Yesterday I went with EJ to the doctor. She ordered him an MRI and more blood work (which we will get done today). She gave him exercises to do for his back, and prescribed more pain medication and something to help him sleep. EJ asked her about going on disability, which many people have encouraged him to look into. It took him a long time to even consider going on disability because he wants to be able to work, not be an invalid. The doctor said that since EJ hasn’t yet had back surgery, etc., it would be probably be difficult for him to get disability, and then he might not get the full amount, so we’d struggle financially–and it might work against him if he sought work in the future.
So EJ is in agonizing pain from his back, his joints hurts, he can’t breathe well because of the smoke at work. He can’t sleep much, he finds work difficult, he can’t work on the house, he can do few activities that he enjoys. Life has constricted so it involves EJ going to work and spending the rest of the time in his chair. However, he isn’t bad enough to get disability. He’s been struggling with discouragement.
Last week I hit a low point with discouragement. Then I thought, I cannot live life in discouragement. I am going to fight this. The truth is that God is still God, He is in control, He is good, He loves us, and He has a hope and a future for us. I reached out to friends to pray for me, and I began to REFUSE to sink into discouragement. It’s not easy because life is difficult and uncertain, and discouragement can hit me like a train, but I am fighting.
On the way home from the doctor’s yesterday, I encouraged EJ to fight his discouragement, not to give up, not to give in. We will do what we can to address his health concerns and we will trust God. We never know what will happen just around the corner.
Then I told EJ that I think that most difficult time is just before the miracle.
For example, just before the ten plagues hit Egypt in the book of Exodus, and God led His out of Israel, the people groaned in misery from their slavery. When Moses came to confront the Pharaoh with “Let my people go!” Pharaoh responded by giving the slaves MORE work. The people complained, unable to imagine the miracles they’d soon experience.
And just before Jesus rose from the dead, He was betrayed, tortured, and executed in the most awful way ever invented. How could the followers of Jesus, at that low point, ever imagine that in just a couple days they’d be dancing with joy and hope?
Faith involves trusting during the time when the need is great but the miracle hasn’t happened yet. It’s always darkest just before the miracle.