It has been over four months since I last sat down at this keyboard to write how I feel. Since then I have earned my Mdiv in Pastoral Ministries, celebrated my 34th birthday and a bunch of other little things. The one thing that hasn’t changed at least for the better is the amount of pain I feel daily from fibromyalgia.
I have tried to do so many different things around my home, my church, and in my life in general that have not panned out the way I expected. Over the last four years my pain has grown exponentially. It has grown from being a nuisance to being major pain especially in my shoulders and back. I recently volunteered several hours of my time to my church’s Wednesday night meal and payed for the three hours I spent helping by being laid up for close to five hours the next day. The sad part in all of this is I used to be a cook who would would 9-12 hours a day in a kitchen. Now I cannot seem to put in four hours without paying dividends on it in pain.
I don’t know about you, but for me to not be able to do simple things I once did makes me feel less than. Less than a man, less than acceptable, less than a lot of things. I miss being able to cut my own grass, help with with more household chores and so many other things.
With all of my new limitations I tend to find myself asking the question of “Why Me Lord?” when in reality I need to realize why not me, what makes me so special that I should not have to face hardship in this life. It has taken me some time to realize this but there are times we are just going to go through hardship. Some of my greatest encouragement comes from the book of Job, where God allows Satan to test Job on so many fronts, but he is not allowed to kill him. He takes away his health, wealth, and most of his family, to see if Job will “…curse God and die.” But Job realizes that it is the Lord who gives and takes away.
It is this understanding giving hope to those who trust in Jesus. He gave us life and took away death. While it is appointed for man to die once, we can have a hope no matter our situation. Our hope doesn’t lie in the things we can see it lies in the God-Man Jesus. Trusting that everything written about him in the Bible is true. So no longer do I ask “Why Me?” when things don’t seem to be going my way, because we are told to expect tests and trials by James the half-brother of Jesus. What do you tend to do when things look like they are going in a direction you weren’t expecting? Do you talk with God or do you attempt to accuse him of doing wrong by you in allowing hardship to come your way?
The things we need to do is hand over control of our lives to the one who is in control of the universe. When we understand that God loves us and is working things out for our good as long as we are his (Rom 8:28) then the situations we face won’t seem so dire. So surrender yourselves over to the one who judges justly.
Question: Where do you find peace in the midst of your trials? Who/what do you run to in tough times?