Have you ever noticed how many of our greatest blessings from the Lord come through challenges that we face? In my lifetime, I have noticed this happening time and again. Personal and Spiritual growth happens most profoundly in our lives when we face an obstacle or challenge that we must overcome. One scripture that helps me is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, 'My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong."
This week, I have been given a new opportunity for growth. For about a year, I have had trouble with my hands, forearms and elbows from time to time. I would get a burning pain that reminded me of a Charlie horse in my leg. No matter what position I had my arm in, even when laying in bed at night, the pain would be there. Last weekend, I over worked myself planting in a portion of the garden, turning soil with a shovel, and spreading a thick layer of mulch through the portion of garden that had been planted. By evening, I could barely lift my arms without a sharp pain. Over the next few days I had very little relief. The pain in my arm increased greatly on Wednesday when I did laundry on the washboard.
On Thursday, I went to a doctor. She checked my arms and hands over, having me try putting them in a couple of positions that they didn't like going into. Next blood tests were ordered. She said it could be either carpal tunnel or rheumatoid arthritis or a combination of both. Yes, I was beginning to see a new blessing called a growth opportunity beginning to appear on the horizon. After the blood was drawn for the tests, I was sent home with 2 prescriptions having been called in to the pharmacy.
This morning, I received the results of the lab work. There was no sign of arthritis inflammation in my body. Praise the Lord!!! The verdict: I have carpal tunnel in both wrists. Now, you are going to think I am crazy, but all I can say is "Thank the Lord for the carpal tunnel!" Carpal tunnel can be managed and even cured through surgery if necessary. Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong battle that can worsen and even cripple a person later in life. If it came down to a choice of which would be better, carpal tunnel is it. Yes, both are painful. Yes, both require changes to your lifestyle or routine. That is just the way it goes.
The blessing for me is that as long as I wear a brace on my wrists when doing activities that can stress the joints or when in pain to help support and relieve the joints, the changes I need to make are minimal and easily managed. There is always the option later on if it gets worse that I may have to get surgery, but that is okay. I am not at that point yet.
I feel so richly blessed today. What could have been a much tougher condition has been made a much lighter one. Would I rather have neither? In my human attitude and mind I would have to say, "Yes!" But what an opportunity I would have missed. A chance to renew my appreciation for my health and what the Lord has given me. A chance to take stock and really look at the way I do things and find a better way. Most importantly - a chance to once again show gratitude to the Lord for His grace and blessings in my life.
May the Lord's blessings be with thee,