In Due Time

Three little words.  Hard words.  In. Due. Time.

I have been holding on to this scripture:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.   (1 Peter 5:6-7 emphasis added)

Due time can feel so elusive. Isn’t it due time yet, God? dreamstime_xl_4965945 (1)

Yet I wait, and trust, and over and over give my anxieties to him…holding to the truth that he cares for me…even when I am tempted to doubt that truth. I’ve had plenty of anxious thoughts—especially because the nerve tingling physical pain I’ve experienced also brought on shivering and anxious feelings—and thoughts that would at times go to worst-case scenarios. Note to self:  Don’t google your symptoms.

I’ve struggled to find the words to pray, so I’ve prayed through the Psalms—which have become more and more meaningful to me through these weeks of pain. I cherish the love and scriptures that friends have sent, texted, and written in cards. They really help.

Over the past six weeks God has put me back in the “school of trust”. I know that one day I will be able to share about all the things I learned about God, myself, and others through this time but right now I just feel humbled, under God’s mighty hand…and eager to be lifted up.

I’m humbled by the complete lack of control I have over my situation and my utter weakness. I’m humbled knowing that others are fervently praying for me. I’m humbled to be on the receiving end of meals and help from family and friends—instead of the giving end. I’m humbled by love.

I know many of you have been through more difficult times than I–though I’ve had my share. Many of you have lived with chronic illness or shared a loved one’s pain. Some of you have gotten back tests or x-rays that were not normal. I’ve been in extreme pain for six weeks and have had seemingly every test and picture imaginable which have all come back normal, giving no answers except—“this must be some strange viral infection.”  Fortunately, most of the intensity of the pain has now morphed into muscle soreness, weakness and extreme fatigue.  So, there’s progress. I am getting better. Meanwhile, my husband’s legs are getting worse and I feel more helpless in being able to help him right now. God, when is due time?

All too often, when I’m preparing to write or teach I receive more life lessons and illustrations than I want. At the time I prefer to “pass” on these lessons. Right now I’m working on a new book entitled, “An Aging Grace”. I guess I should have known better than to pick this subject! I don’t really feel like I want to learn hard lessons about God’s grace in aging. Perhaps I should write a cook book instead.

However, I know that it in these “in between” times…before the lifting up part…God’s mighty hand is still there. Though at times I may feel squished under that hand,  I remember it is a protective hand…one that cares for me.

Lessons of love are often learned in times of pain…during the time before “due time”.

In many of my books I’ve shared lessons I’ve learned from God and his word through some crazy, some funny, and some difficult life situations. In “My Morning Cup” there is a little coffee cup icon printed in each chapter that separates the crazy situation I experienced from the lessons I learned.  What the little cup does not tell is the many things that went through my mind and heart before those lessons learned “in due time.”

For example: I share lessons learned about God’s faithfulness after waking to discover someone with a knife in my back. However,  I did not share about the nightmares that followed, or about the fear that came into my heart every time I heard a motorcycle (since the guy rode off on one.)

I share a chapter about a junior high teacher who lost her mind, threw my books and shook me against the lockers while spouting off about a scheme I had to “get her”.  And I was one of her favorite students! The coffee cup icon separates the situation from the lessons I learned, but doesn’t tell of the fear I had of going back to school and wondering when the proverbial shoe would drop again. It doesn’t tell of times I transferred the feelings from that moment to unrelated situations where authority incited fear. Life lessons are learned “in due time”.

So…I’ll keep reading in 1 Peter 5 as the passage describes our inward battles before  “due time” comes.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 5:8-11)  

Never forget that God’s hand is with you, as he cares for you. He will himself make you strong, firm, and steadfast.  In. Due. Time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 thoughts on “In Due Time

  1. Thank you for sharing Jeannie. I too struggle with chronic pain (have they ruled out fibromyalgia?). The Scripture that helps me the most is Psam 94:17-19. Hope it helps you. Keep on persevering. I hate that word and also love it because I know God is with me when I’m persevering and that he will lift me up in due time.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
    In my Mom’s book “This Doesn’t Feel Like Love” (written in the early 90s), my chapter was titled “In Due Time” describing my health challenges as a teenager and college student. I’ve often felt that title became a curse since I’m now in my 40s, single and still waiting for some relief from my physical pain. I have personally had even harder times than I ever could have imagined including loosing my brother to Leukemia. However I do know and hold on to the hope of Heaven and grasp tightly to God’s unconditional love knowing this will all be over ‘soon’ when I enter into Heaven and I get to embrace the “cloud of witnesses” who have helped me get through it. ♡

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    • Christie, You and your family have been and go through so much. You have no idea how many find hope and inspiration through your faith and lives. “This Doesn’t Feel Like Love” is such a rich and meaningful book. It has helped me and so many. I hope you can feel great joy amidst the struggles…and great to see you beginning to feel a little better than what has been lately. Love you very much.

