Thursday, June 4, 2009

Putting Life in Perspective

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

A friend of mine posted this verse on my facebook wall, and it reminded me of how much I love it. It helps me to keep everything in perspective. I know that what I am going through is making me a better person. God cares more about my attaining spiritual wholeness than he does my physical wholeness. It is a process that requires the continual molding and shaping of my will until it becomes perfectly aligned with his. If you could see inside my heart like he can, you would see all the areas in which I am so held back by fear. I still try desperately to control what I cannot, and it only ties me to things that drag me down and make me less of the person I was created to be. I thought I had won a lot of battles over my fears, and I have, but God is showing me that I still hold on to so many things that paralyze me and keep me from living life to the fullest. I want to love more deeply, live more abundantly, and serve more passionately. God is working in me to help me fulfill the desires that he has for me. I will trust in that even when I do not enjoy the process.

The other thing I like about this verse is it kind of shows me how absorbed I have become in my own problems. We are all wasting away in our bodies. No one is getting out unscathed by pain and death. I am not the only one going through hard times. The hardest part of this whole thing is pretty much self-inflicted by all my worrying and borrowing trouble. The other day, I sat in my driveway and told myself to get a grip. There are a lot worse things that could happen to me than having surgery or no thyroid or radiation.

I think of all the people around me who I know and love and all the struggles they are going through. I am trying to help a Liberian friend obtain her legal immigration status. She came over to America legally during the war in Liberia but was not aware enough of the system to keep her visas renewed. It breaks my heart to hear the things she has been through. She was actually shot by rebels while praying in church. I cannot even imagine the Post Traumatic Stress that would come from that. What is even harder to watch is her disappointment as we both become more and more aware that there is no way she can be here legally. We have tried everything. The lawyers are advising her to stay here as an illegal citizen and hope she does not get deported. In the meantime, she struggles to make ends meet. I have not even begun to know that kind of pain, frustration, and hopelessness.

I think of my other friend who is fighting substance abuse and domestic abuse. It is a long, sad, and very tangled up story. It plays itself out at the same time that I sit here with a loving, supportive family and the hope in life that keeps me from drowning my pain in superficial solutions.

I do not tell these stories to say that I am more blessed than they are. I tell them to remind myself that we all have our stories of pain and suffering. I'm sure others look at me and are glad that they do not have to go through what I go through, and I probably look at them and am thankful I don't have to fight their battles. No matter who we are or what we are going through we all have one thing in common: pain. We are all dying, but Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. God is doing a work in each of us to bring us closer to himself because that is the place where we were always meant to be.

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