I was talking to a dear friend today who was very discouraged because of severe physical and bipolar problems. She is a sweet, precious person, with great talent, who struggles hard with her infirmities. Her discouragement was intensified by the doctor giving her medicine that caused damage to her aortic valve. She has a beautiful family and a hard working husband who is also discouraged by our troubled economy.
This very special person has struggled with other issues in the past and survived them, but sometimes it is easy to wonder if the burdens can’t be too overwhelming. What can a friend say to comfort or inspire in such situations, without saying something inane or vapid, empty of anything meaningful or helpful?
I just think back and look over situations in my own life when I was in such frightful situations, so desperate I wanted to give up. It happens to us all at some time or other. One time I was so close to death the doctors didn’t think they could bring me back from the brink. But, ten years later I am still here, still not over all the weakness that illness brought on, but at least able to write and hopefully make a difference. For months after that illness I had to crawl up the stairs to get things I needed during the day. That was my daily exercise. It was like going up a ten story building each day (the number of times I went up and down the stairs). I was so happy people didn’t see me. It was so humbling.
Those difficult times and other more painful, but not life-threatening experiences, made me realize we don’t need much to accomplish what God wants us to accomplish. And I am not thinking of material things, just ordinary physical strength something for him that will be of help to others who are also struggling to survive. and mental stamina to accomplish something worthwhile for our families or for those whom God intends us to help by our ministry.
So, when we seem to be in such dire straits that even our existence seems to hanging on a thread, I have learned that that is when God is at his best. He has not left us. He is trying to help us to become strong, even stronger than was necessary in previous situations. When we gain that strength he will gently without our even realizing it, draw us back from the brink and set us on solid ground for us to continue his work. It is never easy, but for people who have gifts and talents, God can’t afford to allow those souls to assume that their talent is the source of their success. In our debilitating weakness and desperation, it is impossible to take pride in anything in ourselves. We are just glad that God uses us to accomplish something for him that will be of benefit to others who are also struggling to survive.