Maid to be Still

Yesterday morning started out a little different than most mornings have lately. I woke up with some heartache from the night before so I talked to the LORD about it and saw He gave me more peace than the day before- probably because I asked.

I’m trying to become more dependent on Him instead of anyone else, looking to Him to be the primary supplier of my needs in every area of my life.

I grabbed my phone after praying and tried to read a devotion I’ve had saved on my phone for months now, but my eyes weren’t ready to focus just yet. Luckily there is an option to have it read to me so I opted for that. Afterwards I got out of bed.

I brushed my teeth and put on my pants. Not long after, I went into the bathroom. I remember making the choice to sort of bend to do something instead of leaning over and I coughed at the same time. It seems I heard a snap. I can’t exactly remember if I heard it or just felt it inside my lower back but there was intense pain that came along with it. I couldn’t move.

Thankfully my husband is on vacation and hadn’t left the house yet so I yelled for him. He helped me to the floor, per my request. I forced myself to move forward and I put my face on the side of the cold iron bathtub. It was as if something flashed before my eyes. Not necessarily my life but the thought of not being able to get up and walk again.

I’ve pulled a muscle or two in my day but nothing like this. My lower back has hurt before, putting me in tears at work, but nothing like this.

I was able to back myself out of the bathroom on my hands and knees and crawl into the bedroom. I painfully made my way down onto the floor and just layed there. My husband was there beside me but there was nothing he could do.

As I lay there in pain, silent tears began to roll down my face. After a few minutes, Jason helped me stand up and walk to the couch. He told me to straighten my body up and walk upright.

A trip to the Dr, some hours, shots and x-rays later, I was relieved to be told it was muscle strain.

When we got back home Jason had some business to tend to so my daughter stayed with me. She ended up falling asleep and I didn’t want to wake her so I got up on my own when I had to.

Some movements still cause great pain but I understand sometimes you just have to press on, be tough and suffer through it.

In these past 24 hours, I’ve been made to be still and know that God is God. He is the Great Physician and Mighty Healer – not just of our bodies, but of our hearts.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past month or so struggling to overcome deep hurt in my heart. Many nights of lying in bed with a lump in my throat that made it nearly impossible to even swallow. There is a saying about life being a bitter pill, sometimes hard to swallow. Maybe that is what the person that first said it was talking about.

Even though certain pain is seemingly unbearable, I believe the times we struggle, alone, is God’s way of wanting us to run into the arms of a (or another) man: Jesus Christ.

As humans we long for that tangible someone to care and be there, to heal our hearts from the hurt and pain we feel. The LORD longs for us to seek Him. He is the only One who can truly satisfy the heart and soul and help us more than anyone or anything else the world can offer.

The last time I laid in bed with silent tears, I noticed the lump wasn’t there. I paid attention to that and wondered, is the lump in your throat really you fighting the tears off? It’s hard to be vulnerable but that is what the LORD desires. I believe we often fight tears because it causes is to be aware and come face to face with our emotions and pain.

It’s easier to turn hurt into anger. We think of it as being strong, unshakable, but it really turns in to bitterness and hardness of heart. Anger gives a foothold to the devil. He’s then able to grab hold of us by the foot and lead us further in to sin.

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:26-27‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I’ve passed by a church sign several times lately that says, “Humble yourselves and pray.” So many times things happen in our lives that show us we need to humble ourselves and so many times we choose to not. I hear a still small voice say

“…for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:5(b)-7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The LORD has been bringing it to my attention how much pride I really have. He’s reminding me there is nothing I can do without His help. He’s allowed me to be broken in so many ways lately, but I understand why. He wants to put me back together properly.

Maybe it had to become physical for me as well. Maybe I had to become completely vulnerable, helpless, on my knees in all aspects- to the point of total reliance.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy to combine spiritual truths with my own life and current circumstances. It isn’t easy to walk upright when you’re in so much pain. Other ways are so much easier, but again, the Word says,

“He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭14:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When the chips are down and no one else is around, by choice or not, our faithful Friend is still there.

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.””
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

All too often we chase a love we want to have that really isn’t there. We search for unfailing love in all the wrong places. We run away from that good and perfect love that God is the supplier of. Sometimes it feels like He hurts us but we really hurt ourselves. Sometimes I think God allows us to feel the hurt so we may draw nearer to Him.

He is there in the midst of our pain and He doesn’t walk away. When the pain is more bearable, He still doesn’t walk away. He stays and helps us.

With the covid, many have had to be secluded. Many have been made to be still, no matter what the case may be. I hope if people haven’t, they will search Him out to fill the lonely void in their hearts, taking this opportunity He is allowing to know that He is God.

