Friday, July 11, 2008

Tied down to freedom; blessings in disguise

...If at any given time an observer were to see my face suddenly contort into a discomfited spasm of pain, for apparently no reason; it would probably be because one of the tender "insertion sites" on my stomach were bumped. Ten years ago as a new diabetic I gave myself shots (or my parents did), six to eight times a day. Then about eight years ago technology made a big advancement and something called an insulin pump was made available to me. So I switched over to the pump, confident of better control and more "freedom". The funny thing is that this freedom meant being hooked up to a small device 24/7.  

...The insulin pump is about the size of a small pager, in fact most people think it is one. I remember the time a car sales man thought our family must be technically savvy because I, at ten, was wearing a pager! We explained of course, but it is fun to hear peoples mistakes once in awhile-it keeps me laughing. Now I no longer have shots on a regular basis, but the trade off is that instead I continually have a small 6mm cannula in my stomach. Once every three days I change out the cannula for a new one, and refill my insulin pumps reservoir with insulin. This process doesn't take too long, maybe ten to fifteen minutes if all goes well. 

...Because I am "tied" to the insulin pump (literally, by a twenty inch tube) I am able to have more freedom in what I eat and the activities I participate in. Aside from the pump I also wear a "continuous glucose monitoring" device, also a hole in my stomach, and it can hurt. Its needle is a good inch long and very thick, let me tell you, it feels pretty weird in my stomach sometimes. Why do I wear it? Again, for the benefits it gives me and for the greater freedom to live a normal lifestyle.  

...The reason I have shared all this with you is to make the following point. Some blessings come disguised in scary, even painful, packages. And sometimes we won't even realize that something is a blessing until God mercifully reveals it to us. How does this affect us in life? Each of us have blessings in disguise, sometimes they are small and other times they are so huge we feel overwhelmed. What matters is how we respond to these blessed trials, being willing to let God work in our lives through pain and suffering. The Lord has promised to "work all things for the good of those who love and know Him".  

...Does this mean that every trial, every pain, every suffering in our life is a blessing from God? I think this is a hard saying, especially for those in the moment of grief or those who do not yet understand God's sovereignty. But if we can really accept His will in our life, not only because its His will but because we know His will is best; then we can begin to look at life from a heavenly perspective. Is it important that we understand Gods sovereignty and accept with joy His will in our life? My answer is yes!  

...God knows this, He wants our best. It is not unloving or uncaring that He allows His children to suffer that they might better know and trust Him; because that is what is best for us, we were created to glorify and enjoy God-anything that stands in the way of us fulfilling all that God has created us to do must be removed! And if it takes trial for us to lean on Him, if it takes suffering for Him to show His strength, if it takes pain for us to really see Him; then these are blessings which will further us in our walk with Him.  

...Every day I have come to thank Him for my diabetes; it is a trial and a burden, but when I look back on the years and see how much closer it has brought me to Him because of it, I cannot wish it to be otherwise. There are days where I just cannot bless God, when I am frustrated and angry. Hurt, and feeling alone. But always my Lord brings me back to Himself because He is faithful. And when I see this faithfulness it makes me love Him more! And when I am through complaining and crying I am able to see once again my need for Him, for a Savior. I can't imagine doing it alone. 

...So lets pray for a new vision, that He would be our vision. That we would have His eyes and give thanks for every blessing He sends. Even when its wrapped in the most painful garb we have ever experienced. And when we do fall, when we do despair, He can and will forgive. Let us embrace the cross we are given, the blessings in disguise, with joy; modeling our lives after our Lord; Who for the joy that was set before Him ran the full race, enduring the cross and despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.

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