Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Do all things work together for good?

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 
Romans 8:28 NLT

This past week was at times impossible to get through without falling apart.  Well, I did fall apart one day.  That was when I found out how much my insulin was going to cost on the new health care plan I was forced to buy (long story...), hundreds of dollars more than I could afford.

I had already told my doctor ahead of time the new insurance made it impossible for me to stay on Levimer but we thought we had it worked out by switching to an older (as far as being around a long time) and cheaper set of insulins.  Gosh were we surprised!

Now some people would become annoyed and perhaps frightened when they think they will have to go without medications but for me it brought about sheer terror.

For nine years ago I was rushed to the emergency room and spent two days in Intensive Care because I missed one insulin shot.  Just o.n.e. shot.  And now I was being told I could not afford it at all.  And I could not get on any free medication plan because I  have insurance.  Bad insurance but still...

I'm happy and relieved to say I am not going to drop dead this week thanks to my very special daughter and her husband and my equally special health care professionals but the situation is far from being completely resolved.

Once I got over the shock and was able to absorb all of this, God could finally get through and remind me He is my provider and not the government.  He is taking care of me.  And then He reminded me of the most remarkable life events... so many of life's blessings I enjoy now were birthed from crisis situations.

For instance, I thought it pretty much the end of the world when my husband had to go on Social Security Disability.  But in the process, we found out it also qualified us to purchase a house through a special U. S. Dept. of Agriculture plan (go figure...).  Which is how we ended up in the house I love so much here at the edge of the forest.

He reminded me of the many instances when the story had a good ending.  Not to mention I can write here each week and truthfully tell people I have been through the proverbial wringer and God has never failed me.

Now, there were times when walking through the storm I felt as if He did.  I would stomp my feet and pout and tell Him He is a really mean Father!  Not unlike my own children when they were little and I told them they could not go where they wanted to go, do what they wanted to do, eat what they wanted to eat, etc.

I'm not alone in this feeling.  Mother Theresa has been quoted as saying, "If this is the way God treats His friends, I would hate to see His enemies".  And I smile because I truly can comprehend that feeling.

Thankfully, I have a Heavenly Father who is quite patient with His children and who knew how it would all turn out.  So he smiled and told me to hang on and that while He would not take me out of the storm, He would bring me through it.  And it would all be worth it in the end.

Do all things really work out for our good and His glory?  Oh, yes.  But we may not see that part of it on this side of the tapestry.  As Corrie Ten Boom reminded us often... we see the back of the tapestry with all the tangled threads that make no sense whatsoever.  He sees the completed work of Art.

While life at times can be frightening and even painful... when it is easy to pout and demand to know "Why me when this person and that person just glide through life so easily"... there are also moments of serendipitous joy that one who has never walked through darkness has experienced.
  • When I walk down the gravel lane towards the rural mailbox with a heavy burden and a friend has sent a check that covers my immediate needs because they were "thinking of me".  
  • When a book arrives with tea bags, inviting me to get away from it all for awhile.
  • When a card arrives with a note and a gift card telling me to... enjoy.
  • When a book I've wanted for so long is a dollar at the library sale.
  • When Masterpiece on PBS provides a lovely diversion.
  • When the thrift store has an English teacup and saucer or an addition to my brown transferware collection for 99 cents.
  • When my garden starts growing or my cat snuggles on my lap to watch TV with me.
  • When my husband fixes the broken fence and the landscape suddenly looks 100% better.
  • When my son calls asking to take me to lunch or my daughter chats while waiting to pick up a child from dance lessons.
I could go on and on but what I want to say to anyone going through a period of uncertainty is this... He is still there.  Look for Him in the little blessings as well as the big ones.

Remember, quite often the path He is leading makes no sense to us whatsoever.  When we had to sell the home I thought we would live in the rest of our lives and journeyed through a prolonged wilderness, I thought He had forsaken us.  He had not.  He was just shaking up the plans we had made for His own.

As I walk through these weeks of uncertainty, I know He is there even when not apparent.  I work in my garden and tweak the interior design of the house and listen to music and read good books and do the next thing set before me (as suggested by Elisabeth Elliot long ago).

He knows that we are "but dust" and He understands how we are made.  It is when walking through the fog of uncertainty that we run to Him in such a way that we never do when all is well.  He tells us to be thankful for trials in the Book of James because He knows it is in using our faith and trust muscles that they grow.

Last week I felt that spirit of fear overwhelm at times but then when I was silent and talked to Him and listened to His reminders of past situations equally as unnerving... that spiritual force of fear left for it had no room when faith entered.  I've been down this path before.  I can relax.  And breath. And even smile.  And trust that all will work out for our good and His glory.


Judy said...

"Last week I felt that spirit of fear overwhelm at times but then when I was silent and talked to Him..."

Dear Brenda,

You are walking the wise and godly way of King David. His psalms often begin as a lament, and then he remembers... and what he recalls is God's good provision in a previous circumstance, and His psalm ends as in confident hope in the Lord.

May you continue to know His peace and provision. Thank you for always pointing us to Him, and especially in the "psalm" you have written today.

Anonymous said...

