Abide…surrender…joy…it’s amazing to experience how the Lord uses trials to draw us closer to Him and walk boldly in faith. I recently had such an experience when I experienced a health crisis. While at work in late October, I was suddenly hit with excruciating abdominal pain and nausea. My symptoms worsened and a rare, life-threatening obstruction was discovered -- I needed to have emergency surgery. As a nurse in the surgical department, I suddenly found myself a patient in our department. As I waited to speak with the surgical team, I reflected on seeing the Lord’s hand on everything that led up that point and was reminded of the His faithfulness in the past. I knew He would continue to be faithful. I went into the operating room with His courage and was reminded of Joshua 1:9 hanging in our family room: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I woke up after surgery and was comforted by seeing my co-workers’ and Jason’s faces. I was then admitted to the hospital to recover.
As an active person recovering from major surgery being connected to lines and tubes and needing assistance to do the smallest things was difficult. I wanted to drink water, eat food, use the restroom without help, sleep soundly, and my surgical incision to heal overnight! Faced with the uncertainty of my health and separation from my family in the loneliness of my hospital room, I cried out to the Lord to be filled with His peace. I prayed to be filled with His strength to face the challenging road to recovery. The Lord heard my cry and met me in the day-time busyness and late-night stillness of my hospital room. I experienced beautiful quiet and still moments as the Lord filled me with His peace. He reminded me of the scripture I had prayed as theme verses for the upcoming year on my birthday, a week ago. My fears, loneliness, and doubts were replaced by the rest and peace found in abiding in Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
and John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
He called me to surrender it all to Him and to keep my focus on Him, not on myself. I continued to trust in His goodness, love, and faithfulness. He wasn’t a distant Savior but understood what I was experiencing as He carried me through. His promises were the lifeboat I clung onto in the ocean of uncertainty I found myself. In my humility and weakness, He filled me with His strength. His grace was sufficient for 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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in the weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
With the Lord’s strength, I was able to eat, walk longer distances, rest, and recover. I was so grateful for the small things and able to experience joy in the midst of my trial. I knew no matter the outcome, His love and my salvation would remain. I found joy in His grace and presence!
The Lord was also working in my husband and children’s lives, and He used fellow believers, friends, and co-workers to show us His love, comfort, and support. After 4.5 days I was discharged and filled with joy to be healthy enough to go home to my family. We were also grateful to have my mom’s help, who flew immediately from California to be with us. My recovery didn’t end when I left the hospital, He continues to refine and equip me to do His will (it is a continuous story!). I am reminded that the hope and joy found in His peace, grace, and presence transcends the trials we experience. I am thankful that I can hold onto His promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us, a reason to rejoice always! I pray that His power and glory is evident when I share my experience with others, and through the continuous work He calls me to do.
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will be not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy one of Israel, your Savior.”
Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV
Here you can read perspectives on life, ministry and God's Word from a variety of PCC's female leaders.