Sometime ago I experienced unexpected physical problems. Although I’d experienced physical issues in the past, this time it lasted days .
In such situations my mind goes to the worst case scenarios.
I rested, prayed, and read. I found helpful thoughts in A Wing and a Prayer: A Message of Faith and Hope by Katharine Jefferts Schori. In writing about struggles and fears she wrote, “How are we going to respond to the next terror? Where is the blessing in this encounter?” (p122)
As I searched for the blessings of that encounter three came to mind.
-time to relax comfortably with my loving cat on my lap.
-reminded how smart she is for seeming to know when I wasn’t feeling well.
-thankful it happened on a long weekend when I wasn’t supposed to be at work.
Jefferts Schori continues “If my self image is based on having some disease, then its going to shape and limit who or what I can be in the future. She quotes Phillipians 3:13 ‘Forget about the past, for I am doing a new thing – don’t you see it?’ Don’t’ let the past define who you can become. The future is not going to look like the past…In some sense, we can’t see the new thing God is working in us until we stop expecting this wound to define our future.” (pp.127-128)
It’s easy to say, hard to do, especially when physical issues remain and others develop.
I don’t, yet, see what “new thing God is working” in me. Still, the blessing today is having the hope that God is with me through whatever is happening and having the faith that something new will develop through it all.
In these difficult times I invite you to consider what might be the blessing or new thing developing in you. If you wish, you may join in the following prayer.
Comforting God, we turn to you for hope in these struggling times. We don’t understand why sickness and difficult events happen in our lives. Help us to be aware of a blessing or new things that can come out of our struggles. Help us remember that you are with us always even when we aren’t aware. Amen.