Just like that tapestry you wrote about, we too only see and know what you tell us of your life. You are carrying this burden and no one here knew. We only know a little about our friends lives...we do not know the trials they are going through or the heartache they carry. How people get through without knowing God..well I just don't know how they do it. Yes again you have been able to demonstrate from life itself how our God clears the way when no one can see a way. Thank you Brenda for again showing His love and care. Numbers 6:24-26. Sarah

Linda S. said...

Thank you for sharing this. We had the worst winter ever this year. We live in Canada and had a lot of snow and no work. But somehow God provided for us all winter (we have nine kids from 23 to 11 all still living at home.) God is so good and He is able to do far above what we ask or think. God continue to bless you as you share.

Vee said...

You are a bright light and reading your testimony has blessed me. People all over this country have heart-wrenching stories to share. Times are indeed challenging and the only way we shall get through is by looking to God and by placing ourselves in His loving care. John doesn't usually talk about living under the bridge, but he has today so I read him your post and he was blessed, too.

Lee Ann said...

I love your blog and how you share your faith. I wish my faith was as strong.
I will pray for you and your family.
I admire how you have created a warm and homey home on a low budget

Terra said...

Dear friend, I can see why you fell apart upon hearing the news about your needed medication, and yet, you rose up again and turned to God in prayer. I like your list of things you are thankful for and pray that insurance will cover most of your costs.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Dear Brenda, I am so sorry that you have to work through such difficulties, even though it leads to more trust in the Lord. Trust in Him helps in other ways, too, because if you have less stress hormones your health will probably be better than if you were always feeling yourself in a crisis....I am praying for you! I have diabetes but type two and do not need insulin......You are in my prayers....Peace be with you! (Though I know it already is.) I don't understand how you can have a health insurance that does not pay for insulin. Aren't you on medicare now yet? Forgive my rambling....

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for being real and for sharing the good as well as the bad. When I doubt Him, or feel He has failed me, I stomp my feet, too, and remind Him of all the promises He's given me. He waits until I've finished my tantrum and then quietly reassures me that He is faithful and He is more than able to meet my needs and nothing is impossible for Him. His provision may surprise you! Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us His ways are not our ways. He never does things the way I think He will! God bless you! I will be praying for you.
Hugs, Laura C.(from WA)

Deborah Montgomery said...

Brenda, thank you for such an encouraging post.Even though the Lord has proven faithful so many times before, I can easily "forget" in the middle of a new crisis. We need to keep on reminding each other of the Truth. Thank you for doing so.

Deb J. in Utah said...

Hi Brenda - thank you for sharing this part of your journey. I agree with you that when we trust God, things do work out for us. We are going through some "stuff" right now too and I am learning to give things to God and have faith that he will provide. His ways are not my ways, as the scripture says. Sometimes our faith is challenged by our trials and it is then we pray, "Lord I believe, help though my unbelief." Things truly do work together for good for those that love God. Have a good week and God bless you!

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Dearest Brenda, I have a whole story about insurance, medications, money to pay for them, and God's Provisions. I learned through that terrible trial, accompanied with fear and anxiety, to TRUST for the day, and not to peer into the future. Just simply TRUST for the day. Not to say I don't go back to those feelings of anxiety and fear, because I do. But He has promised never to leave us. Thank you for sharing how you are coping with God's strength. Praying for you. ~ Abby

Heather LeFebvre said...

Been wondering how this situation was going.....have had a very frustrating time switching over to obamacare :( . God is so good. And He does provide encouragements along the way -- several things for me this last week too while feeling so burdened by limited budgets -- that decorator fabric a friend just "happened" to be getting rid of and was exactly what I've been needing for a year; the bag of clothes passed on to us for Rachel; etc.

Anonymous said...

It is sad what is happening to all of us who need meds especially. Have not yet heard of one person really helped by our new insurance plans. Yea right. But in spite of it all, our lives are in HIS hands. We are facing some difficulties too...with no idea where Hubby will end up. But there is no way he can live in such pain forever. So far GOD led us to a very good oral surgeon for my unplanned oral surgery this month and we found a pretty good chiropractor (finding good docs when you move can be a challenge). As to all things working together...some of them we may have to wait to see that in the next life...but many we will see work out in this one. Tis true. I do hope and pray you will find a way through this mess too, Brenda.
Elizabeth in WA

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Thank you for this post. I prayed this week for you - asking God to provide and make a way. I am reminded once again that it is all in His hands. The illusion we have that we can 'provide' this or that is just that an illusion. It is all from Him. He will provide for you, and we will all Glorify Him because of it!

Still praying!

Karen Andreola said...

So good to read of your trust in God in the midst of trial. This year I am having to trust God for major things gone awry - all across the board. Dizzy anxiety sweeps over me. But I swoosh it away. It takes a renewal of my mind and heart. I've found myself praying (like the man in the gospel account) that I believe you Lord - but please give me faith to trust you more. "I Need Thee Every Hour"

I like your list of comforts and blessings.

Anonymous said...

I catch up with your blog every week or so and just read this post today. I so needed it as I am having surgery tomorrow.
God's timing is perfect : )
Jo Ann