By the time you hit the full-head-of-gray-hair stage of life, you’ve known some amazing highs and some really challenging lows. It’s been that season for my family. WHICH season, you ask? Both, all mixed in together. As we anticipate enthusiastically one child’s wedding, we bemoan with sadness the incredible difficulty which lies before the other child. In the midst of it all, we have grappled with chronic health issues that have pushed the limits of our coping while social distancing and wearing masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How does a person NOT lose hope during tumultuous seasons that threaten faith? After plenty of “winters” of life in which I did not suffer well, here are some keys I’ve learned through staying in God’s Word through the hard times:
1. Be still before God, remaining in prayer, and let Him do the heavy lifting. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 ESV
2. Walk in the Spirit with an attitude of prayer. “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV. Keep your eyes focused on the eternal things.
3. Seek wise counsel from godly friends or from professionals. This may even include your physician. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV.
4. Wait expectantly for the victory that awaits! God’s name WILL be glorified. He WILL complete the good work He started. “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:6
5. Refuse to let circumstances dictate your mindset and the attitude in which you live. “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,” Philippians 1:27 ESV.
6. Consider it joy that you have been chosen for suffering alongside of Christ. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 ESV
7. Find joy in the ordinary. Flowers in the garden, a playful dog, sunshine on your face, a smiling stranger who waves at you. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8.
This battle between flesh and spirit will continue until the day we are fully completed in Christ. Difficulty is NORMAL, so laugh in the crazy. 😎🚦