It’s hard to believe today is March 1, 2013! It feels like we just celebrated Christmas. There's an old saying which says, "Time flies when you're having fun." But truth be told, I've found time just flies. It doesn't matter whether or not you're actually having fun. Yet the problem with this is for those who have struggled through the past several months, it's easy to look back over the time and be disgusted with one's life and the progress which was made. When that happens, discouragement is usually close to follow.
It has been more than four years since I became so horribly sick that I had to move in with my parents and quit my job. I know what it is like to wonder if life will ever get better. For the person who is chronically sick, this is especially true. Having an illness is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows, good days and bad days - times of suffering and times of joy. But the problem with this roller coaster ride is we never asked to get on this ride, and now that we're on we can't get off. Yet through my years of riding this roller coaster, God has shown me an important truth, and He did it by reminding me of a lesson I once learned in a science class.
Like the oyster, many of us have irritants and pain in our lives. The irritants bother us, and we wish it would simply go away. But to our frustration, God often chooses to leave the irritants in our lives. Yet like the oyster, God uses the irritation and pain to bring healing to our troubled minds and souls. He uses the suffering to take us from living a mediocre life, to making us stand out from everyone else. God uses chronic illnesses, loss of a job, a rebellious child, etc. to bring pearls into our lives.
Oswald Chambers once wrote, "At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained." Whether or not 2013 turns into a great year for you or into a year you would just like to forget, there will come a day when your suffering ends and you see how God turned your pain into a pearl. It's no wonder the first thing we will see when we reach our heavenly home is pearly gates welcoming the wounded and bruised.
"God will never walk away from His people, never desert His precious people...If God hadn't been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, "I'm slipping, I'm falling," Your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, You calmed me down and cheered me up." ~ Psalm 94:14, 17-19 (The Message)
© March 1, 2013