My Story Through Scripture

For years, I used the margin in my Bible as my “journal.”

And in the margin of my Bibles, I dated significant messages beside a particular passages.

February 7, 1997

Isaiah 38 tells about King Hezekiah’s illness and subsequent healing. Illness changes us. Chronic illness changes us at the core of our beings. Hezekiah explains beautifully the transformation of character that occurs when we allow God to work through our suffering.

Isaiah 38:10,14-16“[Hezekiah] said, ‘In the prime of my life, must I go through the gates of death and be robbed of the rest of my years…I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!

But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul. Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too.’”

The note in my margin says:

“Since the spring of 1996, I’ve experienced a litany of health problems (I list many of them), and I’m sure there are more that I’ve forgotten to list. I have felt at times as though I will never be “myself” again. Honestly, I’ve forgotten who “myself” is. I wake up in the middle of the night with such discouragement and try to train my mind to praise the Lord, to present my requests to Him rather than worry. It helps to meditate on Scripture, but my mind is so foggy, I can’t concentrate. It helps to be completely transparent with You in prayer, Lord. At least I feel a little like “myself” when I do that. Perhaps “myself” isn’t what I need to be. Perhaps You’re creating a new me. Help me to embrace the character of that new creation I’m becoming, Lord.”

Hezekiah was restored to health. I have not been…yet. Perhaps someday the Lord will heal me or medical science will discover cures for the various issues I endure. On good days, I celebrate the new “me” God is creating through these trials, and I thank Him for the deeper compassion, humility and patience I’m learning. On the difficult days, I give myself grace, and remember that my Heavenly Father adores me even when I can’t DO anything to make it so.

March 17, 1997

Indiscriminate pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and a host of other symptoms had stumped specialists for twelve months. On this morning, I read:

Zephaniah 3:14-17 – “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, ‘Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’”

The note in my margin says:

“Lord, my arms ache so badly this morning, I just want to let my “hands hang limp.” My muscles are achy and shaking almost constantly. I’m fearful that the doctors are overlooking signs of lupus or MS. And at the ladies’ retreat this weekend, I couldn’t even gather enough breath to sing.”

I remember reading and re-reading the Zephaniah Scripture, letting it become a part of me…letting it wash over me. And the note in the margin changed its tone:

“I never before realized that You sing, Lord! I knew angels sang, but You sing—over me? If You can sing in delight over me, I will lift my achy arms to You, and I will gather whatever breath is in me to sing my songs to You. I will rejoice because I am Your daughter. I will keep my heart and mind fixed on Your song, Your delight, Your promise of safe-keeping. I will not fear…or let my hands hang limp.”

February 4, 2003

After spending most of the last six months in bed or on the couch, my perspective on life had changed. But attitude was—and is—a constant battle when chronic pain and illness is involved.

Philippians 2:5-7 – “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

The note in my margin says:

“Oh, Jesus, in taking on human flesh and dying on that cross, You gave up everything I value to give me everything You value. You make anything in this temporary life bearable because of the inheritance You secured for me through Your cross and resurrection. Let my attitude remain one of gratitude, and help my eyes stay focused on Your Prize.”

I have not yet been physically healed. Perhaps my healing comes in a different form. If you’d like to read more about my healing, check out the page, My Healing.

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