“And now these three remain: faith, hope & love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
I learn a lot by listening to others. I belong to a chat room for folks with chronic illnesses. I overheard the following conversation (& asked permission to use it as a devotional). I remember thinking, “Wow – what wisdom this gal has!” as she encouraged someone new to the room. The conversation went like this.
“In my 20 years of parenting with chronic illness I’ve learned 3 things …
1. My children will love me even if I can’t make them the best Halloween costume.
2. Expectations will get me disappointed …hope is better,
3. Faith is the foundation of my tomorrow.”
I could not help but be amazed at how concisely she had distilled what it is like to live positively with a chronic illness!
I also see how these three things can easily be my downfall.
I worry that I am useless & that uselessness will alienate people in my life. (To be honest, it does alienate some – but not the ones who love me for being me.) All I need do is love them as best I can
I can easily set myself up by expecting certain things – instead of hoping. Expectations somehow put dem&s on others & myself, which can lead to disappointment. Hope – hope IS so much better – our hope is in God!
If I have no faith for today, if I am not building on that faith – the tomorrow I am creating today will certainly be a disappointing one. My faith will grow weaker instead
Faith. Hope. Love.
Sometimes I think of “chronic illness” as being the label for an exclusive club that not all get to join. We find are with a host of fellow travelers that will encourage us & help us along the way – as we encourage & help others. Our encouragement? Faith, hope, & love.
Prayer: Father God, It can be difficult to see our challenges as “opportunities.” I thank you that you have placed us in positions to grow in faith, in hope, & in love. Thank you for each person who walks this road along side of us. Amen.
About the Author:
Deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic pain & chronic illness is to bring them to the feet of her Lord & Savior. Her multiple illnesses (Celiac Sprue, Atrial Fibrillation, Ankylosing Spondylitis, to name a few) have taught her many things about herself & her Christian walk. It is her fondest desire that her lessons may be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic illness. deni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is http://www.pathwaysforchange.com/Encouragement