The Long In-between

On Wednesday, October 2nd, my long wait will have turned a decade. Weeks before my 36th birthday, I insisted on travelling to Japan for a very important technical training in one of our company’s major suppliers. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, even though I was already experiencing the scary symptoms of my undiagnosed illness. While in Japan, I could hardly make my legs take a stride. I was greatly puzzled since I was always a brisk walker.

(image source)

Our host’s executives and managers honored us with a special dinner at a restaurant and we sat around a big table on the floor with cushions. Exotic Japanese dishes were put on the table continuously as we chatted. When one of the executives asked me a question, instead of processing my answer, a kind of darkness descended upon my whole being so palpable I felt like I was sinking into a deep, dark pit where no one could help me. I had gone to that trip against my doctor’s orders, and at that night around the dinner table surrounded by foreign business associates in a foreign land, my monster of an illness reared its ugly head in a very horrific way. I managed a smile while I did my best to allay my fears. Don’t sink! Don’t sink! Breathe…breathe…

A day after my 36th birthday which was the day I chose to celebrate, I was already in bed too weak to move or walk normally. I had never felt so sick and weak and I was so scared I trembled to the bones. Did Joseph feel the same way when his brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites and brought to Egypt to be sold as a slave? He was only a youth and he was separated from the father who loved him more than any of his siblings and from his only little brother. He knew that he might never see them again. Did sorrow and fear descend upon him throwing him into the pit of depression and hopelessness?

While the company travelled to Egypt, was Joseph gripped with panic as he thought of his future without his loved ones around him? But I believe his faith in God was what held him during that dark, uncertain time. And we know from Scripture that God was with him. I believe that Joseph felt His presence and he was strengthened.

Like Joseph, I felt afraid and uncertain of my future. How long until I can go back to work? Each day that passed during those first days and weeks that I was absent from my work was a torture. I was still coming to grips with the fact that my life had actually come to an screeching halt. If I had known then that the “halt” would last a decade (and still counting), would I have spiralled into deep depression and hopelessness? But I didn’t have a clue to what the future held. I lived each day as it came. The future and the knowledge of it belong to God. And aren’t we thankful that we are spared from knowing the future and what it holds? It is wisdom to leave the future to God where it should be, and rest in the knowledge that He knows, sees, and holds it.

My decade of waiting was, and still is, my schoolroom in matters of faith and life. It was a decade strewn with hard but valuable lessons one only learns through suffering. It was a time that I realized that in my extreme physical weakness, I was really, really strong. The words of Apostle Paul became alive in me, in my own experience.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)

I mean, I don’t really “take pleasure” in them, but I have come to know my real strength in my weakness. That tribulations are not necessarily bad, though excruciatingly painful. People often think that the waiting period, the in-between, is a time of idleness, of barrenness, of unproductivity and unprofitability. But this thinking is not always true, and in fact, quite the opposite. It is during the waiting period that the “student” learns a lot in the schoolroom of faith and what is seemingly a barren soil is actually one that is conducive to producing a bountiful harvest of spiritual fruits.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb. 12:11 NIV)

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Nelson Saez says:

    ..how blessed you are po….such a wonderful faith you have…God knows & sees what’s inside your heart..and it pleased Him well..your such a strong child of God..and I know(like what the Word of God say) it will not go in vain..you’re a blessing to others..and I’m one of them who are blessed..may our gracious Father continually grant you with that unwavering faith to Him..coz His promise is true to us that in His présence..there’s no pain nor sickness..no tears and sorrow..but we all will ne whole with perfect happiness..God bless you po!

    • RinaPeru says:

      I am greatly blessed and encouraged by your message, Bro. Nelson. I am humbled that the God of the universe made me worthy to be used by Him for His glory. All this is His amazing, abundant, ineffable grace! Thank you so much for the continued prayers that have seen me through all these years (choking back tears). God bless you, too.

  2. Hazel Moon says:

    Thank you for sharing with us here at ‘Tell Me a Story.” Your trust in God all through your illness is a testamony of his grace. This sounds so much like Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which has left many doctors puzzled on how to treat it. May you find comfort in Jesus your Lord.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, dear Hazel. I will research on these two illnesses and see if my symptoms match. And thank you for the prayer. Blessings!

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