It was four years ago today that I received a phone call at work. The gastroenterologist apologized then told me I had colon cancer. He told me what would happen next, the tests, the scans, the surgeries, the chemo; he told me I was too young to have cancer. But I heard little of it. I thanked him, hung up the phone, then finished my work day.
The following year brought fear and pain and stress like I’d never known before . . . but it also brought peace and comfort and assurance like I’d never experienced. There were times when I swear I physically felt God there with me.
I was thirty-five, married, three little girls. I needed to work. I needed to be there for my family. I needed to live.
There is never a good time for tragedy, never a time when a trial is welcome. We take a deep breath and go one day at a time, holding our Father’s hand the whole way and, as our forefathers put it, keep a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”
Here are three things to keep in mind when navigating one of life’s valleys:
- Keep your focus on God. He’s there, really. You may not feel His presence at the time but He is there, leading you, comforting you. Turn to His Word for encouragement and inspiration. Remember His promises.
- Remember your suffering is only temporary. Nothing in this world is forever and that includes our trials. Compared to eternity, this life is but a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. Sooner or later healing will come. That’s a promise.
- Look for the blessings in every situation. They’re there, really. Sometimes you have to look hard to find them but they are there. Even in the darkest of times there is a speck of light.
There’s so much more on this topic and we’ll discuss it in the months to come. But for now, in whatever you’re going through . . . may the Lord bless you and keep you.
Have you gone through a trial and felt God’s presence right there with you?