Sometimes I dream beautiful dreams where I am running or dancing or teaching at school or just existing but without pain and the need to sit and rest my weary legs so very often. I wake to pain and stiffness, but more difficult still, the reality that I can no longer do those aforementioned activities and to some extent the day will be defined by my physical limitations.
Oh how I sometimes despise that simple truth, but it is my stark reality. Before I can do anything, I must first consider how far and long I can walk. Are there stairs involved? Are there places to sit?
Yes, I get angry. Yes, I get frustrated. Yes, I cry like a baby. But God does not allow me to become consumed by despair. He is constantly reminding me through His Word and the encouragement of others that this life is temporal, but His plan for me is eternal.
We ALL face extremely difficult times in this life. I have a reader whose mother is ill. I have a reader whose four pound newborn is fighting to thrive in the NICU. I have a reader whose father is rehabilitating after nearly drowning in a pool and being resuscitated by CPR. I have a reader whose daughter is struggling emotionally with the transition to a new school. I have two readers, my husband and my brother-in-law, whose mother’s life is slipping away due to the effects of Multiple Sclerosis yet she continues to endure pain and suffering in the care of hospice. These are just a few I know personally who are currently dealing with real pain, anxiety and grief, yet clinging to hope. What trial are you facing today?
The truth is, although we may have fleeting moments of happiness, our lives in this broken world will inevitably dishearten and dissatisfy, failing to fill us with joy. Yet there is hope that does not disappoint in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not fail to carry out the will of God by going to the cross where He experienced the deepest of pain, sorrow, loss, rejection, degradation and shame. He did it because He is GOOD. And He did it for you and me, that we might receive His goodness in exchange for our “not-so-goodness.” And that we might receive an eternal life devoid of trial, pain, loss, even death.
If we are to ever have real, lasting joy, we must believe this. And if we believe it, we must rehearse it to ourselves often. For myself, I believe it with all my heart. But when the really deep pain rolls in like thunder, these truths become a little fuzzy to me. Like I’ve taken off my glasses or removed my contact lenses. I just can’t see it as clearly, and my heart just can’t take hold of it securely.
This is when I must go to Truth. I must see it, read it, breathe it in. I open the Word of the true and living God and He tells me I am loved, redeemed and promised an eternal home with the Most High. Even if it’s for the thousandth time that I read the same scripture, joy and hope come back into focus. I see them clearly and my heart takes hold.
I leave you with one of my very favorite passages. Grace be with you, my friends.
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,”we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.