“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
I maneuvered my body many ways in the waiting room. We had arrived at the hospital for my daughter’s second knee surgery in 13 months at 6 a.m. and by 9:30 my legs were outstretched on two chairs trying to avert a decline in blood pressure. I was freezing and had just covered up with my husband’s coat after he gave me this odd look I am sure meant it was warm in the lounge.
My thoughts turned to annoyance of myself and the disorder that reminds me each day that my body does not function normally. After two trips to the bathroom–another sign that my body was revolting–I pulled out my daily devotional book and literally stopped dead in my tracks.
If I did not hear the message God was sending me at that moment then I never would. I could have brought a number of devotional books to the hospital that day, or none–but chose this one. And on this tense morning as I anxiously waited for the surgeon to report on my daughter’s progress this is the message I read:
“When you feel flustered and frazzled on the outside, do not get upset with yourself.”
You mean when I knocked over my bottled juice twice because my brain was foggy and my husband had to retrieve it I shouldn’t have gotten annoyed at myself?
“You are only human, and the swirl of events going on all around you will sometimes feel overwhelming. Rather than scolding yourself for your humaneness, remind yourself that I am both with you and within you.”Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young.
The fact that I made it to the hospital at 6 a.m. with five hours of interrupted sleep; checked my daughter in for surgery; stayed calm on the outside when she walked into the surgical area; spoke intelligently and listened to the surgeon after he completed his work; managed my body enough to endure nine hours at the hospital: and comforted my daughter during recovery. . . should be celebrated.
And the passage I read helped calm and refocus my attention away from my limitations and back to the strengths that would allow me to get through the difficult day; with God right there.
Prayer: Dear Lord, while sometimes I don’t recognize Your presence, I thank You for nudging me to listen and realize that You are there as a comfort to calm and strengthen me. Thank You, Lord, for being a part of my life. Amen.
About the author
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has dysautonomia–a deregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Her daughter had successful knee surgery to repair her torn ACL. She faces physical therapy but hopes to be back to playing sports in the next six to eight months.
What signs have you noticed that God is with you through the trials in your life?
We are so quick to get wrapped up in life, that even when we believe and trust God is right there with us, we still fall back into trusting in our own strength and seeking a level of perfection that would make God’s mercy pointless. I especially like this song, “He Is With You” with Mandisa. She reminds us of all the circumstances in our lives where we can listen for God’s voice because he is with us, whether it is in the ICU or the conference room when you may no longer have a job, or even when you kids are grown and you are just sitting in your house all alone. I hope it encourages you today. -Lisa