Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)
TITLE: The Vine That Binds
By Angeline oppenheimer
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There was a time in my life when I wanted so much to cut myself off the vine. Cut myself from the faith. Cut myself from God and float away to nothingness. After all, where was God when my cries became my daily chore? Where was He when pain rained down like flying shrapnels from my shattered faith.
It started one quiet Sunday afternoon. We had just came back from church and a throbbing headache kept me in bed. ďTake the kids out for some fresh air,Ē I told my husband in a feeble attempt to get everybody out of the house for some down time.
Drifting in and out of sleep, I heard my young sonís hassled voice, ďMOM, come get daddy quick! Heís crashed against the wall and he couldnít get up.Ē True enough, Steve was slumped against the side of our house and it took all of me to get him up. His hands looked like the back of sieve and the helmet came apart in two pieces. Thank God for helmets. I laid him down in bed. No blood, thank God again but he complained off excruciating pain in the neck and shooting pain in the arm.
How did he ended up in the bush? My frightened son offered his apology. ďDad was trying to keep up with me andÖand .. I was coming down the slope in my bike and Dad was right behind me and he lost control. Iím really sorry but I didnít do it.Ē This was certainly no time to analyze the cause and effect. After a long and grueling wait at the emergency room, with X-rays and a conference of doctors who didnít know what to make of it, weíre told that the impact had caused his neck bones to smash right up against his nerves. Hence the jarring pain. Surgery must be done once the swelling went down. In the meantime, take pain killers. We trudged home in the dead of the night, doom enveloping us like a giant eggshell.
I would think that a catastrophe like that would be considered a trial to last me a while before God sent another. Before we resolved the surgery problem, another seismic trial arrived in the form of a fish. My neighbor went fishing and gave us a big fish for dinner.
Steve wasnít used to eating fish with bones and before dinner was over, a big bone slipped down his throat and refused to buckle. We tried washing it down with bread, bananas, sudden flushes of liquid but the bone would not bulged. Another hospital visit, another emergency surgery to remove the bone, another dent in my stricken heart.
While the X-rays were taken of his throat, they discovered a growth. Now, my anxiety level reached red hot. God, I pleaded, enough is enough. Iíve followed you through thick and thin and now, my road is completely blocked and I couldnít find the resolve to crawl over. Lord, if believing in You means a deluge of trials, then Iím quitting. Iíve cried to You to stop but You seem silent and distant. Lord, Iím folding up my faith and leaving You for good.
No matter how hard I threatened God, a small voice kept insisting, ď No God, no way!Ē
It was a vine Iíve grown over the years with God. A vine sown of love, of blessings, of faithfulness, of trust and joy. Sure there were stones of disappointments, lost and trials but God has nurtured this vine and it has grown so thick around my life that nothing will be able to sever it.
In my mounting mountains of trials, I laid down my fights with God and do the only thing I could at that moment, I clung to the Vine. The Vine that binds my failing heart to Him. Looking back, Iím glad that God has not given
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