We all face things in our lives that seem to take us to task. I have always heard that no matter how bad you think things are there is always someone who has it worse. I had a conversation with one of those people last week.
His name is Patrick. He is a dear friend of mine and I care for him very much. He is one of those guys that you admire for his character and outlook on life. I knew that times had been hard for him lately as his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. We have had many conversations about his situation, but this was the first time that we had talked in length and in detail.
He told me that he had almost had an accident driving home from work because he fell asleep at the wheel. He shared that he is up half the night with his wife holding her hair back from her face and dabbing her skin with cool water as she is overcome with illness from the chemotherapy treatments.
During the last nine months he has lost everything. Patrick has spent much of his life collecting sports memorabilia – signed sports jerseys, collectible baseball cards such as Mickey Mantle, but sadly they all went the way of the pawn shop to pay for medical treatment. Tragedy never strikes when we are prepared for it. It always seems to seek us out when we are the most vulnerable. For Patrick it came when he was in between jobs and without health care.
As he struggled to pay for the day-to-day expenses of his family, the medical bills were overwhelming. He was unable to meet the monthly expenses for rent and friends from his High School held a fund-raiser to raise money to help keep a roof over his head. A medical facility offered their oncology services for free if he could pay for the medicine. With a smile on his face, Patrick expressed to me that every time that it seemed that there was no way out, God has provided a way.
You would think that in losing everything, he would have a beaten, demoralized attitude, but nothing could be further from the truth. Patrick shared with me that the struggle that he has just endured is the best thing that could have happened to him. Being humbled by the circumstances of his wife’s cancer has given his life new meaning. He now looks at life with a new outlook that has widened his horizons and given him hope for a bright and glorious future. In the real world where your wife’s life has been spared, sports jerseys and baseball cards have little, if any value.
God shares with us in His word in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that no test or trial that comes our way is worse than anything anyone else has to face or endure. We are to be reminded that God will never let us down; he will never let us be pushed past our limits, or put more on us than we can bear. God will always be there to help us make it through.
So like Patrick, if you are facing tragedy in your life, first remember that you are not alone. Christ knows what it is to be burdened and afraid, He understands what you are going through. God will be your source of comfort and will provide a way for you to make it through whatever you are facing.
When the dust settles and we have overcome and worked past the trials in our life we will look back and understand that many times they happen for a reason. As Patrick shared with me, he is happy and thankful that his wife is still here and they are enjoying life, taking nothing for granted, and collecting memories instead of baseball cards.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.