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Healing Hand

My Friend Debbie

"Muse," original artwork by J. E. Strohkorb
Oil on canvas, 1994

     "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever -do not abandon the works of your hands."
Psalm 138: 7-8

     Just after midnight on a February Monday morning, I threw up. How else do you put this politely? While everyone else quietly slept, I was violently hurling everything I had eaten that night. It's a very lonely feeling when you're hugging the toilet in the darkness. What was the purpose of this? In the wee hours of Monday morning, all I knew was that I had to take care of two toddlers that day, and I didn't know how I was going to do it.

     All my arrangements for that week went down the toilet. The play date? Flush. Preschool? Flush. Even a trip to the grocery store for more Pedialyte? Flush! We physically could not go anywhere. Quarantine opened up the door to depression and hopelessness along with the fatigue. No amount of Clorox could fight this virus that tore through my entire family. "Nothing could be worse than this!" I heard myself say. "This is rock bottom," I confessed to a friend.

     But God knows what each of us can handle. Just when I thought I had been totally abandoned (because nobody wanted to be around people with "the virus"), God preserved my life. My husband's aunt came and cleaned our house. She prayed for me on the telephone and later babysat the kids. This type of caring really lifted my spirit. God saw my needs. He had not abandoned me.

     What kinds of stresses have you been under lately? When you are stressed, do you find it harder to meet the needs of your family, like I do? The physical and mental energy that it takes to walk through stress can leave us tired and unable to attend to those around us. What's worse, stress can lead to all kinds of unpleasant things - muscle tension, sleep disturbance, eating problems, anxiety, headaches, and the list goes on. Let us encourage one another during times of stress. Ask for prayer when you think you might lose your lunch over a stressful situation. Do you know someone who is stressed? A phone call just to say, "I'm thinking about you," can be God's healing touch to that struggling person. I am so thankful for a God who sees my trouble and preserves my life.

Prayer for today:

Dear Lord,
     Sometimes I feel so drained that even the simplest tasks require tremendous effort. Why do I feel like I'm moving through molasses? Where is my energy? Lord, you are the source of my energy. Check my attitude and instruct me. You know every fiber of my will, and you know what is needed to bring me back to life again. Revive me, Lord. I know You will not abandon me, and I will wait for Your lifeboat. Help me be a lifeboat to someone else when I am able.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Julie Strohkorb

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