“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. …Praise the Lord!” Psalm 105:1-4
Today’s thought is my personal testimony. 11 months ago I suffered a minor stroke and also Bell’s palsy at the same time which is quite rare. I went through barrages of tests and X-rays with the final upshot being that I had indeed had both at almost the same time. When I looked in the mirror I couldn’t believe that it was me. I looked like a gargoyle. The right side of my face was completely paralyzed, my eye would not close, I couldn’t eat properly and I was unable to speak. I love public speaking, especially preaching and also writing spiritual resources and devotions some of which are part of this wonderful web site. When I came out of hospital I couldn’t do any of that and, in fact, 6 weeks after my stay in hospital I developed post-traumatic stress disorder which saw me having panic attacks, without the ability to speak to people, stammering and not being able to find the right words when I did speak. As to writing, well, I couldn’t even think of words to write in birthday cards.
For me, the next months were long and ones without joy. I could still pray and I never blamed God, but there was no exuberant praise, no feeling of absolute joy when I looked around at God’s creation. My world became a very dark place and I thought I would never again experience the overwhelming joy with which I always associated my life. Throughout this difficult time I could not praise God and mean it – there was no burning desire in me to listen for His voice. That had left me bereft. Through God’s amazing grace and His infinite patience, after many months of hard work, I am now able to write and speak again. I still have a long way to go to be completely recovered but I now can see and enjoy the glory of the rainbow and remember God’s covenants to us and yes, I can thank and praise him with exuberance.
David reminds us in his Psalms that we are to give God thanks and praise always.
God is still right there with us, providing whatever gifts and help we need to get through our particular circumstances.
Loving and Compassionate God, it is through your infinite Grace that we are able to overcome the darkness which at times overwhelms us, especially when mental or physical pain threatens to destroy us. Thank you that you hear our innermost groaning and our sighs and that you wait patiently for us to see through the blackness and come into your light once again. Amen
by Terry Stead
Used by Permission
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