Maralyn's Updates

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Good...The Bad...and The Ugly

Where did this phrase originate? Was it a movie? I think so. The three words are always in that order, but today I’m going to turn them around. I’m going to talk about the Ugly, the Bad, and then the Good.

THE UGLY: ALS is a thief. It’s always stealing something from me. Right now it’s stealing my muscle: the muscle in my legs, the muscle in my lips, the muscle in my feet, the muscle in my thumbs. Do you realize how many things you need your thumbs for!?

THE BAD: I know that using muscle is the only way to strengthen it, so I try to do my exercises every day. They’re not easy, so I try to make them fun. This week while exercising I’ve been listening to one of my favorite radio speakers—Charles Swindoll. He’s doing a study through the book of Daniel. One day he was talking about the unseen world. He said that if we could see the invisible battles that are always going on around us, we’d be shocked. Powers of darkness and light are always battling for our minds.

I had already been thinking about that, and an image came to my mind:

Life is a hill—a hill that takes a lifetime to climb. God had planned for our life to be a scenic, peaceful climb. However, because of Adam and Eve’s sin, our perfect world became corrupted with all kinds of brokenness. It’s like Satan released millions of boulders from the top of the hill. Big ones, small ones, and medium-sized ones. They are constantly rolling toward us, making our climb difficult. The boulders come in the form of disappointments, relational problems, accidents, abuse, disease, and many other things. Some come slowly, and some appear quickly out of nowhere, but they are relentless.

As we climb Satan is taunting us, telling us we’re never going to make it. He’s trying to get us to panic. He’s telling us to give up. He’s saying that God doesn’t care about us. He’s inciting us to be angry with God.

THE GOOD: God wouldn’t have planned for us to have a boulder-filled life, but since that’s what mankind chose, at least he wants us to let him bring something good from each one of them. As the boulders bombard us, God is there--coaching us, loving us, teaching us how to grow through each trial. Each time we wrestle with a boulder our muscle gets stronger, so we’re more ready for the next challenge. God is pleased when our hard times deepen our relationship with Him. You know? As human beings, we can become quite independent! But the boulders remind us that we need God.

I’ve heard lots of people’s woes during these 17 months since my diagnosis, but the most common phrase I’ve heard (without a doubt!) is that someone is mad at God. Even people who don’t believe there is a God are often angry with him. (smile)

I’m almost 60. So I’ve earned the right to give a little motherly advice, don’t you think? (smile) Here it comes:

Don’t be angry with God! He’s your best help in dealing with the boulders of this life. Let the hard things push you toward God…not away from him.

That’s GOOD stuff! (smile)


P.S. I have to tell you a couple of cute stories from one of the best parts of my life…the grandkids.

My four-year-old grandson Levi is fascinated by my ACD (talking machine). When I see him I type in, “Hi Levi.” When the machine speaks, he grins from ear to ear. Then he comes over to the machine, leans over it and says, “Hi!” The other day he told his mommy, “I’m going to go tell the machine something.” (smile)

Another story, this time about Reuben who is five (all set for his first day of kindergarten in this photo). A few months back when I still had a voice, albeit undependable, I began to read him a story. But after reading one page, my voice faded away so I suggested that he let Ukki (Jim) finish the story. Later that evening he told his mommy, “I had Ukki read to me today because Mummo doesn’t know how to read.” (smile)


Blogger Brandi said...

I love this analogy! Thank you for sharing it - I will ALWAYS remember it as life boulders roll my way!
You are ministering to the world - and to me. Thank you.

7:56 AM  
Blogger KC said...

That was very insightful Marayln. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am always encouraged by your blogs and by your life. You are a true vessel. As always, we are praying for you and your dear family. Love, KC

9:37 AM  
Blogger Dr. James O. Lowell said...

You are amazing my friend! I am so grateful that God is so faithful - no matter what and He loves you very much! We are praying with you and for you. Praying God's blessings be yours today! Love you

11:06 AM  
Blogger Teddybear said...

Maralyn I am so glad that Carol P from Poplar Creek Church gave me your blog. You bring tears to my eyes everytime I read.

Today my blog is on prayer for the sick. You are a blessing to me.

The stories about the grandkids brought tears of joy to me.

You are in my daily prayers - love Deb.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Tim Glass said...

Maralyn, I recently read a book given to me by Jacob Bock about the things God has been doing in Europe through the AG. I thought your submission to the book was fantastic. God has truly used you and your husband as soldiers in His army. May you sense the loving arms of our God carry you and hold you close today and everyday.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dear Princess Maralyn ~ As I peruse ("read attentively", Websters Dictionary) your tenderhearted words I truly can see and feel your (smile).
Your light is such a beacon ("anything that warns or guides") to all who have the privilege and eyes to see. Keeping the Faith, Love Diana Scattergood

8:14 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Dearest Maralyn! I love the way you pictured our lives. You and Jim are always have been very creative in your teachings. I remember Jim's teaching on priorities in life with the stones of different size and shape. And your conference about the stripes of life - black and white (Marimekko stripes). Thank you so much for this visual way of looking on what is going on around me. Now it will be easier to move foreword, to climb higher with God as my coach and my help. Sport is good for our bodies as well as for our souls (spiritual bodies) :)

Thank you!!!
With prayer and love,

2:38 AM  

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