Turning Hope into Joy
I have noticed that as we age we lose things. We lose our eyesight; we lose our hearing. We lose our hair, and even the elasticity of our skin. We lose muscle mass and bone (osteoporosis). We lose our train of thought which causes us to lose our keys, purses and cell phones.
As things are lost they are often replaced with objects, mechanical devices and/or appliances? Glasses, hearing aids, toupees, and even creams that promise to lift, tighten and restore youth.
When I was turning 50 I had a year where I had a lump removed from my breast, fibroids removed from my uterus and the uterus removed from my pelvis. Everything was internal, and though I lost stuff, I didn’t gain any objects, mechanical devices and/or appliances.
A decade later, having just turned 60, I am once again losing stuff. This time it’s all mechanical stuff. And I get take-aways with each of my issues. I have more appliances than what Brandsmart offers in their sales ads! I have a deteriorating spine for which I am to wear a back brace whenever I do a lot of moving around. I have neck spurs that have me in traction and sporting a neck brace as needed. I have a wrist brace for carpel tunnel as a result of long hours at the computer. I don’t always breathe on my own during sleep for which I now sleep with a breathing machine. A compression garment was prescribed for when I have breast infections or swelling. And I just found out that I have a degenerative hip for which I will eventually need surgery to replace my hip with an artificial joint – another appliance!
The other night as I began my bedtime ritual, I collected all the “devices, appliances and objects” to assess what I might need. It’s quite an impressive cache. Back brace, neck brace, wrist brace, C-pap machine, and compression garment – I’m collecting devices like charms on a bracelet!
I realized two things. 1. I have more issues than Sport Illustrated. 2. If I had to wear all these things at the same time, I would look like a Borg from Star Trek (part machine, part human). At the rate I am going, you won’t be able to see the human side of me!
I started to chuckle and count my blessings. For each one of these appliances helps me even though they look like they are from some sort of torture chamber. I mean who thinks up these things? Did they go to the same school as those that created the weight machines at the gym?
My chuckle turned into a laugh. Regardless of all the equipment, I had managed to retain something of my former self -my ability to laugh at my circumstance. I cannot change my circumstances, but I could change how I react to them. Each guffaw released those preconceived notions of what I should be, and how I should feel, and left me with an acceptance of what will be will be and it’s okay with me.
Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling writes about “making friends with the problems in your life.” Though I have fought each of my problems lately, that night I began to make friends with my issues. I succumb to the humor in the sheer magnitude of issues or at least in the image I sport. Though my body may become weak, my faith is made stronger with each issue. God can take my problems that I stumble over and make an escalator that will take me up to a new floor of faith. Turning worry into trust, trouble into hope and hope into joy – He leads me from the depths of the basement to the heights of the penthouse suite. Nevertheless, in both places He is with me.
I just want to know one thing. Am I on a 10 year plan? And if so what is going to happen to me when I am 70?
On second thought, I don’t need to know.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and I praise Him. Ps 28:7