“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” (2 Corinthians 4:8)
“So, I am writing a report for the surgeon,” my physical therapist said. “How would you describe how you feel about your h&?”
“Well,” I said, “I am glad that I had the surgery. My fingers are straight again. But it’s not a ‘new h&’ like everyone said it would be. It’s a ‘different h&’. I’m disappointed that one finger is crooked. I know I am lucky that three out of four have healed well & if I had to choose a finger to be crooked I suppose it would be my ring finger. But I’m honestly a little bit bummed about it & the fact that it throws all the other fingers off.”
There are many times in our life that an illness or its symptoms will perplex us. Why does God allow surgery that we needed to not fix the problem? Why did He allow infection to occur when we are doing our best to control every risk factor? Why did He allow our illness to tear apart relationships that we care deeply about? Why did He let it drain our bank account, impacting our entire family?
The questions are endless & we could each make a long list that we could add to on a daily basis for the rest of our lives.
The joy of the Lord, however, can give us the ability to be perplexed, but not filled with despair. At my recent post-operation appointment with my (very sweet) surgeon when I told him thank you for giving me my h& back, he said, “You have helped me.”
I did not even catch that particular comment; my husb& told me what he said later. I do remember replying to him something like “I just take one day at a time. It has nothing to do with being courageous” & he said “But you are always smiling.”
There is a reason for that smile: The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Life will have as many circumstances that will perplex us. Some may tempt us to question God’s motives, His plans, & His true purpose. But we can rest on His promise that “The Lord is my strength & my shield; my heart trusts in Him, & I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7)
It’s impossible to despair & also trust in the Lord at the same time.
About the Author:
Lisa Copen & is the founder of Rest Ministries & has lived with rheumatoid arthritis & fibromyalgia since 1993. She resides in San Diego with her husb& & seven-year-old son. She is the author of a variety of books including Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.