As I sat in my chair at the Cherry Hill Clinic today, enjoying my Lyme Juice, I listened to several different people – all strangers to each other – share life’s deepest challenges. A 16 year old girl losing her mother, a husband and father battling pancreatic cancer, a daughter working her way through college, while taking care of her elderly parents . . . no two stories were the same, but each individual had the same outlook on life. “It’s not easy, but you gotta do, what you gotta do.”
After my Lyme Juice, I headed back to work, finished eating lunch, then stopped back at our cafe for my afternoon caffeine fix. I chatted for awhile with the woman behind the counter about work, kids and ultimately Lyme Disease came up. We talked a little bit about some of my trials, then she shared with me that she had lost her husband to cancer years ago; yet when she told the story it was like it had happened yesterday. As the conversation came to an end, she told me that she understands that God has a plan for everyone and that we may not always understand why things happen, but there’s one thing that she won’t agree with. . . . that something good can come from something tragic like that. Even her kids try to convince her. But there is no convincing this woman that something good will come from her husband’s death.
I admitted to her that I could not relate to her situation at all . . . and that I felt completely blessed because I’ve never experienced that kind of pain. In fact, I often feel like I’m “one of the lucky ones” because I still have both of my parents and I’ve never lost anyone in my immediate family. But on the other hand, I have had my share of trials. I was told at the young age of 16 that I would never have any children. I almost died due to a ruptured ovarian cyst. I held my husband as his mother died in front of us. Fertility treatments, miscarriages, high risk pregnancies, autism, special education attorneys, depression, massive debt and of course Lyme Disease top off the list as recent trials. So, I guess I haven’t exactly had a walk in the park either. But how do I convince someone else that we all have hardship, and that although one person’s problems may seem more significant than someone else’s – that God’s will is what’s best for everyone.
I think the answers start to come together when you think about your life. Ask yourself these three questions: What’s important in your life? What is at the top of your priority list? Who do you trust? When the answer to all three of those is Jesus, it becomes clear that God allows hardship into our lives so that we draw closer to Him.
Tragedy can do two things: draw you closer to God or further from Him. But when you trust in Him completely and put Him first in everything you do, it’s much easier to accept the things that you think “went wrong” in life. Because you know that what seems like a horrible mistake in your life, God is using for good . . . even if you refuse to believe it.
The next time you find your self dwelling on your own difficult situation, remember that God sacrificed his only son to die on the cross for you, so that you can live in eternity with Him, forever. And no matter what your current trial is, you really can find peace in Him. In fact it’s the only place to find true peace. There’s truth to the old say, “Chin up!”
All you have to do is look up, He’s there . . . . waiting for you to reach out to Him. HE is the good that comes out of everything.