I’ve been in a bit of a funk the past few days. Maybe it’s the waiting for surgery. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown. Or, maybe it’s just hormones. I don’t really know. But it’s been rough, and unpleasant in my head the past few days.
Being depressed is hard for me because I’m usually a very upbeat, happy, positive person. It’s hard on my family when I don’t want to come out of my room in the morning on the weekend or when I just want to lay in the tub and be alone at night. So, I make myself do the things that I really don’t feel like doing, for my hubby mostly. I get dressed, I come downstairs. I try hard to participate in normal family life even when I feel like this. But it’s really difficult sometimes. And I’m thankful that he understands when I have down times.
A friend sent me a link to this blog just this morning. On it there is a YouTube video of Wintley Phipps talking about how the old negro spirituals were based on just the black notes. I thought to myself, “I need this today.” About that time Wintley Phipps said something really profound. He told the story of an old black lady who told him, “Son, if the mountain was smooth you couldn’t climb it.” That hit me right between the eyes.
No, the past several months haven’t been smooth…they’ve been rocky, bumpy, and jagged. But I’m climbing! With God’s grace and love I am climbing! And I’m going to make it to the top of this mountain! And if there’s another mountain behind this one I’m going to make it to the top of that one, too!
The rest of the video is excellent. Wintley Phipps goes on to tell about the spirituals and demonstrates the concept of “just the black notes”. And he sings what is probably my favorite gospel song of all time. Amazing Grace. I do have amazing grace in my life. I’m so thankful that my friend sent this to me this morning. It reminded me of something precious, that I already knew…I am a child of God. He loves me so much and I am in His hand. Today, tomorrow, the day I see the doctor, the day I have surgery to remove my thyroid, and all the days following surgery God is going to be with me.
What a gift!
Another friend sent me this little story a few months ago. I think it’s as fitting for me today as it was then.
The Bike Ride
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of what I did. I recognized His picture, but really didn’t know Him. But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.
I know just when it happened that He suggested we change places. Life has not been the same since.
When I had control I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hold on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, “Pedal.”
I was worried and anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered the adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord’s and mine, and we were off again. He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.”
So I did to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light. I did not trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought He would wreck it; but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages.
I’m learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I am beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face, with my delightful constant companion, Christ. And when I am sure I just can’t do any more, He just smiles and says, “Pedal.”