“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good” (Psalm 52:8-9).
I have a daily planner. It states positive thoughts and pictures. It is the second yearly planner in the series I have purchased. I like it for three reasons; it is hope-filled, sturdy, and helps me improve my attitude on days when I am less than positive.
This week’s statement reads something like this:
“If you stumble, remember where and how it feels. Tomorrow take a different path. Life flourishes from its pain and the lessons we learn.”
After reading this, I wonder if some people are thinking their lives must really be flourishing if pain is the variable. After all, those with chronic illness know a thing or two about pain–both physical and emotional. Whether it be pain in muscles and joints or the pain of lost relationships, careers, and dreams; there is plenty of pain to go around.
But where is all the flourishing, thriving?
As a leader of a HopeKeepers group for chronically ill people in my community, I work with those in different stages of illness. We are a group from all walks of lives, ages, socio-economic levels. But we have two things in common–chronic illness and our belief in Jesus as our Savior.
The people in the group, like everyone, have suffered in their own ways. But what I observe is this: Most have a deep connection to God. They rely on Him daily for spiritual, emotional, and physical strength to handle that which is put in front of them.
One woman with multiple sclerosis gives an example of being stuck on the floor unable to get up. “Okay, God, I need You! Give me the strength in my legs to get back in my wheelchair.” And He did.
We all have stories of suffering; if we pay attention we also have victories and rejoices. Because our Savior walks this journey with us, always.
Prayer: Dear Lord, this journey is difficult. Sometimes it is hard to see how we flourish. But Your love is great and with it all things are possible. Guide us, Lord, as we walk through our daily activities. Help us to see the good in ourselves and others. In Your name, Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three kids. She retired from her job as an elementary school counselor in 2012. She is writing a book about her struggles with dysautonomia–a neurological condition in which the autonomic nervous system malfunctions, affected such things as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and temperature regulation.
What do you do to help yourself keep a more hope-filled attitude?
This is the group Kulass singing “Promise Of A Lifetime.” The lyrics in this song share how the tough days (and nights) will come, but God never leaves our side. He never gives up on us. He wants to help us flourish. And He loves us unconditionally. Hang on to His promises, Hang on to Him. -Lisa