One child-like trait that is quite hard to find in any regular adult is that they are joyfully hopeful. Promise a child a toy or a trip to the zoo or a play date and they peacefully revel in sweet anticipation. Nothing can dampen their spirit, they count the days and they delight in doing whatever you tell them to do. Remind them of the promise and they jump up and down for joy. That is how kids hope.
However, adults are all messed up because most of the time, life gets in the way of our hopes. A hope for a promotion that never came, a hope for a salary increase that was never given, a hope to recover from bankruptcy, a hope for a baby, a hope for a happy marriage, a hope for a cure for a disease. Eventually, the word hope is loosely used because a crushed hope leaves a person with just a word-an empty word called hope.
If you are in chronic pain, I don’t imagine you to fit the description “happy camper”. You’re in pain, you’re depressed, you’re frustrated and tolerance is below sea level. Day in day out you wish, hope and pray for at least a break from pain. It is elusive and you want relief right here, right now. When a simple task of opening a jar is like pushing a stubborn mule, you throw in the towel, start a pity party and feel miserable.
When things don’t go our way and things don’t happen the way we expected them to happen, we become creative. We take the steering wheel, shift gears and speed off. “Things didn’t happen my way, I will take the highway” – to oblivion and destruction.
The tragedy of it all is, it’s misplaced anger and false self-indignation.
The story of Job is a timeless and perfect example of a “series of unfortunate events”. He lost everything and instead of getting support his friends judged him and even mocked by his own wife! I will leave it up to you to read it or re-visit the book and get new insights.
Believers are given too many instructions in the Scripture on about every aspect of human living. Romans 12:12 is a short but sweet reminder that we should “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
In the midst of all our woes and chaos, our blessed hope should encourage us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age. (Titus 2:11-14)
Focusing our eyes on Jesus changes not only the way we live but it gives us a deeper understanding of how and why God operates the way that He does. There is comfort and confidence that God will deliver us from our sufferings and that He speaks to us in our affliction (Job 36:15). We just need to turn our listening ears and instead of murmuring, we must pray without ceasing.( 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
We are not inept fools wandering about without a purpose. We believe and serve a Sovereign God. Our lives, regardless of how inconvenient and painful should reflect that.
- Affliction and Glory (wrob77.wordpress.com)
- Patience, Perseverance and Chronic Pain (keepcalmhugpugs.wordpress.com)