His Encouragement #58

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Good morning, and welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.

Trisha, my blogger friend at Joy of Reading, and I decided on calling this post “His Encouragement” because our real source of peace, strength, and security can only come from Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, is our constant! We pray and hope that these Thursday posts become a real encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!


Today’s Thursday Encouragement comes from:

Genesis 37:25 (ESV)

Then [Joseph’s brothers] sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.

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I’m going to tell you how awesome God is, but first I need to tell you how awful I’ve been. This week, I’ve had a perspective problem.

38 days ago my back hurt so I went to a chiropractor who told me I have chronic arthritis. I was sad. But, the pain never went away. It actually got worse. 4 weeks ago, I went to an actual spine doctor. After another x-ray and an MRI it was confirmed that I do have chronic arthritis, but I also have a 10-mm herniated disk pushing into my spine and crushing my sciatic nerve. I’ve been in non-stop pain for 38 straight days so far.

So you have an idea of what I’m experiencing everyday, the non-stop pain feels like someone has taken an ice pick and jabbed it into my spine, left butt muscle, down into my left thigh, behind my left knee, and lodged it into my left calf. It’s excruciating. Mornings are the absolute worst time beginning around 3 am. I’m not entirely sure why.

Three days ago, at 3:09 am, I lost my cool. I was so frustrated, so tired, and the pain was beyond insane that I just exploded. I spewed hate-filled rants towards God and my husband. I scared my dog! I was awful. I struggled to calm down. Usually, I pick up my Bible and I go back to normal, but not that morning. That morning I was DONE. All I could see was the bad. All I could feel was the bad. My perspective had gotten terribly out of whack.

But you know what?! God was there with me at 3:09 am and through my rants. God was there just like he was for a scared and hurting 17-year old boy named Joseph whose brothers sold him into slavery.

Every time I read the account of Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery, all I can ever focus on is the bad: the mean brothers, the tearing off of a beloved jacket, the scary pit, the selling to slave traders, the lying to a father, etc. You know what I miss?! The gift God gave Joseph in that scary time. You know why I’ve missed the gift? Because my perspective is out of whack!

Look at Genesis 37:25:

Then [Joseph’s brothers] sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.

While I’m focusing on the awful things that happen to Joseph, I fail to see the gift God gives to Joseph in this scary time. The Ishmaelites could have been traders in ANYTHING, and they probably did trade EVERYTHING. But on this particular trip, these men were carrying perfumes. Sweet smelling perfumes. This is interesting to me. I think it’s an intriguing detail to include in this crazy-bad story about brothers selling their youngest brother into slavery. Why would God do this? Why should we care about what the traders were carrying, or what Joseph was smelling on his way down to Egypt?

There will be rough times, BUT GOD. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life will be free from pain, anger, sadness, death, evil, etc. Joseph was going down to Egypt no matter what. But while we go through these tough times – while we’re experiencing our “going down to Egypt” moments, God will be with us. God will be the perfume in the bad times. We just have to keep up the proper perspective. Instead of being SO frustrated by my pain, I need to see all the ways God is with me in my pain. The act of a kind husband waking up at 3 am so he can get Tylenol and water for me. A sweet daughter who wants to help by doing extra chores so I can relax a little. A demanding student who yells at me to take a break so I don’t hurt my back further. And a friend who gives up the comfy chair at work during lunch. Once I took my eyes off the bad (i.e., the pain) and saw the good (i.e. all that everyone has been doing to help me), I realized that God has been my perfume throughout this entire pain experience!

If you are struggling with pain, sadness, anger, frustration, or something worse, please know that God is there with you. He is right by your side. He is your perfume! Lean into Him and He will get you through this time. God is truly, truly AWESOME!


NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!

WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?

Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:

Trisha @ Joy of Reading

Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Becca @ The Becca Files

Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn

Gina @ Stories by Gina

Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes

If you would like to join us: please contact Trisha or Nicole

11 thoughts on “His Encouragement #58

  1. Paula Shreckhise says:

    So sorry for your pain! I had a bout with sciatica for four years. After physical therapy, it went away in a matter of days!
    This teaches me that I need to be more consistent in prayer for YOU, Dear Nicole!
    Blessings to you and don’t hesitate to ask me for prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kay Garrett says:

    Thank you for your words today. They truly encouraged me and I will hold what you said not only today but in times, like you, when I’m in great pain and frustration, to know that I’m blessed to have God in my life to walk this journey with me.

