Yesterday morning I felt that little tickle in the back of my throat. I just knew a cold was coming on, and I don’t take colds lying down. I kill them. I started alternating Cold-Eeze and Zicam all day long. Drank an Airborne and an Emergen-C. Popped a few more Zicams when I woke up in the middle of the night (cause this 47-year-old just can’t sleep straight through the night anymore…). And please don’t criticize my method unless you are in the medical field and you know I’m in serious danger of vitamin C poisoning.
See this momma ain’t got time to be sick. I’m serving at church, playing tennis (if it ever quits raining), going to the state basketball tournament this week. I do NOT have time to feel bad.
And yet sickness comes. And sometimes sicknesses way worse than a cold can strike a friend, a spouse, even you. Diseases such as diabetes, cancer or ALS appear in seemingly healthy people all around us. And those people have plans – plans which surely don’t include endless doctor visits, multiple medicines and painful side effects.
And we wonder “Why, God? Why is there so much suffering?” And if you are in the middle of the suffering, there’s not a single Christian-sounding-one-liner that will make it the jumbled puzzle pieces in your head form a pretty picture.
I’ve witnessed friends who have a relationship with Jesus and believe the truth found in Scripture be rescued out of the depths of despair into a place of supernatural comfort. But the Scripture only helps because they KNOW it is from God. They BELIEVE in God’s promises. Otherwise the words would just be a bunch of letters typed on hundreds of pages of parchment.
So many passages of Scripture are helpful during times of despair, but this one resonates with me time and time again when I hear of great suffering. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Short, sweet, to the point. Jesus doesn’t say He overcomes easy diseases or little problems. He has overcome THE WORLD and all the ugliness in it. And when I started looking at the world as my temporary home, not my permanent place of residence, my whole attitude about suffering changed. I don’t want it, I don’t like it, but I know this is not my final destination. And if I’m the follower of Christ I claim to be I am to trust God and glorify Him in ALL situations, not only when I am in the fun zones.
So no matter what you suffer today, work on thanking Him for the blessings in the middle of your mess instead of whining about it. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Blessings to you all! Now where did I put that Zicam…