against all hope, believe.

Tag: sickness

Living joyfully amidst trials

It’s 5:27pm, and the world is alive with sounds, smells, laughter, barking, barbecues lit, and music playing. For many, this hour, this moment, is full of the people they love, the friendships they cherish, and memories just beginning to be made. For many this is just another beautiful weekend crowning a long, but productive workweek; the sweet satisfaction of rest and respite after all their labor. For others, this hour could be anything but sweet. For others this is just another day without a husband by their side or father for their children to look up to. It is just another day without enough food, a day without freedom, a day without love, a day without hope, a day without direction. This seemingly beautiful Saturday night may in fact be just like any other that passes with tears, with sorrow, with less than full joy in the absence of all that could be or the lack of what is.

I think we can all agree, the world is a complex place, fraught with sadness, disappointment, catastrophe, despair, abuse, injustice, broken dreams, broken lives, broken promises, broken people, hurt, wrongdoing, disease, pain, and on and on it goes. For those who have faith in God remember that even Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble.” Yet, even in all that this life cannot promise or deliver, we can still find joy in the midst of our circumstances. Even in your failing health, failing marriage, or failing dreams, you can still hold onto and relish the good that is, and haveĀ confident expectation of better to come. Yes, even in the most despairing, unfair, and disadvantageous of circumstances you can still find reason to be joyful and evenĀ enjoy this life God has given.

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How can one heart, sanctified by purity, oscillate between two such opposing extremes; on the one end bitterness, and the other, gratitude. How can the same soul, which awakes with thanksgiving at the sound of seagulls calling to one another in the misty morning hours, also lie down with enmity toward those who soar through life without second thought to limitations or constraints. Without second thought to the little things throughout the day that are so easily taken for granted. The things which those of us bound by the chains of our own bodies long to have the freedom to do once again. The things our sickness so unforgivingly snatched away. Of how deeply we pine for the simple things of life. To plan a lunch date without fear of whether we will be stricken by pain. To make a commitment without considering how it may interrupt or affect our tedious and time-consuming treatment. To jump with joy in response to a victory, an exciting report, or even just because we feel like showing our delight. And on to the bigger little things, such as the ability to throw on a pair of sneakers and run with no goal or end in mind, or to hike up a mountain or even a sizeable hill, to swim in the sea, to dance at a wedding, to attend an exercise class, or any number of physical things that should characterize the years of youth and remain throughout decades to come.
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