Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-4).
Our neighbors have giant evergreen trees defining our back yard boundary and also providing shelter for all types of animals. We’ve seen birds, squirrels, raccoons, and even a possum.
Of all the animals, the possum is the funniest. When our automatic security light comes on, he freezes in place like we can’t see him. He’s not the prettiest creature, and I get weirded out whenever I see him.
But recently, my attitude about him changed when I learned that possums can be considered nature’s pest controllers, eating both insects and mice. Beneficial to the environment and not destructive like the raccoons.
This neighborhood possum makes me think about my chronic illness in a new light. Even though I don’t welcome it, I have noticed that I’ve gained spiritual strength because of it.
These latest challenges with my hands and spine seem like ugly intruders. The new limits suffocate me some mornings as I struggle for hope and the ability to get out of bed.
I have stopped pretending to have it together, no longer fighting against my limits, admitting my need to rest. Earnestly seeking God, trying desperately to make sense of this journey and to hold onto my faith.
So, I completely surrender to this hard place. I turn to the Word of God to feed my heart and soul. I finally understand that this is the perfect place for God to get me to truly grasp His love and care for me. The perfect time to flood my heart with His compassion and grace so that I can encourage others in similar circumstances.
Yes, I think of my weakened body like that little possum–not the most desirable thing, but capable of being used by God to do good things.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we feel worthless because Your Word tells us that we are wonderfully created (Psalm 139:14). Help us to focus on You and reveal to us the ways You touch our lives each day. Shower us with Your love, refresh our spirits, and restore our hope. Amen.
About the Author:
Dorothea Love lives in Los Angeles with her husband and family. For over 30 years, she has learned to live with chronic illness and pain by relying on God’s grace to strengthen her through each challenge. She invites you to interact with her on Facebook and to read some of her other work on her blog: http://www.dorothealove.wordpress.com.
Do you have one of God’s creations that brings new perspective to your life?