We who suffer chronic physical and/or emotional issues understand how difficult it is to merely survive some days. Those closest to us can’t figure out why we’re so depressed, so anxious, so ANGRY, but if you don’t live in chronic pain, you just don’t get it.
T-shirt wisdom such as “think of how much worse things could be,” “cheer up” and “look on the bright side” just doesn’t cut it. For the spiritually minded, however, one of the tricks to surviving is keeping our eyes on GOD and not on our pain, depression or anxiety. We must never stop striving for the light, even in the most dreaded of dark places.
I ran across a few scriptures last night which I felt impressed to share. Check out these verses from Proverbs 3:
“My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store My commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones (verses 1-8).”
God’s not trying to lay a bunch of constricting rules on us, but rather, help us to have a richer, fuller, more joyful life. Think of these directives more like terms in a contract. For example, we’re in the beginning stages of buying a house, and our realtor has a few minor items the current owner needs to address before we proceed.
“IF you fix this, we will buy the house.” (Not huge things, mind you, just typical repairs any owner would have to do)
IF you do this, THEN we will do this…
So it is with these verses. God’s first suggestion is, “store My commands in your heart,” THEN “your life will be satisfying.” Doing this takes our eyes off the circumstance, and keeps them on the Lord.
The next tip is, if we practice loyalty and kindness, “THEN you will find favor and earn a good reputation.” Loyalty and kindness are lost arts in the 21st century, it seems. People don’t hold doors open for others anymore. They pull out in front of you in traffic and then yell at YOU when you follow too closely. They mock you for expressing a differing opinion. They lose their cool at the slightest HINT of delay, and on and on goes the madness, but take a moment to be kind to someone and you’ll make their day.
Try and move past the ugliness of agony, beyond the shadows of despair, and open yourself up to love, to kindness, to faith. Keep pressing into the light, and bit by bit, you’ll watch the darkness dissipate.
Moving along to the next “life hack” from Proverbs 3, God says to trust Him and seek His will in all you do, and He “WILL show you which path to take.” Not “might,” but WILL!
Finally, you are encouraged to fear God and turn away from evil, “then you WILL have healing for your body and strength for your bones.”
Satan wants us to concentrate on our weaknesses, ailments and shortcomings, but the Lord says, “trust Me, follow Me, be kind and loyal, and I will lift you out of the swampy muck that is your life right now.”
Anyone can be a JERK to others, but it takes a warrior to show love in the face of hatred. It’s easy to be rude, but only the STRONGEST among us can be kind in the face of rage. The more we practice this, the easier it gets, and the more peace and healing we discover for our bones AND our souls.
I pray this helps. Blessings!