“From the end of the earth I will cry to You; when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately, and yes, I cried out to God and he lifted me to stand on the rock, Jesus. I often wonder how people manage life without Jesus.
My mother is 92, and has been living with us for around 4 years. There have been many ups and downs in her health. We have called for an ambulance at least 5 times. She broke her hip, had an operation, got an infection, was diagnosed with colon cancer and had heart attacks. She sleeps a lot, but still eats (not very much) and enjoys watching TV, playing Yahtzee and reading magazines. Her short-term memory is gone, so she has had to stop reading books.
Two or three weeks ago, she started coughing a lot. It wasn’t a cold, so I took her to the doctor. It turned out she has acid reflux so bad that she had burned her throat. She had had no symptoms of acid reflux, so I was surprised. But the doctor was right, after giving her the new medicine she got better. She started sleeping through the night again.
As soon as she was a bit better, her sciatic nerve went wonky and she was in terrible pain one morning. She would scream at the slightest move. It was so hard for her to get out of bed, go to the bathroom – just everything.
But I thank God for the internet. I looked up sciatic pain and one of the things an article said was it can be caused by slumping in your chair. Well, Mom was slumping lately. She said she was comfy when she was doing it, but I told her it might be causing her sciatica to give her pain. I started watching and having her sit up straight when she was up.
It worked. I gave her pills for the pain too, of course, but she has needed less and less medication. She can move around easily now.
All this time I have called out to God for help because I wasn’t getting enough sleep. Night after night being woken by my poor mom was making me feel exhausted. (Like new parents with a baby – very difficult, I know.) But believe me, God came through, like he always does and I was able to take care of my mom. I’m so grateful to Him.
This morning, I was thinking about my grandson, who has had an off and on addiction to heroin. Actually, I think about him every day and pray for him. His life has been so sad it just brings me to tears to think of him. We all love him so much and it has been so painful for everyone in the family to see how he has suffered.
Thinking about him makes my heart sink and I knew I was thinking too much because I was getting depressed. Maybe because I’ve been so tired too. I was feeling overwhelmed. So, I prayed and went to do my Bible study. I’ve been writing out the Bible in my own words, hoping to put the words deep in my heart.
What I read really encouraged me and I want to share it with you. It is from Philippians 3. The whole chapter is beautiful, and I will share that some other time, but these are the words that helped me the most this morning:
Paul writes, “I want to know Jesus, yes, I want to know the power of his resurrection and also participate in his sufferings.”
This stopped me cold. Do I want to participate in his sufferings? No, I don’t. I am weak and a whiny baby. I want everything to be great and to not have any problems and I want to see everyone in my family to be well and happy with no problems.
Jesus suffered, but not only on the cross. He suffered when Lucifer and a whack of angels turned their backs on him. They were his children. He suffered when he saw the grief around him as he walked this earth. He suffered when his brothers made fun of him. He suffered when his earthly father, Joseph, died. He suffered when Judas betrayed him. He suffered when the church of his day rejected him and called him demon-possessed.
He suffers now. When I think someone in my family will not be saved, my heart melts from pain. He has to see those on earth, through the thousands of years we have been here, who reject his offer of eternal life. He loves them. He died for them. They are his children too. He says he was there the day they were born, hoping for them that they would have faith.
Do I want to participate in his sufferings? No, but I will pray that I will. I will pray God will give me the strength, because I have none. I will pray for the mind and heart of Jesus. I will pray he will fill me with himself, and I know he will do that for me, simply because I asked.