Endless Mercies

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness! Lamentations 3:22-23

By the grace of God, I decided I’m no longer subscribing to “I can’t.” Just because my doctor says “you can’t” or “you shouldn’t” do a certain activity doesn’t mean that God will not enable me.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
I am back on the substitute teaching list at my boys’ school. Last week, I taught second grade. It was so much fun! By the grace of God, my weakened muscles held up throughout the day and I was even able to enjoy visiting my boys at lunch time. Truth be told, I was in a lot of pain the next day. But, to me, it was worth it. Sound crazy to you? I get that. After all, it’s only substitute teaching. But the opportunity to get out and do what I love, while actually being a “professional” for a little while, was worth the price I paid the next day.
It gets crazier. Also this past week, my husband and I took a trip to the “Grand Canyon of PA” in upstate Pennsylvania. Quite honestly, he didn’t know my true motive. You see, I was told by one of the country’s top neuromuscular doctors that I cannot walk more than 20 feet without “exertional weakness” (meaning I must sit down or I just might fall down.) And there have been several times that this was absolutely true.
However, when we arrived at the Canyon, I announced my intention to hike all 850 feet to the bottom of it. And then, of course, 850 feet back up. Naturally, my husband was very skeptical, but lovingly obliged. Yes, it was extremely difficult. Yes, I had to take several breaks. Yes, my legs shook with weakness and ached all the way. Yes, I almost threw up. But I did not fall. I did not give up. And my husband did not have to call paramedics to airlift me out of the canyon (I know he thought about it!)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
God has enabled me to continue working with the ministry of New Life Kids and the Young Life special needs ministry as well. Realizing that God’s power is so much bigger than this muscular dystrophy thing, I boldly asked Him to enable me a little more. Now I’m not planning on running marathons or anything (although that is not too big for God either.) I just want to substitute teach at my kids’ school. And, well, hike a canyon.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:4-5
My boys are watching how I handle adversity. I want to teach them that, through the power and grace of God, we can overcome obstacles. We don’t have to lay down and allow chronic pain and disease to trample all over us.

I know that many of my readers also suffer chronic pain, disease, and various physical ailments. I also know that many of you push through it to work, parent, serve and volunteer. I want to acknowledge your strength and determination. I didn’t really understand the struggle before my own physical problems began. But since my perspective has changed, I want you to know that I very much admire your character.

God is faithful and His mercies are truly endless. As I was lamenting the loss of the ability to engage in certain activities, I believe I was not giving full credit to God’s power. He prompted me to step out in faith and the reward has been great. Painful, yes, but what good accomplishment isn’t without struggle? Faith in the power of God brings greater joy than the fun of teaching or your final step up a mountain!
What wonderful truths are found in Lamentations 3:22-23! God’s mercy toward us is continually renewed each day. The definition of mercy includes forgiveness and compassion. I believe, in this context, the writer is telling us that God extends forgiveness everyday and His compassion for us is also renewed daily. Each morning, His kindness to us begins afresh.
This promise gives me greater confidence and hope in my grace steps with God, no matter what each tomorrow will bring. Grace be with you, my friends.
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