For months Ellen lay helpless, wracked with pain from two compressed disks in her back. Her husband winced as he helped her with simple needs like personal hygiene and eating. In the midst of all her pain, she showed more concern about others than herself. She asked about people in her church.
Ellen had said, “My hobby is helping others.” Now she could not do this. Riveting pain often interrupted her sleep. In those long pain-filled hours she turned her thoughts to the Lord.
After many months in bed, at last she attended church again. Ellen testified, “When I can’t sleep at night, it gives me more time to pray.”
Ellen’s condition worsened. Now she resides in a nursery home, debilitated and in a wheelchair. Yet her heart still rejoices. “How are you?” she asks residents, wheeling toward them. “Jesus is with you.” Ellen refreshed even the visitors.
Ellen is human like the rest of us….so how, then, did she think of others when her own needs were so great? She said, “I have known the Lord about forty years, and there is still much for me to learn. I place my full dependence upon Him.”
Ellen displayed contentment. Her heart seemed to be somewhere other than the nursing home. Perhaps she found a secret hiding place—a place of renewal.
Psalm 27:5 promises, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion” (KJV). The essence of prayer is entering God’s pavilion. Ellen entered and knew how to remain there, especially during adversity. Now this servant has departed to Heaven.
Are we prone to complain when swallowed up by pain? When troubles come, do we still have a thankful heart? When unwanted circumstances threaten to consume us, do we pray? Prayer is responding to God’s invitation to enter into His pavilion, where He hides us under His safe covering. Like Ellen, we can depend on Him and live with a heart full of joy.
Dear Lord, help me to remain thankful when I suffer pain. Equip me to endure troubles. Give me, like Ellen, the habit of helping others. In times of trouble, hide me in Thy pavilion. Thank you, Father, for the safe, tranquil place of prayer where Thou embraces and cares for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Published in Prayer Support for Women, October 2005, C Lynn Wallace
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