While We Journey On
We swung from utter surprise (thank you Muriel and Aunty Shirley), to tears, to sickness all around, to signs of recovery.
Claudette went in for her 2nd round of chemo, and as anticipated, it was rough. She is a brave fighter, tough. The cocktail is very potent and judging by the strength of the side effects, it is doing its work: the nausea is awful, the headaches are debilitating, and she is very, very tired. There are tablets to take, injections to have, all to reduce some of the side effects. But, with every hair that falls, a bad cell dies as well. Next week we hope to have the wig fitted – bring out the colourful scarves, I say!
The bairns are both ill – high temperature, runny noses, coughs and moods to match, middle of the night cries and long comforting cuddles, early morning starts, which only means one thing: little sleep all around. Goodness, I can’t wait to see the back of this week. However, no matter what shape they are in, it is good to have my family all back home. We surely appreciate the sunshine, which wakes us up each morning and puts a smile on our faces. The birds chirping in the trees ‘Good morning’ every day are a welcome wake up call.
This week got me reflecting a wee bit about how many people fight battles of all kinds. We are surrounded by fighters (some are undercover, while others are fighting out in the open) – people who stand up against evil and its manifestations: bullying, terrorism, illness, death, loss of jobs, relationships, loneliness, stress, depression, to name but a few.
Someone who saw a lot of trouble in his life once wrote: ‘I have learnt to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.’
A couple of things stood out: the word ‘learnt’. Few of us anticipate difficulties in life, most of us face them, but not with a natural disposition. Dealing with ‘whatever the circumstances’, requires a process of learning – trial and error, falling down and standing up, crawling and running. Whatever the situation, we keep going – one foot in front of the other, but we keep moving. We don’t give up and we do not allow the evil of this world to win.
Contentment is the state of being happy and satisfied. Reaching a place where, no matter what evil comes our way, it will not destroy my inner peace. I am satisfied; I am content; I do not fret or worry; I am all right, in spite of the evidence.
How to achieve it, then? Well, apparently there is a secret to it: I can do it, through Him who gives me strength! What I find with every day that goes by is that we have far less control in life than I once thought I had. We are very much dependent on a source of strength which is not fazed by this world’s evils; preferably, someone who faced them and overcame them. I enjoy reading the prayers of others who chose to rely on this power, in spite of the evidence. They first pour out their heavy hearts and then, there is a ‘BUT’ – I face troubles ‘BUT’ I choose to trust (Ps. 13); hear my cry ‘BUT’ I know You will put things right. I trust, in spite of the evidence.
Is this resilience? Is this bounce-ability? Is this faith? Perhaps, a bit of all.
So, as you rest a while during this weekend and put the worries of this week behind you:
May you know that you are not alone in facing down the evils of this world – there is an army of fighters out there, who are refusing to give in!
May you continue to learn how to achieve that level of satisfaction, which will not allow evil to rob you of your inner peace!
May you find that source of quiet strength and have the courage to say ‘BUT’, even when the signs point to the contrary!
Reference: Phil 4:11-13.