The Story
                        My Pain, His Power
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the lord...
                                                    2 Kings 7:1
While I was reading God's Word in the peace of my home one night, a cricket's chirp outside the window caught my attention. The familiar sound was a welcome diversion from attempting to overcome my present despair by failing in my efforts to concentrate on God's Word. As the cricket chirped away, I realized that I needed a break. Stopping at 2 Kings 7:1, I dog-eared the page of my Bible and laid it down. As soon as I pulled my hand away from the Bible, I noticed that the cricket had stopped chirping.
Thinking nothing of the cricket's silence, I prepared myself to change positions on my couch, as I was feeling numb. Of course, changing from one position to another was easier said than done. Weakness had become my constant companion. The severity of that weakness increased and diminished seemingly at will. Coming and going without warning, it had mind of its own. To alleviate the numbness I was feeling, I had to choose the one side that was most comfortable or was the easiest to get to. Clenching my teeth, I squirmed into a more bearable position.  There was a little relief, yet the effort had left me drained.
 After turning over, I realized how desperate my situation had become. Lying in darkness, except for my reading lamp, I faced the facts. My life had been confined, most of the time, to a six-by-six foot corner of the living room. The couch had become my home: it was my play area, my sleep area, and my dining area. Conveniently, everything that made my tiny home space complete was within reach: a basket overflowing with pills, several versions of the Bible, books and tapes about healing, a phone, a TV remote, a keyboard, and a Janette Oke book that allowed me to escape reality whenever I needed or wanted to. I lived with the realization that, unless God performed a miracle on my behalf, life would never get any better for me. It would, in fact, continue to get worse until it finally came to a bitter end.                                      HOPE IN HIS WORLD I noticed the cricket was singing again, and, in the distance, thunder rumbled. I welcomed the thought of listening to a thunderstorm; they could be so savage and satisfying in the Texas Panhandle. I listened for more, yet I heard nothing. Disappointed, I turned back to the Bible. Elisha's words echoed in my mind: "Hear ye the word of the LORD." How many times had I asked God for a word? How many times had well-meaning people given me right-sounding words and promises that never seemed to be fulfilled? I was convinced I had to keep hoping-or die. After all, what hope was there except God? And if there was hope in God, there had to be hope in His Word. I wanted to believe that this word was for me.
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