Shortly after Luke was born and before I had even healed completely from the C-section, a different health issue arose, which earned me another surgery and a 6-day stay in the hospital. I won’t bore you or gross you out with the details, but you can imagine how rough an experience this was for a new mother.
One particularly rough day, after I had had myself a good, self-pitying cry, I laid in my hospital bed pitying myself just a little bit longer. It was then that an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair wheeled himself into my room. He told me that he worked for the hospital, and he just needed to take a survey of my stay there. He asked me the questions, to which I gave half-hearted answers. As he started to leave, he stopped at the door, turned and gazed at me for a moment.
He said, “You know, when I was in World War II…,” and at this point I mentally rolled my eyes because I just assumed he was a lonely old man taking advantage of the fact that I was bed-ridden and couldn’t escape from his telling of his war stories (and yes, I do realize what a jerk that makes me sound like). When I tuned back into his speech, I heard him say, “All I kept doing was praying and asking God to just bring me home and let me see the hills of East Tennessee again…and here I am!” He then quoted 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 and finished with this: “You know, what you’re going through right now won’t last forever…just know that your God is with you, and He loves you very much.”
That last statement has stuck with me and has brought me back to the right perspective in many other trials I’ve faced, when my focus lingers too long on the trial or unpleasant circumstances I find myself in. The fact is, life is not always pleasant. Not every day is rainbows and puppies, lollipops and gumdrops. Some days we find ourselves in the midst of struggles or far-from-ideal circumstances, and it’s very easy to take our eyes off of God and the big picture. But once we remember that this life and its troubles are temporary; that ultimately we are here to glorify Him; and that we have hope and a future with Him, the struggles and circumstances, though still unpleasant, fade into the background of our plane of focus.
I’d like to encourage any of you that might be going through “a rough patch,” that it will not last forever. It’s just a speck on the timeline of eternity. Plus, God is most definitely with you, even when you can’t feel His nearness, and He absolutely loves you very much.
“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 4:17-18