Every week, I feel like I am always saying (with a sigh) “It is always something new.” Last week, I am sure it was something (‘though I can’t remember). Yesterday, it was a trip to the ER. And as if the trip early in the morning was not enough, I got on the wrong bus which delayed my entire day. When I finally got there, and as I sat in the waiting room, was I thinking about the abdominal pains I was experiencing? Not exactly. The only thought: how much is this going to cost?
After telling my whole life story to a nurse, giving my weight and height, and having all my vitals taken, I was escorted to my own sterile room. Hey, I mean it was no breakfast in bed (and I skipped breakfast), but it was better than a curtain. I sat there imagining all the things that could be wrong…you know…listening to my “imagination”–which was starting to get the best of me. The doctor walked in, asked me what was wrong, and after hearing me describe my pain, he proceeded to tell me all the tests they were going to run. ENTER ANXIETY STAGE RIGHT. As I watched the doc walk out to get ready to roll me to take some radioactive tests, I sat there. Alone, staring at white walls, bandaids, and hand sanitizer. No tv, no radio. My cell phone didn’t work. And I had read all the articles in the morning paper.
But I did have this book that I happened to purchase last week. The name of it: “The Blessing of Adversity.” I tend to keep a book in my purse for bus and train reading, and this time seemed just as good as any to read a little bit. My bookmark was in Chapter 3, and the first sentence sets the tone: Have you ever wondered if your dark days of trouble will end? Shaking my head as if the book was written just for me, I made a soft “moan,” which was the equivalent to an “amen”. But that was not the part that really stood out. Under the subheading “Develop the Right Perspective,” one sentence struck a major chord in my melancholy composition:
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve been singled out for suffering, testing, or persecution.
1 Corinthians 10:13 states: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” What does that mean? It simply means that whatever you are going through, another human has experienced it (sorry…you ain’t the only one going thru, boo-boo). While the predicament may be bleak, the same God who pulled another out of a dark circumstance, can do the same for you. And if the God that Daniel called out to, David wrote about, and Job surrendered to, stepped in their situations, then He would surely step into mine…if I asked Him to. I put down the book, closed my eyes, and simply said to God that I knew He had all in control, and that I was sorry for my unbelief, fear, and anxiety. Applying Philippians 4:6 (Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God) is easier to say, at times, than to apply. But it felt good to just act on faith, instead of trying to create a new way.
With every trial that comes up, thank God not only for the victory. Thank God for the trouble. If you have to turn to Him to bring you out–congratulations! You have now developed a deeper relationship and dependence on God based on a situation that may have sought to destroy you or stray you away.
For every ailment, slip, fall, one drink too many, one guy too many, one lie too many, one curse too many.
For every procrastination, every disobedient act, every failure to serve, love and live for others.
We thank you, Lord. Not for our foolishness. Not for the things of this world we cannot control. But for the reminder that we truly need YOU to get by.
Thank you trouble 🙂