Friday, May 9, 2014

Thorn in the Flesh


2 Corinthians 7b - 9
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

If you are a faithful reader here at Meditations of My Heart, you are already aware that we have a brand new granddaughter, Savannah Jane, born on April 27th.  On first assessment, she seems perfect in every way:  a healthy weight of 9 lbs., 1 ounce; almost 20 inches long; all ten fingers and toes, and well-developed lungs and appetite.

But, the bad tidings come quickly to light.  My daughter, Sarah, had been taking a prescribed medication which doctors assured her would have no ill effect on her baby.  Savannah Jane, it turns out, is the exception.  To their dismay, Sarah and her husband, John, learn that their little girl will have to spend at least two more weeks in the hospital for treatment and observation before she can go home with them.  Such devastating news . . .

Heads up, Gammie!  The ball's in your court!

So her parents can see Savannah Jane with daily, and sometimes nightly, regularity, I offer to keep Virginia Rose at our home.  While I'm used to babysitting two to three times a week for several hours, nothing has prepared me for the sudden onslaught of extended granddaughter time.

Nothing . . .



And, to top it all off, this is the week when my husband, Danny, is out of town for annual meetings in Washington, D. C.  Every aspect of care-giving falls squarely on my shoulders.  While you'll never find me lacking any love for Virginia, this is a physically draining experience, one which reminds me why God designed us to be mothers when we are young, not when we've reached the Gammie stage.

I sleep in my own bed one night for the entire week.  All the others are spent sharing the couch with Virginia, propped up on pillows, and unwittingly preparing my back for the inevitable.  Yep!  You guessed it!  I lift that growing toddler the wrong way too many times, and wake up last Sunday morning with a nasty catch in my lower back.

The proverbial thorn in the flesh . . .

And, it couldn't have happened at a more inconvenient time.  I have to keep going in spite of the discomfort, soreness and spasms which afflict me when I turn too abruptly to catch that beach ball Virginia tosses my way.

I pray for God's help.  For healing.  But, He reminds me that His grace is sufficient, especially when I'm feeling deficient.  I decide to make the best of it, accepting my weakness and temporary infirmity as an opportunity to tap into the power Christ Jesus offers to me when I yield to Him.

It is a humbling reminder that my body is not invincible.

It is a joyous realization that my soul, because of Jesus' sacrifice, is eternal.

~

Have you ever endured a "thorn in the flesh" experience?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Prayer:  We thank You, Father, for Your grace which is sufficient to meet all our needs in this life, no matter how painful or difficult our situations.  When we are feeling weak, may we depend on Your Son, Christ Jesus, to fill us with His strength and power.  Let us learn to lean upon Him in all things.  Amen.

14 comments:

  1. Sending warm hugs to you Martha with best wishes for things to fall into place soon for you!

    There have been many instances where I have experienced the thorn in the flesh but I keep reminding myself that He wants to test my strength at such times and I NEED to keep pushing myself for it <3

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    1. Thanks for the hugs and best wishes, Privy, they mean so much! We are not out of the woods yet, but I'm hoping Savannah will be allowed to go home this weekend.
      And, as you say here, if we allow the thorns to move us closer to the Lord, every moment of pain is well worth it!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Best wishes to you and your family, Martha. I hope and pray that the little one will soon be home, hale and hearty. Keep well and enjoy your time with Virginia.

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    1. Thanks so much for your wishes - they mean a lot! Yes, I'm certainly enjoying time with Virginia, worn out or not. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha,

    What a challenge you are facing, yet a wonderful opportunity to make memories with Virginia. Sometimes, my greatest thorn in the flesh can be other people...worse yet, myself!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Ooh! Admitting that we can be our own "thorns" takes courage and honesty. Yes, we can certainly be our own worst enemies, can't we, Kim?
      I do hope we are forging some great memories together. She's such fun to be around always, even when I'm tired.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. More than a few thorns still active here, but His grace is indeed sufficient - all I need do is be willing to surrender. That doesn't seem like it should be all that hard; living it out presents a different reality sometimes.

    May Savannah - and your back - be completely healed, Martha, and may God bless.

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    1. Yes, Rick, it's all in the surrendering - easier said than done, I'll admit, but we must continue to turn toward and trust in God
      My back today is much better; not sure when Savannah will come home, but I'm hoping it's this weekend.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Yes Martha, I know what you meant "thorn in the flesh". Like you, it happened to me - over activity for several days strained my back, I woke up one morning, I can't possibly move out of the bed without pain. It's a humbling experience- to need help for basic needs but at the same time, a self-knowledge of this "earthen-vessel" permitted the practice of humility before God. Praising God for that experience, I have set my priorities right Jesus-Others-Self. His Grace is enough. Praying for you and your family. Blessings+

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    1. Sounds like quite the ordeal you went through Daniel, but times like these do humble us before our Lord and make us so grateful for those times when we feel "normal." Yes, the priorities you list here are exactly right - Jesus, Others, Self. When we keep those in order, our lives will be blessed, indeed!
      Thank you so much for your prayers!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. How wonderful that you live close enough to provide help, Martha. But oh, I know the fatigue of which you speak. I know it well. Praying everything is back to normal soon.

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    1. With two grandchildren of your own, Sandy, I know you know! :) Thanks so much for your prayers; we are hoping to have Savannah home any day now.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I hope your back is better soon!

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