As I was going through my emails, I had forgotten that I had signed up at a website called A Virtuous Woman . It's a ministry for women based on the scriptures of Proverbs 31. I've been receiving emails about a devotion series that's going on at the site and decided to check it out. I came across a discussion on 2 Corinthians 1. I thought the verses that the writer was talking about were encouraging words for those of us with chronic health issues and all that goes with them.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
How often do we remember to praise God and ask for His comfort when we are in the pain that we are? I know for me it's not nearly as much as I should. Several years ago Bill was having a horrible time with back pain. One night nothing would help. He took all the pain pills he could. Lay on the heating pad. All to no avail. Because he didn't want to wake me up, he said he literally crawled to the living room and then couldn't get up off the floor into his recliner. As he laid his head on the chair, he said the only thing he could do was to call out to God saying "Please help me.” Bill said that was the only prayer he could put together the pain was so bad. As he lay there calm came over him and he was able to get up in the chair, kick back and go to sleep. When my pain began to get so bad in 2009, I remembered that story for comfort at times when nothing else would help. When I turned to God for my comfort, He heard my prayers and gave me the strength to get through the day. What we consider “getting through the day” is usually much different than those without the pain we deal with every day of our lives. Still to us, it is a huge accomplishment.
Paul goes on to say:
"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8b-9
Verses 8b - 9 remind me of our daily battle with life. There is nothing easy about our life. We face pain, families and doctors who don't believe we are sick, financial struggles because we are no longer able to work. Even basic household chores are the same type challenges to us that marathon runners face. Some of you may think I exaggerate about the house work being like a marathon. Trust me, for some of us it is not an exaggeration. I think it's safe to say that we are under great pressure that we have no ability to endure on our own. I think you would agree that we also have times in our life where we have felt that we can't go on and feel like we've been given a kind of death sentence.
It's such a simple thing to say a silent prayer and ask for comfort from our pain or other obstacles in our way. It's a simple thing that I often forget to do until I've used up all my earthly means of finding comfort or trying to work through the obstacles for myself. I've decided to challenge myself to do everything I can to become a person who turns to God first instead of trying to solve the problem by my own means. Will you join me in taking on the challenge?