I woke with a start to see him sitting in the chair in our room. It was around 2AM, and his face had the look of death about it. I thought someone had died and I quickly went over to him to see who. He barely got the words out: I’m not doing so well. My heart dropped a bit, and I sat on his lap with my head on his chest, which was tight for air. His exhausted body finally relaxed into sleep and then rallied through for a few more days of work and life.
Every day is full of unknowns. This is true whether you’re sick or well. I remember the plaguing thoughts of “he might die from this” when he was first diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis, eight years ago. I thought they had been banished but was surprised to find them resurfacing the past few nights. The panic is very close to overwhelming when I go through the motions in my head. Then I must remember I don’t have the grace to handle this unknown because it is just that: unknown.
Jesus only gives us the strength we need to bear what we’re going through right now. It is sufficient grace, meaning it’s not meant to handle “what ifs” or my imaginings. His grace is sufficient to handle the ache of seeing my husband not well. It is sufficient to love him, love our children, and do what God tells me to do today. It is not sufficient at this point in time to go through the motions of life without him, because he is still here. Living in the land of What If is poisonous to one’s soul. It is a misuse of God’s amazing gift of today when I go through the motions of death and depression when life is right in front of me.
I have faith that just as God’s grace is sufficient to sustain me through weeks of sickness, it is sufficient to sustain me through more than that. I just need Him today, this hour, this moment, to hold me up and rejoice over me with singing. Whatever your today is, even if it’s tainted with the sting of death, He is more than sufficient to calm your heart and sooth your ache.
We wish you could see how all this is working out for your benefit, and how the more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will rebound to his glory. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent.
– 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (Phillips)
Since writing this, Matthew is still struggling with something unknown, possibly unrelated to his chronic respiratory issues. It doesn’t appear to be life-threatening, but not any of us is to say when our last breath should be. We appreciate your prayers for joy and refinement through this time. He is seeing a few different doctors at this time.
I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always
I know the journey seems so long
You feel you’re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace He brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting
I can’t wait until that day where the very One I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery: this is why, this is why I sing.