Dear Lord, help us to give you all the glory. Help us to place no one or no thing before you. Help us feel your living, loving presence in our lives at all times. Help us to give others the same mercy and grace you give us. Help us to remember You are near to the broken hearted. Please forgive us where we fail You. Help us to walk upright in the midst of our pain. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

What happened to the AC

20180814_131921Last fall, while it was still a little too warm for us folks that are spoiled to having air conditioning in our vehicles, my car vents began to only blow heat. Jason decided to have it looked at by a mechanic at an automotive shop. Long story short, it would be $600 to have it fixed. On the diagnosis slip was a side note in all caps: CLEAN OUT THE GLOVEBOX!!! A lot of the stuff in it had fallen out behind it and caused it to mess up. Napkins, forks, straws and some papers were removed by the mechanic. My justification- my Dad has always taught us to be prepared. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve gone through a drive-thru and someone didn’t get a straw? How many times I’ve had to blow my nose on those valuable napkins? How many times that chili cheese hot dog has come without a fork? My famous words, “Look in the glove box” have suddenly become bad words.

I thought that was a lot of money to pay in the fall of the year for some air conditioning. Thankfully, Jason (my husband), just happens to know a guy that works on cars. His girlfriend knows a pretty good bit too. (There’s you some recognition Brandy [insert smiley face].) Anyhow, he looked around and told us what was going on. If you reach up in behind the glove box, there’s a little bar. You push it back, you have air. You pull it forward, you have heat. I had some sticky tack (again, preparedness), the kind teachers used to use to hang things on the wall in their classroom, so I decided I’d stick that back there on that bar to hold it back. I think it was around $60 for a diagnosis and for someone to tell me I need to clean out my glove box. In my mind, this solution would do.

Fast forward almost a year- the day before yesterday to be exact. I was in the car and the air conditioner stopped, then came back on. A few minutes later it stopped completely. Even though it was a different situation, first thing I did was reach for that bar. The sticky tack was holding strong so then my second thought was maybe it’s a fuse. My third thought- man, it’s hot. When I got home I started searching online. I was in the glove box looking around, then I popped the hood (like I was going to do something). Jason came out to the car and started checking fuses. I told him maybe it was the blower motor. After all, I watched a video. He said he hated when I started acting like I was a mechanic. Haha

Later I went out to my parents’ house. My Dad got his testing kit out. I told him what I saw on the video so we unplugged the motor and he tested it. Only thing was, I quit watching the video when I saw you had to have a testing kit. I thanked my Dad and came back home. Jason called the guy that he knows that works on vehicles and he came the next morning. He took the blower motor off and you’ll never guess what was in it. A napkin and a fork. That was the wrong  place to set the table. I suddenly had a flashback to those capital letters that I took offense to almost a year ago: CLEAN OUT THE GLOVE BOX!!! The next words from my mouth after “oooh noooo,” were, “Don’t tell Jason about this.” For the price of the motor I could have some nice cloth napkins and some sturdy silverware that wouldn’t easily be sucked up in to the motor.

Later in the day Jason called and asked if I had AC in the car. I said, “Yes. And you’ll never guess what caused it.” I proceeded to tell him about the napkin and fork. I think he might have said, “Priscilla!” but he didn’t give me a hard time about it and I was glad (and I never said a word about that dirt on the floor I wrote about yesterday haha).

Proverbs 1:7 KJV says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” If I turned this around spiritually, I think that verse sounds fitting for this hot little situation I found myself in, don’t you?

I’m all about being prepared, yet I need to make sure I store what I have properly- such as in a plastic container. With a lid. Not in the glove box. I’m all about someone giving me advice but I’m afraid pride set in there when I saw those capital letters. I am really stubborn and that’s not always a good thing. I NEED instruction. If only I had listened, but I didn’t and it cost us. Again, affecting more than just me.

It doesn’t really matter how the advice in all caps about cleaning the glove box out was given. It was instruction and I didn’t want to hear it because it was telling me I was wrong. It’s not that I feared the mechanic, yet my rebellious self didn’t like the way it was said. Instead of wanting to be ashamed, hearing I was wrong or being told what to do, I thought, “What does he know?” and “How dare him tell me to clean something out like that!”

Maybe that’s how people think of the Lord. That He’s some kind of Creator that just wants to tell us what to do or put us to shame. That’s totally wrong. He wants us to listen and learn. He wants us to gain wisdom and welcome instruction. It’s to help us so we can have the best He has to offer. It’s to keep us from having problems down the road of life. It is to protect us from going to an eternal place that is too hot (with no AC). It is because He loves us.

Thanks for reading!