Mixed Emotions in the New Year When Ill

imageIs the new year a time of renewal for you or are you tempted to count your losses? Lisa shares.

“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11).

It is New Year’s Eve and with it comes a natural time of reflection and looking forward to the future year. Living with illness can make this a less appealing exercise than it can be to most people. As we look to the past, we can see pieces of dreams lining our calendar. We can spot the disappointments, the money that was drained away, the misunderstandings our illness caused.

Perhaps as you look toward the new year, it doesn’t seem to be filled with potential, but only more tests, procedures, pain, and loss.

Yes, these are all factors of living with daily illness and pain. We are allowed to grieve. . . but we can also know that God is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18). This scripture above emphasizes that He will satisfy us in sun-scorched land. Don’t you feel like you have been scorched by the sun through illness? Feel burnt out. . . and burnt up?

Our frames are certainly withering! But God promises He will strengthen us.

I know illness is hard. As I attempt to write an uplifting devotional for the new year, I wait to encourage you–while also staying “real.” I don’t understand all the reasons for suffering. I don’t know why some suffer so much. But I do know how much God loves us.

We don’t always feel like that well-watered garden God promises. We usually are somewhere between sun-scorched and drowning. But God will never leave your side. Turn to Him. Rest in Him. Put aside the bitterness, emotional pain, and disappointments and ask Him to give you the hope that only He can give.

Prayer: God, forgive me for the bitterness and frustrations that can so easily well up this time of year. Help me see the hope I have because You are God and Your promises outweigh any feelings or facts life tries to throw at me to make me question Your power and strength. Amen.

About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries that she began in 1996 after a few year of rheumatoid arthritis and the need to find more hope through it all. Her newest book is now available–a book of prayers for the chronically ill–Refresh Me, Lord.

Does the new year hold mixed feelings for you, or do you use it as a time to start afresh?

This is Citizen Way singing “Nothing Could Ever Separate Us” and I hope it is a good reminder that God is with us always and nothing will separate us. may you have a blessed new year. -Lisa