This is not the first time a bird has welcomed himself into our home or even the second. About a month or so ago, my spirits were really down. Sitting on an ottoman, I looked at the piano to my right and then the guitar hanging on the wall next to the fireplace. Tears rolled down my face.
"I've given up so much with my health issues the last few years, Lord. I don't want to complain... I want to accept what you have for me and be thankful, but this so, so hard. I know that I'm not a great musician, but I know that you know how much I enjoy music... how much it has always been a part of me. I'm just hurting, Lord... I'm sad. To be honest, I just feel like this totally sucks."
Crying a bit, I eventually got up and went about my day.
My hand has been afflicted with a hereditary disease called Dupuytren's Contracture. Both my father and an uncle on my mom's side have struggled with the same thing, and although it is usually something that older men are diagnosed with, I began developing a couple nodules on my left hand about a year and a half ago while restoring and painting baseboards in my home. One of the nodules began pulling my finger down to the point that it was essentially perpendicular to the palm of my hand. It was beginning to very much limit what I was capable of doing with that hand.
About a week and a half after I poured my heart out to the Lord, I had another feathered visitor who managed to find his way into my home (does this happen to other people??). He adeptly winged from room to room, and on his way out, he literally sat on my guitar, pooped on it, and then made his hasty exit.
I burst out laughing. Really, Lord?? I couldn't decide if God was showing me that he'd heard my prayers about music and he was letting me know, or if He was joking around about how much it sucked that my hand was being gnarly, and He wanted to let me know. Maybe a bit of both. I wouldn't have thought much of it, but He sends me birds all the time, and I'm not even a "bird" person. When it isn't live birds in my house, it's "3 Little Birds" on a TV show or in a movie or riding in a bus. Once I was in the doctors office feeling frustrated, and somebody's cell phone rang. What was the ringtone, you ask? "3 Little Birds." Another time Josh's girlfriend started singing it for no apparent reason. It's simply too often to be random, and I need regular reminders that God is taking me through my trials and it's all going to be alright.
Over the months, I had been checking in with a hand surgeon (one of my many medical staff) to see what my options were for treatment. There was always the option of surgery with a long, painful recovery, or I could try some new enzyme injections and physical therapy. Option two came with a 40-50% success rate at best. Instead of letting myself get too discouraged, I began talking to myself, as I often do.
"You know what? God can absolutely show up in that 40-50%," I reasoned. "Put it out there on Facebook, ask some people to pray, and let's see if He can swoop in here and claim some GLORY!!"
So I put it out there, and people started praying. I went down to Santa Barbara feeling a bit tentative, but knowing that I could witness an amazing thing, too. The 3 injections really hurt. I almost fainted, and I had to lay back down and put an ice pack on my neck. Just keeping it real here... (another fun embarrassing moment for the books). In two days, I returned, they numbed my finger up, and my kind and gentle doctor manually broke the cord/nodule in my finger. I didn't almost faint that time... I handled it like a boss. In two more days, I began physical therapy twice a week and exercises and icing three times a day.
My finger is getting straighter every single day. I'm not going to need more rounds of injections (and almost fainting spells). I'm not going to need surgery. The bruising and swelling are almost gone, and I have almost a full range of motion again. This hand is reaching octaves on the piano!!
GLORY BE TO GOD!
He was in all of this in an amazing way. When He has gone to such great lengths to assure my heart that everything is going to be alright, He really means every little thing. The small things and big things, the hurts and concerns, a breaking heart all matter to Him. Every little thing. He cries with us, and He wants to help. He wants to be glorified in us and give us good gifts.
What do you need to trust God with today?
He is concerned about your every little thing.