Photo courtesy of Tami Werling
Years ago I attended a summer training program with a Christian ministry called The Navigators. It was a 4 week venture where a small group of collegiates, together with a few staff, met to work, to play, and to study the scriptures. It was a time of intense growth, and the lessons I learned then have served me well.
In this world you will have trouble…
Life is hard sometimes, isn’t it? Often it even seems that we finish one problem, only to begin work on the next, or, just as often, problems come flooding in. About 10 years ago I was working in therapy with an older gentleman following his fractured hip. He was also dealing with cancer, and his wife was ill. He modified a cliché saying that made me chuckle and shake my head in agreement, “If it’s not one thing, its two!” I repeat that saying to this day–so true!
Life has been challenging the last several years to be sure. Our family has walked through some tough times:
The sudden and unexpected death of my mother–our family’s chief supporter, cheerleader, and one of my dearest friends
My daughter’s diagnosis of a lifelong disease (see post entitled: Our Diabetes Story)
Unemployment, three times in 8 years…financial strain
A horrible car accident where a family member was involved, and a young man lost his life
Betrayal by a close friend
Health questions, including a cancer scare
A threatened lawsuit regarding earned wages
Caring for an elderly parent
A bitter family member that grieves the heart
And a few other things that will not be mentioned here
…but take heart! I have overcome the world!
–Jesus (John 16:33)
How can a person make it through the heart wrenching and difficult times that come in life? I know there have been times when I have been incredibly needy. I’ve joked with a friend that I’m an 8 on a scale of 10 in neediness (If you’ve had me as your therapist, the 1-10 scale might make you laugh). Tragedy, loss, fear, illness, persecution, you name it. –is there anything stable and dependable in life??? Thankfully, yes. Yes there is. The key to continuing on is found in a concept I learned back at that summer training program: Live in Light of Eternity.
There is a God who has promised that He will always be with us, that He will never leave us, and that He will complete His work in us. In knowing Him, in finding not only my worth, but my very identity in Him, I am secure, and able to navigate what life has in store.*
Life on earth is just a speck in light of eternity. Stresses are real, and losses are devastating, but God offers a bright future. This world is our practice field, our preparing grounds, for the life God has planned for us with Him. For the one who follows Christ, home is with Him. Home is in eternity, and the hard things in this world just make us long for our home. Matthew West put it beautifully in his song, The Reason for the World. Listen to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swKPS9q7rMU
Finally, I would also like to invite you to read a blog post about suffering. It gives a wonderful perspective on our response to God as humans in a fallen world. It is full of insight about a principal called the “vav,” a hebrew word that translates “and yet.” I hope you will be inspired by it. I know I found myself agreeing: http://www.rabbitroom.com/2012/03/what-i-learned-from-scc/
*Philippians 1:6, Galatians 2:20, Matthew 28:18-20, Hebrews 13:5 , Romans 8:28-29, Jeremiah 29:11, = some scriptures to consider