by Joan Benson
Have you noticed how life can run on parallel tracks? I recently saw a photo of a beautiful blooming redbud tree covered in the purest white of a heavy snowfall. What an analogy to life. Imagine bursting forth in your best show of blooms, to find yourself shivering under a pile of freezing fluff.
In our daily humanity, we may recognize layers of goodness while being struck with a serious loss or disabling event. Laying in a hospital bed, recovering from a painful surgery, I heard a sweet voice singing along with a praise song playing on my cell phone. I was miserable and half-asleep, but the sweet voice sounded like an angel. That nurse’s kindness and love deeply touched my heart. I chose to feel God’s presence and peace.
When my dog experienced multiple health crises during our short out-of-state vacation, a kind veterinarian spent thirty minutes reading the health reports and deciding on a course of treatment. We were to leave for home the next morning. When we checked out, he had not charged me for anything except the medication. I felt tears well up in my eyes. It was not the money saved, though that was a blessing. It was his compassion. I knew God was pouring His grace out on us.
People who are most successful in navigating pain, loss, and devastation don’t jump up and down to embrace their dark trial. They will say with honesty, “It was hard.” But somewhere along the way, they are able to pass from grief to gratefulness when they recognize God’s provision along the journey.
Yes, it may be a freezing jolt to our once-comfortable life, but in recognizing God’s mercy and grace, we find hope for the sorrows.
God’s peace is promised to us in Philippians 4:6-9. However, with that promise comes an expectation. We are told to not be anxious. How does that work, you may ask? “I just lost ____, and I’m not supposed to feel the sad?” Your spouse left you after years of marriage. A family member died suddenly without any advance warning. You or a loved one receives a diagnosis of a fatal illness without a remedy. Your child breaks off relationship. The list of possible tragedies goes on and on.
However, as believers, God asks us to pray through those challenges, to tell him what’s on our heart, praying/petitioning with thanksgiving. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV). We can choose His peace.
What a relief it is to let go of the spirit of heaviness and release it to the One who loves us most. God is a Father of compassion who comforts us in all our troubles. We know in Heaven there will be no more sorrow, no more tears. Everlasting joy!
“Praise 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 our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Joan Benson is a freelance writer, a former (K-8) classroom teacher and reading specialist, and a wife and mother of four adult children and eight cherished grandchildren. Joan has produced devotional materials for CBN.com and written numerous magazine articles. She developed Sunday School curriculum for over twelve years for LifeWay. Joan’s historical fiction novel, His Gift, was released in July 2020. Joan and her husband, Jan, live in Chesapeake, VA, with their two Bichon Frisé pets.
Join the conversation: Have you been able to choose peace in a challenging circumstance?