” But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
(1 Peter 5: 10)
It is interesting how you think you will react, versus the reality of what actually happens. It can bring the above scripture to life.
My mother had been in a nursing home since mid-January of this year, and it has taken this long for her to understand that the nursing home is where she lives, she no longer has her apartment, the furniture had been donated, and so on. At least that is what I thought.
Over the weekend she spoke of how she felt she did not exist, because she did not have any of her important papers to prove to the front desk who she was. After think about it, perhaps I could bring some documents (as she requested) to look at. Perhaps that would make her feel like she had some sort of control over something.
Then came last night.
My mother called me, wanting to talk to me about something. She told me she was in the ‘motel’, and was getting her papers together and about to pack, so she would be ready to go home. She asked me when I was coming to get her, and if I could bring some money so she could pay her bill. I let her talk for about ten minutes in hopes of allowing her to get it all out before I commented. She finished talking, and I told her the nursing home is where she would be living.
“Permanently?” she asked.
Learning to reply in short, terse sentences, I said one word: “yes.” My answer was met with empty silence on the other end of the phone.
Though this had been said many a time, she said she had no idea she would be living in a room with three women, and doing that permanently. She admitted at that moment she was so confused she didn’t know what to do, other than knowing there was no longer a need to pack; I responded with my usual “Yes.”
During the conversation I realized how peaceful I inwardly felt. The usual frustration coupled with unspoken anger did not exist. The fact I did not try to correct her by saying the many times I had told her about this issue didn’t seem to matter. The inner peace allowed me to listen, be patient while she talked, give my responses in a soft tone, and allow her enough time to get her words out, without interrupting her to get my answer in.
Eventually the conversation concluded, with her saying that she “needed time to digest all of this”, and the phone call (and all the comments that go along with it) was finished. After the call and thinking about it, I was surprised at how relaxed I was, even after the call ended. There were no worries, no time of thinking how I could ‘fix her’, while at the same realizing I couldn’t, I turned off the lights and went to bed, saying a prayer for God to help her that night, and I readied myself for what turned out to be a good night’s sleep, something I haven’t had in a while.
Is this how one feels when God settles and establishes you after a season of turmoil and (what appears to be endless) suffering? Is this what being strengthened feels like? Is this the result of what happens when God does the settling on the inside?
I wish I knew when this started. I wish I could describe how good it feels. What a difference compared to when all this started over three years ago, and all the anguish I felt, feeling like my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. I by no means am taking any credit for this, the way I feel is too good for me to do so. The God of all grace has performed this. And the same can be done for you if you just ask. I am sure no one likes to suffer (I know it’s not a good experience), but there is a promise God provides that given some time, the grace of God will come and give you the PSSS you have been looking for: the perfection (restored, mended),establishment, (turning resolutely in a certain direction), strengthening, and settling or grounding, all things that are needed.
” To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
(1 Peter 5: 11)