Sunday, March 22, 2015

Just enough

So it's been almost two years since my back surgery, and it's still a struggle.  Most days, even if I wake up without pain, I'm in pain by lunchtime and limp to bed in the evening.  The constant, nagging ache and burn drags on me.  Anyone who has known chronic pain knows the despair that creeps in.  The unrelenting discomfort of long nights tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable. The invites that are refused from fatigue and weariness.  The isolation that closes in like draperies that block all light and joy.  The fear that this present pain, this ever-present pain, is all that awaits this side of eternity...

And I feel crushed.

Weighed down.

Like I can't crawl from beneath the covers and face another day dragging myself through the motions and fighting like mad to keep my cool when my body wants to fail.  Like I will never be the mom or wife I want to be, because I just can't.  I have challenging children and a demanding job and I can't slow down.

But I can't keep up.

And I'm crippled by fear of the future.

I was reading The Screwtape Letters earlier this week and was pierced by one of the things Lewis wrote.  In the book, Screwtape exhorts his underling to get his patient fixated on the future, saying that if the patient focuses on the future he will become so overwhelmed by what could be, either good or bad, that he will be open to sin (pride, fear, etc) because of his hopes or fears for the future.

And I realized I have fallen so far into this trap.  So far into the pit of trying to bear up under what I perceive to be my lot.  I have been trying to muster the strength and virtue to somehow endure the pain with cheerfulness until death.  Today.  Which is ridiculous.  I don't know what the future holds. God willing, I will wake up tomorrow healed.  Or not. Either way, His grace will be enough.

Either my God will deliver me, or He will give me grace to bear my cross.  And I must, must stop trying to hoard grace to meet my fears.  His hands are safe and His provision is abundant.  Just as the children of Israel were impotent to gather tomorrow's manna today, I cannot and indeed need not gather today what He promises tomorrow,   His promises can be trusted and I can rest in the perfect assurance that He will be the same tomorrow as He has been today.

How is God meeting you in your present ambiguities?  How is His grace enough for you today?