As we drove home from the doctor, one question kept repeating over and over in my mind, “God, when is enough, enough?” You see, in regards to my health, this was not my first rodeo. From the age of 15, there had been a seemingly endless parade of health issues and difficult circumstances. How much more could be piled on?
At age 15, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In 3 months, it destroyed my hip. By age 17, I was rushed to the hospital because the medication ate a hole in my stomach. At 19, I had my first hip replacement. As the arthritis spread, more challenges presented themselves. Then at age 34 and 39, I had my second and third hip replacements (I know, it sounds like such fun. Who else, at age 40, can say they’ve had three hip replacements?).
It would be great if it stopped there, but in the two years leading up to this new diagnosis, I had dealt with kidney stones, numerous broken toes, diagnoses of osteopenia, development of heart issues, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and, oh yes, the removal of some skin cancer.
In addition to my health issues, over the years, we had also dealt with a number of family tragedies, including the loss of my sister to cancer, and three months later, my dad developing cancer. My wife had very difficult pregnancies, being hospitalized numerous times, and also had her own health struggles.
This list could go on and on, and needless to say, like many of us, we had many difficult times. It was to the point, where I was afraid to ask “what next” because I really didn’t want to know. If bad things came in 3’s, it must’ve been multiplied by 10, or else we were mix up with another “Mickles family”. Many times, I double checked to make sure my name was not Job 😊.
While driving home, I thought of all these things, and thought, “Really God, when is enough, enough? Look at all our family has walked through – isn’t that enough? Don’t we deserve a break?” I’m not really sure what I expected to hear. Maybe you’ve asked a similar question, or had similar feelings. Maybe you are there right now. In reality, I’m not sure there’s a good answer. Anyone of us can look at our circumstances, and the things we have walked through, and feel like we’ve done our bit.
In reality though, I think my real question of God was, “How do I walk through this? How do I face something that, short of a miracle, will never end, and will only get worse? How do I adjust to this New Normal? How do I walk through one more thing?" I was overwhelmed. I honestly could not see how my family would make it.
My answer came a few days later (after many discussions/arguments with God), in Matthew 6:34 when Jesus reminds us, “Do not be anxiousabout tomorrow.”, and in II Corinthians 12:9, when God tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” In that moment, reading those verses (verses I knew by heart), God reminded me, that I only needed grace for today, for this hour, and for this moment. He showed me that as my body grew weaker, He would be my strength, and He would give myself and my family the daily grace we needed to walk forward.
I now had a choice. I could sit and worry and fret about all the things that might happen, wasting all my energy and sanity, and affecting nothing. I could lament my current position and the state of my life, and again accomplished nothing. I could be angry and lash out at God and those around me. Or, I could live each day, trusting Him, and taking it one step at a time and accept that this is where He had me.
The real question was not, when is enough, enough, but instead, would I trust Him? Would I rest in His grace and strength to see me through this latest struggle? The choice is mine, and that choice will determine how I choose to walk through this. Trusting Him will not always be easy, but it is a choice only I can make.