My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Over the years it has become apparent that preparing for a legislative session is like preparing for battle. It is a known fact going in that there will be battles over politics and policy issues. For those battles you arm yourself with the most facts, the best arguments, and the wisest strategy available and take your best shot. You win some and you lose some. As each battle is over, you prepare for the next one.
But, the more difficult battles are the spiritual ones. Without fail, those who work in this arena will experience spiritual battles both here in the Capitol and in their homes. It has been during legislative sessions that the most difficult attacks have come against me and my family. Back surgeries, diagnosis of cancer, terminal illness of family members, health issues with children, gall bladder attacks - those are the ones off the top of my head. Each legislative session in which I have worked has been marked with a significant detractor of my attention from the things at hand.
And, while I hate to give Satan credit for anything, he’s back. For the past couple of weeks my husband has been suffering with a pinched nerve in his neck. An MRI revealed he has several bulging discs in his neck and back. He has gotten progressively worse, to the point that it disturbs his sleep and plagues him every waking moment.
Just so you know, few things disturb my sleep - except Jerry not sleeping. You can lean me up in corner and I can go to sleep. The cares of the day do not concern me when my eyes are shut. That’s a good thing, because I like nine hours of sleep a night. It is possible for me to function on seven hours. If I get less than that for any extended period of time, I become downright cranky. Consider this your notice. I AM CRANKY.
We spent all day yesterday in the emergency room experiencing the marvel of our incredible health care system. Jerry experienced several hours of pain relief - better living thorough chemistry, but at the end of the day, he was released with a new prescription for steroids and a warning to return him to the hospital if certain symptoms appeared. (They were, by the way, all the symptoms for which he came to the ER in the first place.) My brain almost imploded trying to understand the logic of going home and trying what what we had been doing for the past two months for another week and then coming back to see the neurosurgeon. After sharing my feelings with the ER personnel (relatively nicely for the circumstances, if I do say so myself) we returned home.
Now, after a full six hours of sleep, my perspective is better. The circumstances haven’t changed, but I have been reminded that God is sufficient to meet all my needs. And, my crankiness has prevented me from remembering to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
This isn’t cranky time. It’s time for joy!
And, I was just surprised with a venti Starbuck’s with whip cream (thank you, Michael) to prove it.
Thank you, Lord, for the joy that comes with the trials and tribulations of our lives! Amen