    Like you, I also have the chronic pain, mine from osteoarthritis, plus I have what they call an undiagnosed soft tissue disease meaning all the blood work shows 2 or 3 things but they haven’t been able to quite put a name on mine yet. That means that not only does my bones hurt but my muscles as well. While taking care of my Mom with Alzheimer in our home, I ended up with so many compression fractures that they stopped counting, They still haven’t healed and what has didn’t heal right. I am no stranger to pain. I thank God that I do have a high tolerance for pain, always have, put the steady, constant pain does get to you – I don’t care how strong you are. Without God’s holding me in his hand, walking beside me and blessing me with a lovingly and supportive husband, I would hate to think of where I would be or the great pain I would be suffering.

    We all get down and cry out asking “why me?” or “where are you?”. It’s human nature and it’s then that we must be reminded of how fortunate we are to be blessed and loved by God. After losing our only child when she was 17, after seeing my wonderful Mom succumb to Alzheimer, and then dealing with the great pain for years on years, I have fell into the crevice more than once. It’s only through prayer and God’s love, that I can look around and see others so much worse off, see my many blessings and bow my head and give thanks.

    It greatly saddens me to know you suffer so, but I will be praying for you to have the strength to go through what you must, that your pains subside so that your body has time to rest and see the beauty of God’s love, and for your wonderful family and friends that thankfully are there to give you love and support.

    Again, thank you for your words of encouragement today. We all need to hear these words from time to time.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Liked by 1 person

    • bellesmoma16 says:

      Kay, I had no idea. Whoa! You have blessed me so much today telling me a bit of your story. I am sorry for your pain, too, and will make sure to pray for you in my daily prayers. I am glad this post could encourage you. And, again, I am so grateful you wrote this to me. I have been very blessed by your words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. BeckieWrites says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with chronic pain. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Also, your words inspired me today. You make a good point about the story of Joseph! It’s a good reminder for us all about perspectives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bellesmoma16 says:

      Thank you for your prayers. I always appreciate prayers. And, it makes my heart so happy that these words God put into my head/heart have inspired you. I hope you have an excellent day today, Beckie!

      Like

  4. vicklea says:

    Prayers for you that the pain will abate. When I suffered from sciatica, I opted to have a shot in my spine. They had to do it in the hospital in radiology with an anesthesiologist administering the injection because it had to go in the exact right place. Relief was almost immediate! I also have chronic arthritis. But God is good, even on my bad days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jacquelyn Van Sant says:

    *hug* I am so terribly sorry for your pain. I discovered over this last year with my mom’s situation that pain is one of the worse things anyone can experience, especially when there is little or no relief or ending in sight. Hers, too, was in her back and affected some of the same areas you are unfortunately experiencing. Sitting hurt, laying down hurt, everything hurt. At her lowest point, she actually contemplated suicide. Unfortunately, her pain was caused by stage iv cancer. She fell asleep peacefully in Jesus at the end of September and is in pain no more.

    Thank you so much for sharing with such honesty what you are going through and how the Lord is helping you through. I am also seeing this part of Joseph’s story with brand new eyes! I had never noticed the perfume that the traders were carrying before — my perspective, too, was on all the bad that was happening in the story. I love what you said: ” God will be the perfume in the bad times.” This encouragement has been a God-send to me today.

    God bless you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • bellesmoma16 says:

      Aw! I’m so glad what God put on my heart for today could be a good encouragement for you. It’s exceptionally hard sometimes, but a good perspective change is sometimes all we need to feel a little better about things. ❤

      Like

  6. thebeccafiles says:

    Sorry to hear you’re back is still bugging you. Hoping you can get some relief soon! You’re right though, it’s hard for us to maintain the right perspective when we’re going through the pits but God is still with us and cares for us.

    Liked by 1 person

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