“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” Epictetus
In the next few days I go back to London again for my next inpatient stay in hospital which I have been dreading after the incredible pain from the time before. However I know it is necessary even if there is only a slim chance I will get functioning arms again.
Although despite not looking forward to this admission I am thankful that God will never leave my side, and by His grace He gives me the strength to cope. I don’t deserve God’s grace and love towards me, but time and time again there has never been a day I have not gotten through and all of this is because of God. For He is always filling me with strength, hope, patience and the ability to persevere regardless of how difficult this journey becomes.
“He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go.” Psalm 18:32
Recently I have been studying the book of James and I praise God for teaching and showing me His ways at such a perfect time. For as I was reading chapter 1 the words ‘steadfastness’ and ‘perseverance’ kept jumping out at me. God made me realise that through this journey He was changing me so I could have the ability to persevere and become steadfast. God was showing me to persist in my faith and maintain my true purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement and to do all this with patience and faithfulness to God.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 1:2-4.
Therefore when I’m on this journey, having admission after admission of painful and exhausting treatment, I need to be strong in my faith to God. I need to have patience in waiting for improvement and I cannot allow bad circumstances, and obstacles along the way, make me lose sight of God and my faith in Him. However, even though God is my strength and protection, even though God gives me the ability to remain steadfast with perseverance, doesn’t mean I’m going to face the challenges of this upcoming admission and the rest of my life with ease. Patsy Clarimont states,
“Hope doesn’t announce that life is safe, therefore we won’t be. Instead it whispers that Christ is our safety in the midst of harsh reality.”
Some of the things I’m facing at the moment are harsh realities and I’ve been struggling to accept that I will live with some of these difficulties for the rest of my life. God’s strength, protection and the hope he gives to us doesn’t eradicate these difficulties and I will still have to go to hospital. However instead, now as I go back to London, God replaces my dread with the promise of His safety, strength and protection through it all and as I face the challenges of each new day God, working within me, gives me the ability to persevere with patience through it all.
There will always be beauty in the broken because trials are trials, with all their pain and ache, but hidden in the dark corner of every challenge is an intimate, intensely personal invitation for us to meet face to face, heart to heart with our comforter, our head-lifter, our healer, our tear catcher, our provider, our counsellor, our refuge, our Lord.
Therefore my worry can be replaced with perseverance and thankfulness to our amazing, Sovereign and almighty God.