Like Broken Pottery

by Ruth Pabon

I started the day, not long ago, with a smile, only to become afflicted with severe pain in my side. A few days later, recovered from the pain in my side, I began a succession of ailments afflicting me every few days plus an allergic reaction to a medicine. I did not see an end to this and asked the common human question. “Why me, Lord?” The next morning I woke up only to find myself at the doctor’s office with him telling me that he almost sent me to the hospital. I had advance on the scale from a frustrated sigh to a good scream.

I felt admonished, chastised, and broken, like pieces of broken pottery. I could not see the end of the string of trials that had come strangely upon my life. Just as I was getting over another ailment, I had a dental emergency!   I knew there was some reason out there for this misery. But God was quiet.

I felt like the broken pieces could not be put back together; I found myself in a movie with no ending. But God will answer as He chooses. And as it would be, He came in only the way He planned; not the still voice this time, but in a roar.

His answer came as I was crying in pain; in those moments that I felt other people’s pain. I do love people, but I had become mundane and routine in helping them. But now with a renewed awareness of the reality of people’s suffering, I was there with them. Thank God, for my husband who ministered to me, but so many people I work with live alone and I felt their pain.

I don’t know the exact reason for my hardship of pains, but, surprisingly, I felt my eyes were brighter, my heart cleaner, my words deeper, and my life sweeter. I began to sense the freshness of His grace and the broken pottery coming back together. I made the turn to wellness with much more compassion in my life.

All through this time, I did not miss much work. I endured. The experience reminded me that God is with us in our afflictions and for some reasons the answers to the why are not always the ones we expect. You can learn a lot from the silence and pain as I did. 

“My times are in your hand….make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.”  Psalm 31:15&16

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