As if on cue, Bettie shared an old post of hers with me to encourage me, just as I had been praying about using the month of May to share others’ posts to encourage you, while I take a break from public writing. May Bettie’s post bless your heart as it did mine today.
Four and a half years. That’s how long God asked me to stay with a Doctor who treated me as if I did not know my own body, as if I was somehow less than his other patients, as if these reactions and side effects were my own fault.
As the results of more thorough testing are coming in this week, and appointments are being scheduled with new specialists, my heart had to ask the questions:
Why didn’t You send me to different Specialists in the first place, Lord? I heard You specifically asking me to stay with that Doctor who refused to listen to me. How could that be YOUR guidance?
Come read the Lord’s response to Bettie and the encouragement He gave her heart:
Have you ever been thirsty? I am speaking about the kind of thirsting In which you feel so thirsty there is a fainting in your soul.
I have been in that land of thirsting, And I have watched the shimmering waves Of heat baking the desert sands As my parched soul Looked up to Heaven Waiting For even one cloud to form.
Many years ago, my family traveled and shared a drama in which I portrayed The Woman at the Well. Week after week, in many different settings, my lips spoke the cry of a woman so thirsty that she begged for a drink when the well was right before her. You see, Jesus had offered to her a different kind of water: a filling up for her soul’s thirsting.
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:13-14
As the weeks and the months passed, every time I spoke those woman’s words, a deeper longing was planted in my own heart. I didn’t know it at the time, though. I thought I was being filled, as I gave out the words of Jesus, week after week.
Ah, how does it happen? How does a cry in our heart become lodged so deep that only another longing can answer in return?
I thought I knew how deep the well in my own heart was. I thought I felt the fullness of my Lord’s Words when I shared His heart with those around me. But I had only scratched the surface. I offered my praise, and I offered my worship, and my Lord knew what was required to let me see my own unmet longing.
The desert of pain And the heat of suffering Burned away the Half-met longings To uncover The well where Full-hearted cries Could finally be heard.
I have some very dear friends who continually pray for my healing. They wait in hope for the day that Jesus will restore movement to me, and a full remission in this place of pain. Where would I be without their sweet prayers of HOPE? And I do see improvement from the awful heat and swelling that began this journey of disease.
But there is a deeper healing In my soul That I would never trade Even for just a day Without physical pain.
For how can I tell Of the wondrous Filling For my soul's Thirsty well?
How can I sing Of my Savior's dear Presence Carrying my heart To His bosom of rest When the pain Overwhelms?
And how will I share These dewdrops of love Poured down on my heart When the desert sky Breaks With the water From Heaven?
Is your heart facing a desert sun today? Are you fainting as the heat of the day wastes your soul? There is a filling that can happen for you too, my friend. There is a place of stillness close to the heart of God where He calls you to come.
It is His very Word spoken at the end of our drama, week after week. I longed for those words to be mine, years ago, but it took the pain of suffering to bring them home to my heart:
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17 NIV