“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17-18).
While watching one of my favorite hockey teams win a Stanley Cup playoff game in double overtime–to stay alive in the playoffs–I marveled at both teams’ perseverance.
There were end-to-end rushes for most of the third period and both overtimes, until the team I was cheering for won. The athletes looked exhausted at the completion; and while there was a victor it could have gone either way.
This had me thinking of people like us–with chronic illness. We are similar to athletes in a sense. We work really hard, trying to accomplish our goals and to feel the best we can. Perhaps we see several specialists to develop a sound treatment plan and manage our diagnosis.
We may not have a goal of winning a Stanley Cup, but we nurture our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being.
Our goals for a day may include showering and dressing; or perhaps exercising, doctor appointments or an outing with friends. Maybe there is work and that uses a large portion of energy for the day; possibly a movie or special concert or event to attend. Whatever the goal, we persevere the best we can.
And sometimes our days consist of being home, alone, with our Lord. During these times, we try to remember to thank God for the gifts still present. One of my friends enjoys watching the beautiful birds that visit her gardens each day while another finds comfort with her dogs and Christian music.
We adjust; marveling at this world and the beautiful people God has put in our paths. Life is ours to live despite our limitations. Oftentimes we operate as if we are in an overtime–with energy depleted–but life is still enjoyable.
Prayer: Dear God, Bless us as we go about our days. Help us to honor You as we persevere despite our illnesses. In Your name, dear Lord. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three children. She is a retired elementary school counselor who discovered her love of writing about 35 years ago. Laura is the disability/chronic illness advocate for her church and also enjoys running a HopeKeepers group. Her team–the Chicago Blackhawks–lost in the Stanley Cup Conference Finals in the seventh game in overtime.
How do you persevere despite times when you feel like quitting?
This song, “Keep Your Eyes Open” from the group Needtobreathe has a great beat to it, but even better, it the lyrics talk about holding on when you feel like giving up. Despite what our circumstances may make us feel like doing, we must keep our eyes open, keep them focused on God alone, and He will never let us fall. I loved it. -Lisa