My family (both sides) has been going through a tough season of physical issues ranging from a cousin who just passed away from lung cancer to a sister-in-law who just had a colostomy because of complications caused by radiation for uterine cancer. Several other family members have been hit by various cancers and have heart and lung issues. Then there’s the day-to-day aches and pains and struggles with obesity. At times the load seems unbearable.
But I’ve often found that things God has given me to share with others are the same things that I need to be reminded of myself. In my previous life as a youth pastor, I remember teaching about the perspective of how we view our problems. When something happens that we don’t understand, can’t control and that fill us with pain, we tend to focus all of our attention on the problem or problems. It’s kind of like a pencil. If you put a pencil six inches from your nose and look at it, what happens? Everything else becomes background. And the closer we hold the pencil to our eyes, the less we see of the background. All we see is the pencil. God’s solution is to “look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).” While it’s important to know what the problem is (after all we don’t want to poke ourselves in the eye), the solution is always from above. That’s why Jesus suffered and died for us. So that we can be redeemed–turned in for full value.
The other thing to remember is that God never tries or tempts us beyond what we are capable of bearing–unless He gives us a way to escape (I Cor 10:13). For me I’ve discovered that writing or running are ways of escape. When things get too much to handle, I get by myself and run or write. Neither of these things by themselves solves any of the serious problems, but they both put me in a frame of mind where I can better hear what God is trying to say to me through the difficulties. He may not remove or take me from the trial or temptation, but He always provides a way to bear up under it. Most of my learning comes from the trials and temptations in my life. So ignore the pencil, look up and begin to accept what you need from God!