2019-02-06 - Here's Your Sign
If you have ever heard of the Blue-Collar Comedy Tour or Bill Engvall, you may have heard the phrase, “here’s your sign!” Bill would describe a scenario which he felt indicated a high level of stupidity in the world around him, and follow it with that catchphrase. The humor it in to me and others is likely due to having experienced some of the same situations. I thought of Bill’s catchphrase while trying to decide which way I was being led regarding a healthcare choice, specifically what to focus on next, with better controlling migraine attacks. This process has been a learning curve for me, on many levels. And I am not really referring to my own part in it, but the process and how it has shown me just how many people deal with migraine, how different it is for every individual, and how it is not just about solving a problem but changing how we think about it, too. After one of the newest medications designed specifically for migraine turned out not to be a good choice for me, I felt rather forlorn. And over the past twenty years, each time that I’ve experienced such a letdown, I get back up, dust myself off, and say to my heavenly father, “whatever is next, whatever your will, I am ready and trust you. Just show me.” And then, after thought, prayer, reading a bit and talking to some experts, at least allegedly so, I will do or not do whatever seems feasible. At my current juncture, there is little left to consider, based on what I have tried and opinions of several doctors. However, I may have overlooked something obvious - something called trigger point injections that can be done (lidocaine and other similar medicine, cortisone steroids, or a combination thereof), and are often considered an option for those with neck and shoulders as a source of pain from many different things. After an initial round, there may not be a need for subsequent shots. Or perhaps may be monthly or quarterly ones. Well, “here’s your sign!” hit me like a 100 mph fastball in a batting cage, with the neck and shoulders very often an issue after some injuries, before ever having migraine attacks. Next step is running it by the neurologist. To be honest, I felt a bit stupid that it had not occurred to be before. I had a friend who had the shots done several times when I was taking her to appointments over a period of months, and this week, I remembered it.
Have you prayed for a directional sign amid an ongoing struggle? Maybe you didn’t get a sign, or it seemed to be a dead end, maybe you didn’t get the one you wanted, or it took you a while to recognize one at all. As time has passed, it has occurred to me that on occasion, we get some answers that lead to an immediate conclusion, yet more often, the conclusions are leading us to the next part of our story, which will conclude as God intends, as He knows what is best for us. He needs us to trust him while we are on our journey. And if we do, the result for each part of our walk is less about what we want, and more about where He leads. When we are with him, spiritually, there is nothing more important than his will. Our obedience leads others to his truth, even when we do not understand it now.
How can we expect to exude endurance of faith, if we never have a challenge to endure through obedience? I admit it has been very painful, growing in endurance of faith. As a seventeen-year-old to twenty-five-year-old believer, “endure" often meant biting my tongue and putting up with people instead of being rude or assaulting them, which speaks more to the letter of the law than the spirit. As time passed, more personal experiences, combined with some tragedies, have pushed me to rely on the spirit of the law because there was no easy answer to resolving an issue, or my feelings connected to it. The spirit also gives us empathy for others, and people are more inclined to trust someone with which they have a common thread like a loss, financial struggle or chronic pain issue. God also never said following the signs would be easy, never promised we would enjoy all experiences, or that we would move to another as soon as we were weary. As we used to say in grade school, when we didn’t want to answer a question, God’s response to what’s next is often, “that’s for me to know, and you to find out.” After we have chosen to follow His plan, it is simply our job to pray, study, work hard, do all he leads us to (sometimes with clear signs, sometimes not so much) and trust and obey him. His timing is perfect, and He promised that it will all make sense in the end. He’s enough, and he sent himself here to us, so we would realize how important we are to Him. A big sign, no?
“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” (Isaiah 50:10 KJV)
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