Five Minute Friday is where bloggers from around the world write for five minutes flat on a topic chosen by Lisa-Jo Baker without stopping to edit or self-critique our work. The topic for this week is: Tree.
I was very ill for the whole of 2010 with cerebellar ataxia caused by severe migraines and ME/chronic fatigue syndrome. I saw several specialists including two neurologists who arranged tests and tried different treatments, but nothing seemed to work. I may as well have been popping Smarties in my mouth for all the good the tablets did me. One Sunday evening that autumn, my pastor prayed for me along with the church elders and some good friends. Breakthrough! The excessive weakness, paralysis and constant vertigo lifted and never returned. But there was still a way to go and over the coming weeks, I had to keep pressing in for complete healing.
One thing that encouraged me to keep going in prayer was a promise God gave me one morning in November of that year. I had just received a letter from my employer confirming that they were letting me go because of the illness. It wasn’t unexpected, but seeing it in black and white hit me hard.
‘Come upstairs,’ I sensed the quiet voice of God speaking to me. ‘I’ve got something to show you.’
I needed to go upstairs anyway, because I had a basket full of washing that needed drying. As I got to the top of the stairs, I sensed that small voice again. ‘Come into the study.’ I walked into the study, still holding my basket of washing.
‘Look out of the window.’ I stepped closer to the window, gazing out over the garden. It was winter, nothing much to see. Then that quiet, reassuring voice again.
‘Look at the lilac tree. Do you see how it has no leaves on its branches? It looks dead, as though nothing would ever blossom there again. But come spring, buds will appear and then leaves and flowers will blossom and birds will be able to build their nests in it again. That’s like you. It’s winter for you now, but spring is on its way.’
That word from God kept me going through some difficult weeks, until the next big breakthrough in February 2011 when He healed me from ME/chronic fatigue.
(Picture of the tree added in after the time limit!)