to continue with your work.

    The Lord Jesus said: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

    Whoever finds this small gate and narrow way and walks it out successfully in an overall sense in this life will eventually receive eternal life with the Lord. This necessitates discipleship—an ongoing succession of correct decisions and successful spiritual victories along the way. Many of these appear relatively minor but are important at the time. Every time we make the right decision, correct our steps toward the right decision, win a spiritual battle, and thus maintain our complete trust and confidence in the Lord Jesus and obey Him in conformity with His will, we travel further down the narrow way to our eventual hoped for and fought for destination.

    And every real Christian has a ministry, a purpose, an uppermost reason for living given by the Lord while on the way which he or she is dedicated to and which always proves to be fruitful, edifying, and a blessing to others.

    You have blessed me with this post, Terri. Thanks again and thank you for your work. Blessings to you

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  14. Terri, Thank you for continuing to press on, and not giving into discouragement. I love Deuteronomy 31:8! He does go before us, so we just have to follow His lead.

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  15. You amaze me! After all you have to go through daily even when you are sick you are such a strong woman! Your words encourage me so much. Praying you get to feeling better soon! Love to you!

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  16. Hello my friend. Thank you so much for your obedience to God’s calling on your life. God is and has blessed your ministry which blesses us, those who are willing to read, listen, and receive. Your words today have confirmed the words I received on yesterday. I thank God for that! He knows what we need and when. Thanks again, my Sister, and may God continue to shower His blessings on you! Much love! I love you! Sure miss you in the office. When I think of you, a smile shines on my face and a giggle tickles my belly!

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  17. I’m so glad you are doing better, Terri 🙂 You are such a bright light for God even when you may not feel you are. Those of us who battle with remedial faith are very grateful for your showing us how to really trust and rely on God through both the good times and the uncertain times of which there seem to be so many. I don’t know if you’re a fan of Christian comic strips, but this one below describes me at times to a tee! But I thank God that He always points me in your direction as a reflection of what real faith looks like.

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  18. “Just because we don’t understand the purpose behind what is happening doesn’t mean He is absent”. Those are very encouraging words Terri. Thank you for this post.

    Is it not amazing that the God of all creation is moved by those who do not need ‘evidence’ to trust in Him, they simply believe He is who he says He is and that he is faithful.

    And thank you for dropping by my blog! Take Care

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