I seem to have two main modes in my life with affliction, “normal bad” and “bad bad.” And then there are the “speed bumps,” those new or badly flaring episodes that can stop me in my tracks.
I have gotten used to “normal bad” mode. I have to pace myself, allow for my challenges and everyday difficulties, but can function on some level. The “bad bad” days can place me in survival mode, just treading water, trying to avoid being overcome by the challenge of affliction hitting me full in the face. But it is the “speed bumps” that are most difficult to deal with.
Speed bumps of affliction seriously slow me down, force me to assess my condition, my inabilities, can cause me to question God’s fairness, even His goodness. Speed bumps take a deck that seems stacked against me and clobbers me over the head, making the point that I’m dealing with circumstances hard to rectify with a fair and kind God. When we are already suffering so much–how is it fair that we are hit with another affliction, a worse-than-normal flare-up, or a deteriorating condition?
The challenge for afflicted believers is to keep faith alive in the midst of hitting speed bumps of affliction. I think we can make peace with a certain level of hardship, but when affliction is piled upon affliction our natural tendency is to turn to God and ask: “Why?” “Why more God?” “Why allow even more hardship to enter my already difficult life?”
Such questions do not have easy answers. As much as we would wish it to be–life simply is not fair. In the end we must rely upon our core beliefs, keep alive our hopes, and ultimately trust that even though we may not understand why God allows certain things in our lives, what we can do is to hold on to God in the midst of the storms, leaning upon Him for support when the speed bumps of affliction bring us to a halt.
We all face challenges of many kinds. And this side of heaven we may not understand why so many challenges come our way, but even though we may not be spared the “speed bumps”, we can take hold of God so that we do not veer off of the road. He can hold us together when the ride gets bumpy, and perhaps one day we will better understand it all.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please make the road smooth before us, and keep us on the road even when speed bumps slow us down. Amen.
About the author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is not a fan of the speed bumps of life, but he has found God to be faithful and comforting, especially in hard times.
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How do you handle the “speed bumps” of affliction? Do you sometimes question the fairness of God when you or your family are struck by hardships?