Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him.

In my seven months of dealing with Lyme, I have really been committed to not Google-searching my symptoms. Everyone knows, Google leads only to despair! Friends email me links, which often are good links. But I don’t go looking for information myself. (I might research natural remedies or anti-inflammatory topics and such, but not the ins-and-outs of Lyme itself.)

This past week, thankfully, was a week with less exhaustion and migraines and brain-fog. But, a new symptom has started that basically feels like arthritis in my hands. Once in a while these past few months, a couple of the knuckles on my right hand might hurt a bit…ya know *joint pain*, I’d call it.

But this week it’s spread to all my fingers. First my right hand, then my left. And I know they are just fingers! But it’s been hard to not get discouraged at the reality of a new symptom being added to our life.

I gave in, and I *googled* “Lyme Disease and Arthritis”. And, as always, was not encouraged by what Google had to tell me.

“Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacterium carried by deer ticks. If caught early, it is easily treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, causing a complex debilitating disorder that is more difficult to treat.”

Oy. The words glowing on the screen: “If caught early, it is easily treated with antibiotics.”

“If left untreated, the infection can spread…

…complex debilitating disorder…” Yikes!

I put my husband’s phone back on the counter. It hit me again: If my Lyme was caught early, the antibiotics could have done their job. And if I hadn’t gone so long (however long it was) “untreated”, it wouldn’t have become so “difficult to treat.”

And again, (like every other day, or every other hour!,)

it felt like the Lord was quietly asking my heart: “Will you still trust me?”

You see, I believe strongly in the sovereignty and goodness of God, in all things. The entire Bible is a story of this! And the sovereignty and goodness of God in all things would have to include these new symptoms I’m experiencing (even now as I type). And it would have to include the fact that we did not catch my Lyme in that early stage where it’s easiest to treat.

Like Peter walking on the water, first in faith, but then he falls as he looks at the waves beneath his feet…I’m tempted to look down at the waves below me. To take my eyes off Christ. I look at my circumstances, and I start to despair. “Maybe He’s not so good and faithful, ready and waiting to help me.”, wonders my wandering heart.

I said to my husband before bed that night of the Google-search, half-kidding, half-serious: “Babe, I don’t want to lose the use of my hands!” (Google has a way of planting crazy ideas in my head.) He told me to just go to sleep, but first he prayed for me.

I have recently begun making art again after a six year hiatus, and thoughts flooded my mind. How could God allow that back in my life only to take it away again, by giving me crippled hands?? Of course, I was being a little dramatic. Letting my fears run free. My hands still work just fine. But, again, the Lord was prompting my heart: Will I still trust Him?

Kind of like how it’s impossible to assuage my five year old’s endless anxious pleadings before bedtime, the Lord can’t really give me much relief when I allow the thoughts to spin round and round in my head.

He just asks me to trust Him. And that’s all I can do.

The story of Jesus and his disciples in John chapter 6 has been a comfort to me in the past month. Jesus had said some pretty heavy things to a crowd of his followers, and many decided that they just couldn’t follow Him anymore. It was too much for them. They didn’t see the beauty and joy, they only saw the cost and the pain. They didn’t see their need.

John 6:67-69, “So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’ “

I hope I am not taking too much liberty here, but sometimes I imagine Jesus is asking me that question. When I’m faced with another hard-to-follow-Jesus moment, this loving question is like a refreshing splash of cold water to my face.

He asks, “Do you want to go away as well?”

Immediately I know my answer: Of course I don’t want to go away! Where else could I go?? Of course I want to be with Him, here, in my suffering, where He promises to be. I have believed and come to know that Jesus is the Holy One of God. He has the words of eternal life. And He is here with me. There’s no place I’d rather be.

And suddenly instead of despair, He fills my heart with praises.

Like Psalm 43:

“Send out your light and your truth;  let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God ,my exceeding joy..

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation and my God.”

& I’ll have to end this post with a Sara Groves song. It’s been a comfort to me through many years of walking with the Lord, in joy and pain, and is pretty much guaranteed to make me cry whenever and wherever I hear it: He’s Always Been Faithful.

Because He has. And I did nothing to deserve it!

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me



Photo credit: My husband took this picture of our church, from the woods while he was hunting last week. So thankful for my church family, where God has shown me His faithfulness again and again.

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