My last post (which was a while ago, sorry!) mentioned my cousin, Ricky Wilson, who’s life was changed instantly when he suffered a stroke due to a brain aneurysm. Ricky was a senior in high school, completely healthy, with a bright future ahead. He has overcome every obstacle and was even able to participate in his high school graduation – even walked to get his diploma! But in this rollercoaster of life where the ups and downs can come without warning, Ricky is in the valley again; this time with painful kidney stones. Ricky’s father recently posted the following message in a social media page dedicated to prayers for Ricky:
“Well, I did it. I couldn’t help it. It came on like a flood …and I just couldn’t withstand it. I questioned God. And once it started, I couldn’t stop, so I questioned Him as I walked and cried from KKI to my truck at 6:00 this morning. I questioned Him for the entire drive from KKI to the Ronald McDonald House, and I wept. I questioned Him as I pillowed my head at almost 7:00 in the morning, after pulling an all-nighter in the ER with Ricky. I question Him. I can’t tell you how ridiculous I feel even telling you that. I questioned Him, who is Faithful and True. After all He’s done, I questioned Him.
On this new and beautiful day, I don’t question Him. I can’t. I shouldn’t. I won’t. There’s 10,000 reasons why, but here is the big one today…
He answered my question. In the stillness of my solitude, when all of the emotions I was feeling had subsided, He answered. That truth alone stirs my soul this day, that my great God answered me. He didn’t have to. His answer has made all the difference and I want to declare it to the world….
John 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Instead of doubting and questioning, I want the works of God to be made manifest, or known. God is doing something. He is working. And today, I praise His name, and I once again thank Him for who He is and for all He has done.
Psalm 107:31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
What beauty comes from some of our deepest pains.
John 9:3 has to be one of my favorite passages of scripture. I have been where Rick is and still have days where I question God and His plan. The past year has probably been the hardest one in my life yet. It’s truly been a battle of the mind, which is so much harder than I can ever truly express. I can preach positivity all day long, but I’ve been in the fire and I feel like a total failure. I was addicted to opioids. People hate to see me in pain but some seem shocked that I became addicted to pain pills. I became someone I didn’t recognize. I needed help, and I got it. This is literally the second day in… I can’t remember when, that I haven’t had any oxycodone. I’m still trying to take back the reigns of life and let go of my fears, though. Fear of the same issue coming back, fear of going back in the hospital, fear of pain so unbearable it’s hard to breath, fear of letting my family down, so many fears. But fear is not of God.
There was a recent discussion about the recent suicides of celebrities. People who seemingly had everything needed to “make it”: money, fame, success, sex, the best cars, the best houses… What more could you want? Nobody understands. I do. All the money in this world can’t satisfy when your heart is empty. You can only fill the void with alcohol and drugs for so long before you begin losing your mind. You can only hide your demons for so long before you have to unleash them – even if they slip out. People commented that “sometimes people just need to be thrown a lifeline.” That’s a nice thought, isn’t it? But we’ve already been handed one; it’s in the shape of a cross. The cross literally holds all human life together. Don’t believe me? Do a Google search for the term “laminin”. It’s a protein of the extracellular matrix, literally described as “a protein that holds the body together.” And it just so happens to be in the perfect shape of a cross. I don’t believe it’s just a coincidence.
I know what depression is because I have experienced it. I have more anxiety than I’d like to admit. Please seek professional help when needed, there is no shame in asking for medical intervention when there are chemical imbalances or you simply need a little relief. But the road to help shouldn’t stop there, for medication can only do so much. Please heed my words: when the Bible says to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”, there is no greater form of protection you can have in this life. Psalm 73:26 says it all: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Satan unfortunately doesn’t get tired in his mission to make children of God suffer, fear, doubt, and become completely incapable in furthering the Kingdom of Heaven – which is our most basic purpose in this life as believers. And Satan finally got to me. I was so cocky before last year’s battle began – I really thought I had this whole “life” thing down pat. Boy, was I wrong. But I’ve made the decision to stop living in defeat. And it’s hard. And I’ll have to make this decision every day I wake. But He’s worth it, and I’m done wasting this precious gift of life. I’m tired of screaming for help, I’m grabbing hold of the lifeline that’s always been right in front of me. “This is do or die. The time has come to make a choice, and I choose joy.”