I was tired, cold, sick and overall worn out. It’s the typical hormonal nightmare I go through every month for numerous days. I stopped taking the oregano oil for the week of my period, thinking that I should probably take a break after taking it so regularly; a “holiday” as those in the pharmaceutical world name it.
Well, the end of that holiday left me in agony. The nausea was more than I could bear and I had already overdosed myself on Zofran for my body mass, and it wasn’t doing its job.
I didn’t get the laundry folded and put away. Simple enough, that was the start of my cascade failure into hopelessness and tears. The laundry basket was still filled with folded towels from 2 days ago with clothing piled on top from the day before and two loads waiting downstairs.
Our closet was barren of towels and my daughter had to dig in the pile of clothes to get to a folded washcloth.
My daughter’s clean clothes were strewn around her room. Only a few lucky shirts got half way hung up.
School, gosh, school…the past days have been a blur and I think we only did math one day and she did maps while I attempted to make the blandest, quickest dinner ever. I thank God she loves to read.
The butter was on the counter for cookies that I wanted to make for my father, and it’s still there as I write this.
I couldn’t even clean up the kitchen after dinner, bending over did not go well after forcing food down. My husband is wonderful in the ways he picks up where I leave off on those bad days.
By the time 8 o’clock last night came around I sobbed on my husband’s shoulder of how awful I am at being a wife and mother…not being able to do our daughters lessons, clean the house up or even get laundry put away. I have so many projects I want to do, and memories to make. Days like that drag me down to feeling hopeless and inept.
My husband put his strong, bear-hug arms around me and prayed. God did not heal me of the nagging nausea and raging headache in that moment, in fact it got worse as the night went on. But God does not promise to heal us of all of our infirmities; he gave us Jesus…and that’s enough…he healed our spiritual infirmities when he died on that cross. Our spiritual sickness was healed as he spoke “it is finished”. Our sin was finished, wiped clean and we were made pure of our infirmities when we accept his sacrifice as our healing.
Could you imagine a life with no pain, no illness, no cancer, and no death? What would your purpose be? Sure, how wonderful it sounds. But life would be narcissistic and pointless for each of us. We could not live peacefully in such a world! No, our world is not peaceful as is, but that is why Christ has promised to return and conquer the world, just as he conquered spiritual death in eternity on that cross. One day there will be peace, but until that time we are to be God-focused beings, thinking of others before ourselves. It is what brings Joy; putting Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. It is the one change that, if embraced, would bring peace to our war-torn, power-fanatical world.
Each one of us has tough days, struggles with life and days with “piles of laundry” bringing despair. Despite attempts to mask struggles behind a smile, in our humility, we all know what hopelessness feels like. Whether it be struggling with chronic pain, fighting temptations of a sin-filled past, surviving in an abusive marriage, living in poverty, the loss of someone deeply loved, feeling disorganized and incompetent to meet life’s demands, or simply not knowing what to do next…we all know that feeling of despair.
Through our despair, we can bring hope to the hopeless and love to the broken heart. Through your pain, another persons pain can be lessened. God humbles us through our pain, to bring us to a place where we can endure more than we imagined possible. Through this perseverance, he builds in us character. It is in this character that we are likened to Jesus as we are made capable to love others in a way we did not know before. From this character, we can bring hope to those enduring suffering. We can share what brought us to our knees, with an open, uncovered heart and in truth.
As Christians we open our Bibles and know our God. We lean on each other for guidance when hope seems lost and our mind is spinning. We cater to the needs of others just as Jesus tends to ours. This is where we will find true joy and have a peace that surpasses understanding, even in the toughest of times.
One of my favorite pieces of scripture during a time of suffering is in Romans chapter 5:
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And web boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
In that we remember that sufferings are actually given to us as part of life, given to us from a God who uses us, our pain and our abilities, to fulfill a much bigger plan.