Everywhere I turn there is sadness, struggle, far reaching consequences, pain, and fear. Sometimes life is hard on every front, and right now, that is our story.
Several people we love are hurting. One has two lingering health issues that need to be resolved. Waiting to see the specialist. Waiting for a surgery date. Trying to treat the second problem while hanging on until the first is handled. Another got a frightful report from the doctor that raises questions and will require a long wait for test results before they really know what is going on. How can it take two weeks for results? Who can wait that long without succumbing to fear? Yet another struggles with mental illness that has heartbreakingly and negatively impacted others…which would be the understatement of the year.
And at our house, Flyboy, after a summer of trying unsuccessfully to recuperate from a back injury, faces spinal surgery to hopefully fix it. You hear about men who are crybabies and can’t handle pain. This man, who has been gracious and patient and does not complain, has had ongoing daily back pain equivalent to suffering with a kidney stone. He amazes me and blesses me, but it has been hard to watch him endure such agony. Thirteen days and counting.
We all have “Job” seasons when we feel like life is crashing down on all sides. Is nothing sacred? Must every person I love the most be forced to face monumental trials? Is there nothing I can do? Taking the different scenarios to their possible conclusion only yields anxiety.
I can’t breathe.
And then, I stop to remember the things I know to be true.
When Flyboy was being treated for his second (unrelated to the first) bout with cancer in a year, I thought for sure I was going to lose him. I was driving home from work one day, and my 20-mile-through-the-countryside commute provided plenty of time to think. I was anxiously asking the Lord how this all was going to turn out and he gave me several clear messages. First, having trusted in God since my early childhood, he was either going to get me through or everything I thought I knew about him was a lie. Then and now, I choose to trust in the One I have trusted my whole life. He has never left me wanting and he won’t start now. Second, this lifetime is not all there is. No matter what happens here, we are promised an eternity with no more sorrow, no more pain. Heaven is a real place, and our heavenly perspective will make a difference in how we live out our earthly journey. Lastly, the Lord reminded me that in the scope of eternity, the time we spend in this life is barely a blip on the screen. It will be over in the blink of an eye, and I can make it for that long. I can endure this prelude to eternal life, no matter how hard it may become. Yes. With the power of the risen Savior and the companionship of my Abba Father, I can do it.
But I am still human with human feelings and I feel the weight of it all. This week, I’ve been through grief, shock, panic, imagined loss, and now I’m somewhat numb. I know the unknown is always the hardest to face and as we wait for more information, it’s weighing heavy on us all. I may be speaking for me, but we are all in this together. Trials can either tear you apart or forge you together. We are circling the wagons and supporting one another.
Here in the middle of it all, guess what God did? Knowing this time was coming, he sent a family of angels our way who are staying with us for the next 18 days while they are in-between houses. Our attention is diverted from the infernal waiting and instead the conversation is sweet and the future is bright as they embark on a new ministry. We get to participate by providing them a place to land. Thank you, Lord, for this unexpected blessing!
God is always good. We know this to be true, but we sometimes struggle to internalize it. Help us, Lord, to lean into you and trust you through it all.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. –Lamentations 3:22-23