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  3. Oh Jeanie, I am so sorry to hear of your pain and unknown scenarios in your life. Please keep me abreast about what is happening to you. I will immediately start praying for the correct answers in your health and for strength to you and Wyndham. Of course I remember some of the horrific times in your life and how you showed God’s strength in dealing with each situation. God is always good regardless of our situation. I know you hold onto that promise daily. I wish I could physically give you a big hug and pray together. Easier said than done, but you only have to take one step at a time. Blessings and love to all, Bonnye

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  4. Thanks for sharing what you’re going through. I am encouraged by your faith and desire to stay close to God. I will whisper a prayer for you and your husband. Thanks again for all you do to encourage the saints.

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  5. Thank you, Jeanie, for your beautiful faith and putting it into words for all of us. Sam and I are praying for both you and Wyndham. We love you so much and our hearts hurt for you as you go through this. Yet in the midst of all, you are still encouraging all of us, and showing us how to do it all with grace and faith – and humor. I love you so much and, I agree with Elizabeth – next book …..a cookbook!!

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    • Thank you, Geri. You are such a dear and faithful friend. I treasure the friendship through the years and so appreciate the prayers and encouragement. I’m finally feeling better. Love you so much.

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  6. Thank you for posting this. “In due time” my son will be heal. I too have struggle to find the words to pray to God. Although not physical pain, my pain is emotional. I hurt due to the path my son has chosen. I sit hear typing -finally crying because I realize how broken I am. But your words give me a glimpse of hope that “in due time” my heart will be healed. I must hold on to the truth that God cares for us and will never forsake us. Thank you for your words and I pray God gives you comfort

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    • Hi Veronica. Yes, you are going through something so very difficult. I know you will never quit praying for him or loving him. I know God will give us everything we need. Thank you for your kind words. Love and prayers. Jeanie

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  7. So sorry for all you’ve been going though! Your thoughts helped me a lot with stuff I’ve been going through physically, thank you for sharing. Will continue to pray for you and Wyndham!

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  8. You and Wyndham are some of my biggest heroes in the faith. I love you and your perspective (even through pain) so much. I’m glad you have so many grandbabies to hug up on you both during this time. Praying for you in Philly!

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  9. Jeanie Thank you for much for being so real and sharing your life. We will be praying for you and Wyndham. We are so grateful for you both and all you do and give to all of us.

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  10. Hope you feel better soon and find doctors full of wisdom. I’m sure they did….BUT … since you live in the North East did they do a western blot for Lyme disease? Hope this whatever it is leaves your body soon!

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    • Thanks, Tori. I’m finally better…about 90% now so very grateful. I have had lyme before… and was treated for six months. Seems this was some kind of awful virus. Thanks again.

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  11. Dear Jeanie,
    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story. I do not really know what you are going through but you have helped me with your vulnerability and humility. I am a sister in the Winnipeg church. You may not know me but your story inspires me to hang on to God and to seek comfort in Him, my maker. I am currently faced with watching my mother die bit by bit daily. Her health is slowly fading and she is at the end of her life. As each of her faculties go one by one my heart ache and I wonder what God could possibly be trying to teach me. She is no longer understanding of speech, cannot walk anymore, cannot feed herself and I must take care of her like one takes care of a tiny newborn baby, except she is not so tiny. I am her primary care giver. I find myself often torn between her, my husband and my three children. You know the demands of everyday life (career, kids, husband, family, church responsibilities, etc) Reading your post has reminded me that God is sovereign and that I can always find protection in the bossom of his arms. Sometimes it helps to be reminded that God our father brought matter together to create all things. His power extends far beyond the reaches of the universe. It is unfathomable. His love extends farther that the farthest ocean and the deepest sea. His love and protection has the ability to reach the unreachable. I am honoured to serve such a God. It is a victory to know Him and serve him. Take this situation that you find yourself in and be reminded daily of God’s mercy, love and forgiveness. He loves and forgives without hesitation and calms our fears with his son’s blood.There is nothing more powerful than God’s forgiveness and love. Nothing more pleasing to the pallet and the nose. His love is a sweet aroma that heightens the other senses. There is no fear or anxiety in Him for He shields us with his mighty wings. Take refuge in our God. Let Him wrap his arms around you like an eagle to its young and he will fend off all intruders wether it be pain, sorrow, or depression. Thank you again for sharing.

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