Lord, You are my hope. The life that is in me. Where would I be without You? Surely I would be no more. My fear would’ve overcome me. My trembling would’ve caused me to fall, my sickness would’ve eaten me through and my perseverance vanished. My patience would’ve ended, and anger would’ve gotten the better of me. Without You I would’ve taken a road that made me lost forever. But instead, because of You, my faith is restored. When I tremble in fear You bring peace to my soul. You set a way for me to go and prepare me for Your calling. You have brought me by Your side and taken me under Your wing. Your love has transcended all fear.
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
Since I have had brain surgery (the last one was mid-September) I have not been able to sleep laying down and been waking up multiple times through the night with bad headaches. As I’m waiting for tests to be done and answers to be found there simply hasn’t been anything to do but wait. Of course, as with many other similar situations, I find God only using this situation for good.
When we go through any kind of challenge, whether it’s physical or spiritual, we pretty much have two options: to accept it or deny it and be stuck with it anyway. While much can be learned from acceptance, nothing good comes from denial.
What is acceptance? Looking for good in the situation and learning from it. Choosing not to be angry even when you don’t understand why you’re being allowed to go through a difficult situation.
I’m not going to deny that there have been times I’ve asked why, and there’s nothing wrong with asking why. We just may or may not receive an answer and need to accept it either way. In fact, what inspired writing this was my asking why and not receiving an answer.
I was, however, reminded that this is only for a time. And I find this is applicable to many other hard times we go through in life. I also find that it makes it much easier to bear when we fix our gaze on what we cannot see—God and our eternal life with Him, as is referred to in 2 Cor. 4:18.
One of the ways to shift our gaze to Christ is through prayer and worship. Just last night as I was kept awake from my head hurting and feeling quite miserable I was reminded of a chorus in a song called “Steady my heart” by Kari Jobe that goes:
“Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
‘Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart”
So many times it’s like God is the glue that holds me together—and not just holds me together, but shapes me into something beautiful—and He can do the same for you.
So, remember that when you go through something, it’s only for a time, and God can hold you together through it. Focus on our eternal life with Christ. Our time on earth is such a small, tiny portion of that.
There are many things we have no control over, but it is still up to us how we accept those things and react to them.
What got me to thinking about this was a few weeks ago at a doctor’s office for a pre-op appointment. While in the waiting room I noticed that literally everyone there was doing something on their phone. I have an iPhone myself, and there have been many times I’ve been waiting doing who-knows-what on my phone, but when I noticed this I didn’t like what I saw, and soon decided I wanted to do something about it.
I didn’t particularly want to be in a doctor’s office waiting room–who would? But I’ve been realizing something: no matter what our situation is, we should be seeing it as an opportunity.
Despite the fact that it seemed like there wasn’t anything else to do, I put away my phone. Before long I was able to strike up a conversation with someone. Nothing of great significance, but still–it was a conversation. Though I didn’t have the chance to share the gospel in the short time we were talking, it was enough time to communicate to the person that they are noticed and respected; a person can look at them and smile.
Small things like this can mean a lot more to someone than we might think—and I’m saying this from experience. I distinctly remember the few conversations others have started with me throughout the years. People who didn’t know me that came over and gave a compliment or just started talking about something completely random in such a kind way. They’ve been very uplifting and encouraging—I don’t easily forget them.
There have been many times where I was not feeling well and let that get the better of me by being impatient or unkind. I have no control over not feeling well, but I can choose how to react. No matter what our circumstances or what we own, we are capable of impacting others in a good way or a bad way. It is our choice.
It’s easy to let opportunities slip by while being distracted, or we can simply be unwilling to step out and do something for the benefit of others. This is a selfish way of living, and whether we realize it or not, living selfishly is not healthy for us as an individual.
So let’s make the most of whatever our situation is, and make a difference in someone else’s life for the better.