Of those reading this article, some personally know me and others only through this blog. So I’d like to let you know something personal. Last year I fell, and it was bad. I either slightly tore or strained or sprained or all of the above my interior knee ligaments on my right leg and I spent a week in the hospital. Add to that I have chronic lymphedema in both legs. That means the lymphatic fluids do not drain up from my legs but without great difficulty, and the result is my legs are terribly swollen. Each leg weighs over 100 lbs. if you can imagine that.
Some days are better than others, some weeks are worse, but getting around is always difficult. I use a cane and sometimes a walker, and then I can only walk short distances. Standing for long periods of time is out, and I mean more than a few minutes.
My condition for multiple reasons had become worse after the fall. Physically, I am not as well off as a was before I ended up in the hospital (even though I have felt better in the past week or so). And many might say that overall I am doing worse now than before summer got going. I thought the same thing – often. But I should not be thinking that again.
A Rise Through A Fall
The great blessing of being infirmed is that is gives you chances to reflect. I’ve thought about a lot of things in the past seven months. I’ve been reminded of things, gained greater focus on others, and learned a few new things here and there. So let me sum it up in this: all that I have that is good is from God, and all that I have is from God, therefore all that I have is good.
Everything in life is itself a blessing or carries the potential for blessing, so everything is good. That includes troubles (more on that later). Open your eyes up to the blessing of all things, and you learn of the pleasure and joy there is in small things. Hold on to each moment of life, for it is a snapshot of something special. Savor every experience and engagement of life, because it may be your last.
Thank God For Troubles
Even those things we often think are bad are just the shell of some charm of the germ inside. I’ve felt my share of pain and discomfort because of my legs. But I no longer despise the pain, because when I feel pain I know that I am alive, and I am further reminded of why I am alive. And all those things that cause sorrow simply remind me that this world is not home, and that I have so much more to live for than simply this life.
I am even grateful for the evil in others. It gives me a chance to be gracious and forgiving, and even better, an opportunity to show someone the way out of sin. I am thankful for the suffering of other people, because it gives me an occasion to show pity and empathy and love.
I live alone and because of the health of my legs I am unable to drive, so most of my time is spent in my apartment. The only time I get out is to go to worship services or to the doctor. I used to dread my solitude, but for that, too, I am now grateful. Time alone teaches me again of the horror of being spiritually alone and isolated from God because of sin, and it makes we want to reconcile the sinner and his Savior.
Things Are Better
I still have my frustrations, my good days and my bad days. When I fall into a foul mood, I feel as I have the means of coping with it much better than before, – than before the fall of 2016.
Whenever something throws our life away from what we want, it is easy to feel as if all is lost. Instead, it is the beginning of new things fresh with their own wonders and opportunities. Suffering is not the misfortune of life, but failing to see all of the greatness of this life around you and to not use that to prepare for the life to come is the greatest misfortune of all. As long as there is life, there is happiness, and so much more. If I could relive the past year and without the fall that put me in the hospital, because of what I have come to learn in its reflection, then by God, let me fall every day.