No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
By no means am I suggesting that what I am about to write is all there is to glean from this passage. However, I do believe that what I experienced this morning is one application of its meaning.
After years of attempts at finding a medical resolution to my physical suffering, a few years ago I decided that I was simply going to have to learn to cope with the situation as it stood. The process of learning to trust God instead of doctors was very sanctifying; much of what I learned is described in my first book and in various posts on this blog. I am not suggesting that medical treatments are devoid of potential value; rather, I simply stopped looking to them as the means of peace in my life.
Although my search for helpful medical treatments halted for a time, I never closed myself off from the possibility that there might be help in the future. Recently, a new possibility was suggested to me. After consideration of the evidence supporting this option, I decided to give it a try. The side effects have not been easy to experience, and at times, I find myself wondering if the treatment is doing more harm than good. Feeling worse rather than better is not what I had hoped for.
When I awoke this morning, I considered trying to go back to sleep so that I would not have to get up and put myself through the treatment again. I wanted to escape from the possibility of more physical distress. I wanted to escape from all the difficulty of the past few years. I was disappointed that my hope for relief still might not be possible.
“Read Psalms” was the thought that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind. I had participated in group studies on Psalms but had infrequently opened to one to read it simply for pleasure. The thought was particularly inviting to me today, so I curled up in the recliner beside my bed and started reading. David’s heartfelt praises of and pleas to God soaked into my heart and calmed my fears about my day. After several minutes, I realized that I had escaped into communion with God in a fresh new way. This resembled the experience of being transported into a fiction novel, being unaware of the life of reality swirling around me as I lived within the book instead. However, this was much better than a fiction novel; the words I read transported me to the heart of God rather than the mind of a fiction writer.
God provided a way of escape that soothed my soul in a way that helps me to endure even if my circumstances never change.
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.