“My knee hurts and is swollen”

My life changed forever the day I heard these words, although it took a year and a half and many medical tests to receive a correct diagnosis. I will never forget the day I heard those words from my then 39 year old husband. His diagnosis is Psoriatic Arthritis.  It started with his knee, but took off in the rest of his system. The arthritis robbed his youth and stole so much from our family of five.  At age 40 he walked with a cane, had to nap every afternoon, and lived with constant pain.  He was no longer able to work, I had to go to work after being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years.  His limit for doing anything was about one hour, but many days even one hour was too much.  We limited his driving to emergency only times.  We moved closer to work and school, to decrease driving.   Not quite what we expected for a 40th birthday.

Although the arthritis has stolen much from our family, we also need to look at what we have gained.   I have experienced God in many new ways.  Old Testament “Manna” has a whole new meaning to me.  If you recall the Israelites in the Old Testament wandering in the wilderness, God provided Manna, bread from Heaven, literally it was food falling from the sky.  The thing is, God gave enough Manna for one day. He gave enough for today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, only today.  If they tried to save it, it rotted and got wormy.  Manna is full of nourishment and sustenance.

I have discovered God still gives Manna in our desert experiences. When I am wandering and lost in a wilderness I never expected to be in, I have found Manna.  Here is what it looks like: meals, a gift card, food for the freezer, encouraging words, praying friends, a timely email and so much more.  God has given enough for each day.  I can’t rely on it tomorrow for it was meant for today.  Each day is a journey of faith to see how God will meet my need today.  He chooses to use His people to care for each other, yet He is sovereign and orchestrated the timeline to meet my need today.

I have learned much about “one day at a time” living.  At first I thought living in today was a coping-in-crisis response.  I have since learned it is a faith response.  If I can take my eyes and mind off the future or the past, today is what I have.  Today I can love my family, today I can help a friend, today I focus on what is before me.  Today is God’s agenda and He will get me through whether if feels like a gift or a curse.    Today is where I make a difference by making the right choices.  Yesterday is memory, tomorrow is uncertain, today is here.

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Please respond and let me know about your desert experience, what have you learned, what does your “Manna” look like?

Recommended book The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie

Written by FamilyLife Canada