Yesterday I was reading in scripture about how God works in the dark.
"How does God work?" is a question that I am often grappling with and have thought through this year in a variety of different ways in many different situations- from my bed, from a hospital floor, from a hotel window, and most recently looking out over the wide expanse of a precious place that I fondly call "camp".
I read (and cried) through this article a little bit ago and am so encouraged by the honesty of her words. Oh how her story could be my story. She says eloquently words that I have been trying to formulate for over a year. I have shared my endometriosis story and remember with fondness the quick and mighty healing that my precious Savior did that year. To be truthful it was the same type of healing that I expected to happen once again with these new health issues. I presumed that my Heavenly Father would want to use a story like that again for His glory. THOSE are the stories that people like hearing. THOSE are the stories that people want to discuss and clap their hand at. THOSE are the stories that have the happy ending with the nice and neat bow wrapped around it.
But that is not my story right now.
This story is still in the middle.
This story doesn't have an end right now in sight.
The story right now is messy and painful. This journey has been long and has cost me (and those that love me the most) a lot. Physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually it has cost us almost everything. On certain days it is tempting to wallow in self-pity of all that has been lost these past years due to illness. It is tempting to focus on the bad instead of the good. It is tempting to focus on the difficult things that are so numerous that if I let them they would be the sole focus of life. If I let them they would wrap around my soul like a dark moonless night and harden it.
And on days like yesterday where things have not gone according to plan, when I was rejected from five other Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment places, when it was necessary for my health for an old friend and I to take a break, when I received some hurtful messages that made me cry, when the medicine was a hundred dollars more than we originally thought and planned, when the computer broke down and didn't work, and when I had a difficult reaction to a new prescription - it is days like those that it is tempting to wallow in all of the dark and all of the things that can make our lives seem like night.
And that my dear friends is also where HOPE lives.
In the dark places. In the days that seem like night. There is hope.
There is a verse in Exodus (Exodus 14:21) that states: "The Lord caused the sea to go back... all that night" that shares with us that the hope of the night rests in the fact that God is at work in the dark. When all seems lost and you cannot see because of the dark God is still working. God will continue to work until light comes so do not fret about the night.
If you were to ask me five years ago if I knew what the coming years would be like would I still embark on the same journey that the Lord has laid out in front of me I can honestly say (with tears) "yes". While I can't share the miraculous healing or how the story will end (like I could with my endometriosis story) I can say a deeper "yes" with humility at how faithful my God has been. He has never let my side and His mercies have truly been new every morning to faithfully meet every need that I have- physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually. The Lord has been good. Good beyond words. And everyday I see glimpses of joy in the land of the living.
Because in the night lies hope.