A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford

The doctor asked me, “Have you had an asthma attack since your last check-up?”

“No,” I said glibly. “Haven’t had one probably for the last four years.”

“Then you need to check if your emergency inhaler is expired, since you haven’t needed it in such a long time.”

My inhaler? Oops! Sure enough, it expired three years ago! I’d been really counting on its help in case I got a whiff of new-mown grass or a sprayed pesticide. God had been gracious to me; I hadn’t needed it. That made me realize I’d better check my medicine cabinet for any other expired meds.

It was an easy hour’s work. There were a few medicines, fairly recently expired, and I set them aside to dispose of them the way the DEA advises. But one surprising reward of checking for out-dated medicines was that I had a visible reminder of God’s care for me through these long years. One strong pain medicine had expired. It was prescribed for a siege I had a couple of years ago with a disease I’d had never even heard of. It had the exotic Latin name of polymyalgia rheumatica. They’d warned me it might come back, but it hasn’t. God had shown me special grace in that. There was a left-over med from a flu attack a couple of years ago. That illness could have become very dangerous, considering my old age, but again, God in His mercy healed me.

So I found myself quoting Psalm 103:2-4:

Praise the LORD, I tell myself,
and never forget the good things He does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He ransoms me from death
and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

Then the Lord reminded me of another awesome truth as I counted these blessings. How many dangers has God protected me from when I didn’t even know of the danger? An automobile accident prevented? A debilitating exposure to Covid? A crippling fall? Disasters that good insurance couldn’t protect me from? Financial stresses that wise counseling couldn’t prevent? Broken human relationships that would have broken my heart? My dear Heavenly Father, in His mercy, has surrounded me with His loving, protective care.
A second Scripture came to mind:

Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is useless.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat;
For God gives rest to His loved ones. Psalm 127:1,2

I wonder what sweet lessons God will have for me when I get around to tackling the guest room closet?