Sick. Four little letters that make up one little word yet seem to control our lives at times. I am sick…again! For what seems like the umpteenth time since the calendar flipped to 2018 I am once again banished to the couch…a coughing, sneezing, feverish, and at times barely breathing, mess! Blah! This time diagnosed with multiple plague worthy diagnoses…the end result of each the same- stay home and rest. Stay home. Alone. Isolated. More broken plans, more disappointed friends, and more, much, much, more disappointed me!
But when is enough enough? Sickness? Health? Loss? Gain? Curse? Blessing? Hearing people say, “I just can’t take it”…but can they? Can I?! Why do some people seem to just glide through life problem free while others deal with so much? Problems. Illness. Pain. Death. Mine isn’t even that bad and I feel overwhelmed! Awake at 2:30am coughing into a darkened house can make you see things in a way you don’t in the light of day. Everything I am facing right now will pass, I just need time. But what about those who don’t have that reassurance?? What about…
…the father holding his 12 year old son as he goes through the pain of yet another chemo treatment?
…the man dealing with lung cancer who took care of himself, never smoked, but has it “just because”?
…the mother holding her little girl as she is immobilized due to a tricky, and very painful, surgery in hopes of fending off and slowing down a painful and rare disease?
…the pastor’s wife trying to be a faithful example as she deals with the painful disease that quite literally twists her body apart, at times, and has been passed on to her young daughter?
When is enough enough? When is it too much?
What do we do when life gets to be just too..? Too hard. Too painful. Too messy. Too...
I could easily say that life has just been too “too” over the last few years. In the last five years, we have lost my husband’s stepmother, my mom, my husband’s grandmother, my dad and my grandmother. That’s a lot of loss to go through. On top of that I have struggled with a seemingly endless parade of health issues. So what do we do when we are rocked by trial, illness, hardship or death? Do we question if we’ve done something wrong? Matthew 5:45b assures us that, “he gives his sunlight to both the evil and on the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Do we blame God or turn to Him? Honestly in the past I was probably more likely to fall into the blame God camp then the turn to Him crew. But now I am choosing to see God and His hand on my life in a different way. I am choosing to cling to the verses in the Bible as His promises and not just empty clichés to be tossed at people who are struggling. I choose to believe that when Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”, it means just that! And when Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you”, I know without a doubt that I am the “you” in that verse. I believe in Jesus and I believe He is my Savior in ALL things! Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Notice that little word in there that has such a big meaning?? All. ALL! All is defined as the whole amount, quantity or extent of…in short, all means all!! The whole nine yards…the whole enchilada…the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives all in His control and being used for our good, if we are believing in Him and following Him.
At the end of the day it comes down to choice. Do we choose to read God’s Word and truly believe His promises are sincere and personal to us or do we choose to be so blinded by the fear and worry of our troubles that we can’t see His love and leading?
Pastor Steven Furtick said, “Mature faith is getting where our praise reports are our prayer requests…We recognize the trials as the instruments of change and praise God for it.” In other words, we look for…
…His Presence in our pain.
…the love in our loss.
…the testimony in our trial.
…the blessings in the blah!