Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Something Good in Something Bad

I have rheumatoid arthritis ... the crippling kind. I was diagnosed about twenty years ago. It changed my life as I had  known it.  I had been very active, healthy and always able to add one more thing to an already busy day.  But then suddenly, my body rebelled, painful swollen joints refusing to allow movement and actions I had taken for granted.
But, over the years, my rheumatologist prescribed the drugs that controlled the pain and limited the crippling that used to be unavoidable.  I began to find a more tolerable level of function, although I had to give up many things I had enjoyed doing ... like hiking ... tennis ...sewing ... knitting. I had to find new ways to do common every day tasks.

The synovium is the primary site of the inflammatory process, which if untreated leads to irreversible damage to the adjacent cartilage and bone. My right wrist responded less than my other joints to treatment, and now the synovium layer has thickened and affected the wrist joint to the point that I have virtually no movement left in it. 

A bad thing?  yes.. of course ..  God created our flexible wrists because they make many things easier to do.  
But ... for me, it has been a blessing in disguise.  With the wrist no longer being able to move I am spared the jarring pain that resulted from any hand movement. 
And ...  then I discovered that with my wrist fused I was able to quite comfortably knit. The weight of holding the needles no longer aggravated the pain in my wrists , so to my delight I was able to once again indulge in something I enjoy.   The above photo is a baby blanket  I recently made for a friend's first grandchild. 

Bad things do happen ...  trials, troubles, pain , suffering are all the 'norm' in our earthly life. But, God in His loving kindness can take the 'bad' things and bring something good out of them. 

It is not natural for us to look for the good in something bad, but when we trust in God's love for His children and His promise to 'work all things together for good' , we can develop the good habit of looking for His fingerprint in the midst of something we would so gladly eliminate from our life.   
The apostle Paul repeatedly begged God to remove from him the disability that plagued him and God said 'no'.   Why? Because without it Paul would not have fulfilled the calling God put upon him. Pride would have been his downfall. 
 And in the acceptance of his 'thorn',  he  experienced how God's strength was perfected in his weakness and he learned to live in the all-sufficiency of God, leaning on Him instead of trusting in his own strength and ability. 
Had God said 'yes' to Paul's plea, would we today be missing much of the New Testament in our bibles?   

What God allows to come into our life, He also provides the grace we need to rise above it, and we need never face it alone.  He is there with us, comforting us in it, and taking us through it. 


ellen b said...

Wonderful post Julie. So glad that you can knit without the jarring pain.

Anneliese said...

Thank you, Julie, for this example of God's grace in hardship or weakness.
A truth we can each apply to our lives if we are willing to.

Judy said...

I love this post, Julie! So happy that you can now 'knit to your heart's content'. And like Anneliese said, the message of God bringing 'good out of bad' is for all of us.