… but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I Corinthians 10:13
The Greek word for temptation in this verse can refer to temptation of sin, but it also can mean “time of testing or trial”. If you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome consider yourself in a time of testing or trial!!! I have had days, as I am sure you have, when I think, what if I feel like this for the rest of my life? Sometimes, I get lost in the pain and fatigue and forget that flares do cycle. That there is an end to the worst times and better days are ahead. In the bad moments though, it is easy to lose sight of that.
Our earthly vision is limited. God’s vision is perfect. In the darkest hours of sickness, it is easy to be overwhelmed and discouraged. To think that life is meaningless if I feel like this everyday for the rest of my life. My connection group leader at church recently said that she has a problem with people walking around cheering, “God’s not gonna give you more than YOU can bear.” Because that’s not entirely the big picture. The truth is, God’s not going to give you more than HE can bear. It is our responsibility to TRUST Him to get us through the fiery trials of life. I have encountered things that in my own human strength, I could not have endured, but by putting my faith and trust in Him and His faithfulness, I have been able to bear it.
As I watch friends and family walk through the trials of life, I am reminded of the strength God gives when it is needed. His timing it always perfect, when we trust in Him. Have you ever watched someone else’s trial and thought I would never be able to bear that?
I have a friend who buried her identical twin, infant girls 3 ½ years ago. I have identical twin boys and secretly, I was glad that God did not choose me for that trial. Or how about my dear friend from college who said goodbye to her twenty-something year old brother who died of testicular cancer. Or my friend from church who watched her young son tortured by chemo treatments. Or my sweet friend who’s husband is currently fighting an inoperable, untreatable brain tumor.
I have these secret feelings of thankfulness that I don’t have THEIR trial. These are horrible things that my friends have faced! But the truth is, God doesn’t give me grace for their trial. He promises to give me strength for my trial. And He has! That doesn’t make the hard days easy. This illness can be merciless, the hard days are still HARD, but God’s strength makes them bearable. It’s on those days that you just put one foot in front of the other and keep trusting! God doesn’t give His grace for “what ifs.” He gives His strength at the very hour that it is needed. He promises that! And it gives me reason to encourage others along this journey to keep trusting in God’s everlasting goodness.