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Friday, July 28, 2006

Will Wonders Never Cease?

As I looked out from the deck of the beach condo that we were enjoying at the invitation of friends, and as I took in the mesmerizing beauty to the ocean, I found myself lost in thought. On May 19th something happened that was totally out of our control that radically altered our lives. When in a moment your life changes, you are again and again left feeling weak, small, unable, unprepared, and unwise. You feel this way because you are dealing with a very bad thing that, if you had the power and control, you would not have permitted into your life. In the face of this, you are confronted with the vast amount of life that is simply outside of your ability to determine and to manage. And as you live through the difficulty, you wish you could wave a magic wand and go back to life as it was the moment before difficulty changed everything.

Yet, as I was sitting there, taking in the multi-media display of creation's beauty, another thought came flooding into my brain. Nature's display confronted me with the fact that there are also many, many things in my life that I did not choose and have not controlled that are very, very good. I was reminded that everyday we encounter things that we have no power over whatsoever but that make our lives easy, beautiful, satisfying, fulfilling, possible, and healthy.

- We did not choose to live in a time where medicine has made such tremendous advancements.
- We did not choose to live in a country where quality health care is so readily available.
- We did not choose that Nicole would be injured in a place where a hospital was close with almost immediate trauma care.
- We did not choose to be loved and supported by people from all over the world; people who have met so many of our needs.
- We did not design the human body with its astonishing ability to heal and recuperate.
- We do not control the technical insight and practical wisdom of doctors who have provided such good care for Nicole.
- We do not control the chemistry of the body with its almost mysterious ability to respond to medications.
- We did not create the flowers that have again and again brought beauty into our place of difficulty.
- We did not plan to have work that would afford us the flexibility of schedule that we have enjoyed since May 19th.
- These and a thousand other things have been as present in this moment as has the pain of suffering.

You see, our lives are not just shaped by difficulty over which we have no power, but also by wonders that never seem to cease. And for this we are very thankful!

While we were away, Nicole and her aunt devised a way for Nicole to actually get herself upstairs and into the shower without standing up. Nicole has great upper-body strength, so she eased herself out of her wheelchair and onto the steps and went up the stairs on her bottom. She was able to sit on a chair in the shower and then ease herself back down the steps and into her wheelchair. Will wonders never cease?!?

We are thankful for Nicole's progress, but even more thankful that in our own weakness and lack of control our lives are not out of control. Each day we are surrounded by things of beauty and grace; things over which we have no power. What we need are eyes to see and hearts to embrace the beauty in the middle of the difficulty so that we can not only ask, "When will this trial end?", but also, "Will wonders never cease?"

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