“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13 (NLT)
This is my first blog in quite some time. Unfortunately, 2017 has been a year of medical mysteries for me, with the most recent involving my vision. After working on a computer all day, it’s been necessary for me to rest my eyes when I’m not at work.
The good news is that the most serious possibilities have been ruled out. No brain tumor. No Multiple Sclerosis. We’re still working on figuring out the cause, but I am so grateful that the most insidious of causes have been ruled out. Praise God for His mercy!
For the time being, I’m unable to drive at night so I’ve been forced to adjust my routine to get all of my errands done during the day. It was snowy and slippery yesterday morning but I had things that needed to be done, so I ventured outdoors.
I don’t always pray specifically before pulling out to drive, but the Spirit prompted me and I asked God to place a hedge of protection around my car. Less than 5 minutes and 1 mile later, I miraculously escaped an accident. When I look back at what happened and how it happened, my car should have been wrecked, yet I drove away without so much as a scratch, on me or my car.
I finished out my day with a trip to the grocery store. As usual, I was strapped for cash and I paused to pray. God put it on my heart that He would provide and told me not to worry. I picked up a few necessities and came home.
Later in the day, I met for coffee with someone very dear to me. When we were parting ways he handed me a Christmas card. Once I arrived home, I opened the card. Inside was an extremely generous gift card for the store where I grocery shop. God told me He would provide and just a few hours later, He did. I am so grateful for this person’s generous spirit.
This year has taught me many important lessons and reinforced my faith in the power of prayer. There have been some big changes in my life this year, a few of them very difficult. I’ve been blessed to start a few new relationships and rekindle an old one, and was also led to end another. Through it all, the greatest lesson I learned is that happiness and sadness are not mutually exclusive.
People often look at life as peaks and valleys. I learned this year that life is more like two trains running simultaneously, side-by-side. The good stuff and the bad stuff in life happen at the same time and it’s okay to feel joy, even in the midst of hard times.
The stress of my medical issues does not in any way damper the joy I find in my son’s success this year. The feeling of loss over an ended relationship doesn’t take away the happiness I find in being with my friends and family. The never-ending lack of money doesn’t damper the gratitude in my heart for God’s daily provisions.
I once read that the most effective way to magnify your problems is to keep talking about them. I have tried this year to talk more about God’s goodness than my earthly problems. When God blesses me, I make it a point to share my story with as many people as I can to bring God glory.
To think that 2018 will be problem-free for any of us is unrealistic. My prayer for my life, and yours, in the coming year is that despite the pain and trials we will inevitably face, that we are all able to experience the joy of God’s simultaneous blessings.