Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hope Springs Eternal

Spring is always such a glorious time of year in the Midwest. After a few months of cold and dreary weather, rays of sunshine help to boost my mood. Birds are building nests, the tulips are blooming, and signs of life have returned with the sounds of children playing in the neighborhood. We always joke about hibernating during the winter, and that isn't far from the truth; between the wind, ice and snow, I am stuck at home more often than not, and we rarely see neighbors. Spring brings sunny days, awakening in us the knowledge that warmer weather is just around the corner.

It has been a very rough winter. I have not blogged much, partly because I haven't felt well, and partly because I feel the need to having something important to say; to have a well thought out analogy to encourage others, and sometimes I honestly have nothing earth shattering to post. I tend to put too much pressure on myself and I hope to write more frequently this year with just everyday stuff.

Since my last post, I have started and stopped a few medications that have caused a lot of side effects, have had multiple colds, the flu, bronchitis, pharyngitis, and a sinus infection on top of everything else. Most recently I have been treated for an ulcer caused by the meds that were suppose to help the neuropathy. Stopping all the medicine to help my stomach heal caused a flare up of pain and triggered a round of migraines. A few weeks ago, I wasn't handling it all so well; lying in bed and praying that the suffering might end, whether through healing or death.

Suffering is not easy. I pray constantly for the grace to handle whatever the future may hold. I pray that I may suffer well, if suffering is to be my calling. I pray that God might be merciful and heal me, but most importantly I want His will to be done, and not mine. Chronic pain wears you down. There have been lots of tears and repentance. Repentance for my doubting, for my whining, for my constant pleading for mercy and striving against what God's plan for me is. I hurt. A lot. We all walk paths that are difficult. We all struggle and fight against the reality of our lives and our own selfish desires. I selfishly desire to be pain free; to live a long, happy and "normal" life. But when I am really trusting God, reading His word, and praying; I am reminded of the hope that is found only in Him. I am able to continue down this path, by His grace.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 ESV)

 So as I hear the birds chirping and put on my sunglasses to block the sun's bright rays, I am reminded that my ultimate hope is found only in Jesus Christ. My prayers were answered at the cross. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Corinthians 4:17). This life is temporary, but my hope is eternal. I may be in pain here on this earth, but the greater good was accomplished through Jesus, who secured my salvation. I will not suffer for all eternity apart from my Savior, and that promise keeps me going on days I want to give up. My eyes are lifted upwards and my hope springs eternal.

Are your eyes fixed upon Christ or on your own sufferings? Pray and ask for the grace to suffer well.