In an attempt to cheer myself a few weeks ago, I tried to think of something I could look forward to, but it was difficult. Through a tearful struggle, I came up with a few things and kept my eyes on them with the expectation that I would be cheered once they happened. This gave me a precarious sensation of hope amidst circumstances that had been brimming with loss for several years. But… this was simply a recipe for additional disappointment.
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.
It has been during some of my times of greatest struggle that I have had the sweetest communion with God. Here is a quote from my book:
From “More Precious Than Gold”
I adjusted the ice pack on my head gently as it started to conform to my head. The gentle coolness was a mild relief after two days of unrelenting pain. I was spent, barely able to move my arms, lips, or eyelids. Unable to produce many words aloud, I silently imagined what heaven would be like. I pictured my glorified body, pain-free and easy-moving. My body relaxed as I thought of God’s presence. On this third day, unable to talk fluently with people carrying on with their earthly lives, I experienced sweet communion with God in a way that I never had before: peace.
Some have wondered how I have been able to have joy in the midst of physical suffering. There is only one answer to that question: my faith. I used to wonder how a person’s faith could provide strength to bear afflictions. Now I know, and I want others to know.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)