I took a trip recently out of the country and I was hoping to rest after some very hectic activities. I had just come out of a very emotional and demanding family time and was hoping to rest and recuperate during the trip. When we got to the accommodation we had booked, I was glad to see that it was a compact, quiet and clean apartment. My heart lifted with hope. However, by the time I laid down on the bed, later in the night, I discovered that I was in for a hard time!
You see, about thirty nine to forty years ago, I came out to the school gate, in my secondary school then, to buy ice cream, actually it was chocolate covered vanilla ice cream on sticks that was called ‘Big Dip’ then. I can’t remember the name of the manufacturer. Anyway, it was usually a very rowdy area, just outside the school gate. For us boarders, there was a time limit within which we had to get to the dining hall, or be punished for lateness, so we would rush to make our purchases as fast as possible. It was also a rare treat, to get the ice cream, so there was always a rush: day students trying to buy theirs before going home and boarders, trying to get it in time to beat the deadline for the dining hall.
There I was, at the back of the queue and straining forward, when a car drove into the small crowd. Guess who was hit the most? Me. I fell down and my back took the hit. However, the pain didn’t feel too bad and I was able to get up normally, although in pain. The driver apologized profusely and later drove away, as it looked as if I suffered no serious injury. I was in pain so I went to the sick bay and was given some pain killers. That was the end of it. The pain subsided and days later, I felt I was okay.
In fact, I was okay until some twenty five years later, when I was expecting my first child. In my second trimester, I developed serious back ache. It didn’t leave me alone. I had to go to the hospital. On screening the x-ray, my doctor told me I had had a fracture in my back and two vertebrae had fused together, because the fracture was not treated. I then recalled my minor accident with the ice cream. How could I have known that damage had been done then? I was not aware that a minor hit like that could have fractured my bones!
Since then, I was sentenced to sleeping on an orthopedic mattress and soft mattresses became my enemy. When I sleep on a soft mattress, it scatters the setting of my back bone and brings pain. It is usually manageable if it is only for a few days. But when I have to do that for three weeks, the pain gets worse each day. So you can imagine how I felt after my trip! To make matters worse, I had to lift my heavy luggage at the airport and then had to wait for a long period to get my luggage on arrival. The last straw was when one of my suitcases did not arrive and I had to go back to the airport. By the time I got back home, I was done. My back was throbbing and I could neither stand nor seat. I ended up lying flat on the floor. That was the only position that provided some comfort. I did that for the rest of the day and half of the night. That was yesterday. I woke up today feeling much better. But I know I still have to take it easy.
Looking back now, I recall the desperate prayers I prayed to God, from that prone position. I cried out to God with all my heart, seeking His help, His healing, His forgiveness. I had put on some weight from the trip. So, I confessed all the chocolates and ice cream I had indulged in, which led to my weight gain. I regretted every moment of indulgence as I lay there, in pain. I appreciated every occasion where, when the back pain flared up, I was able to take off the counter pain killers and felt relieved. This time around, they didn’t work. I had the option of going to the hospital, but I knew that the pain killers they would prescribe would be strong and possibly of the opioid family, which I dreaded. I cried out all the more to God. And He heard me. He looked upon me with mercy and touched me. I don’t when it happened, but when I got up this morning, the throbbing had stopped. My back was still very tender but the pain was dull. I could deal with that!
This experience helps me appreciate afresh, the healing power of God and His presence with us. He says He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us always. He is with me even now, as I write this. As I think of weight loss strategies and pain management strategies without medication. As I promise myself to stay away from excessive eating and stay committed to walking and healthy eating, He is with me; helping me stay committed to the good things that promote health and healing.
What issues are you dealing with today? Your finances, your health, your relationships, family? Know this: God is with you for sure. He is working in the background sorting everything out for your good. You may not see it and your healing may not be immediate or rapid, but God is there. As sure as you call on Him, He is there.
Have faith in God! (Mark 11:22)