My, what a week (actually, week-and-a-half) this has been.
Beyond our collective daily battle against COVID-19, for the past ten or more days I have had a massive headache.
Everyday. Unrelenting. I went to bed with it every night, and woke up with it every morning.
On the positive side, though, aside from the massive headache, I otherwise felt completely fine. So I focused on what was working well, and kept taking each day as it came.
Then things got to the point where both holding my phone or looking into a screen exacerbated the headache symptoms, so sometime last week, I let you all know that something was going on. Thank you for understanding!
The tricky thing was that I could not suss out the cause of the headache. I stretched, massaged trigger points, exercised, took medicine, and eventually called my doctor (I am waiting to hear back from him).
Finally, on Sunday evening, I got some relief — I am not one for caffeine under normal circumstances, but two cups of Oolong tea and two baby aspirin finally gave me some relief. I nearly wept with joy!
Here is what I realized:
[+] Whether we realize it or not, this ordeal is taking a toll on our bodies, and we need to acknowledge this fact without judgment. For me, I recognized that I was moving far less thanI normally do, and was spending a lot of time indoors. My apartment is somewhat dim, so I believe that my body is also craving light!
[+] This verse reminds me of the importance of patience. Ten or more days I waited to get some relief, although this situation is far from over. And many of you have been dealing with your struggles with far, far longer!
Also, the beginning and end of this verse are like bookends: the words “rejoice in hope” are on one side, and “be constant in prayer” are on the other. However, pay attention to what is in the middle: “be patient in tribulation”. Perhaps easier said than done, no?
If I have learned one thing about the Lord in these years walking with Him, it is this: Jesus does things in His time, and is not rushed in any way. Don’t believe me? Read through the Gospels for yourself. Sure, He got plenty angry a couple of times, but where do we ever read that Jesus checked His watched and rushed to get to His next appointment?
However, He always did what He said He would do, and never failed His followers once. Sure, His methods were bewildering at times, but the Lord never abandoned His disciples even once! Even when they were utterly downcast, they were never truly alone.
So often, the Lord says “wait” (or be patient). There is no guarantee that there will be a much wished-for miracle waiting us on the other side, but Jesus Himself meets with us and talks with us as we wait.
And sometimes, if we truly focus on contentment and hope (that is, I may not be able to change my circumstances, but I fully trust the only One who can), then we find a way to experience a little joy while we wait. And then some peace. Maybe even a little hope, too! Nothing in our circumstances may have shifted, but we ourselves are the ones being changed as we sit in the waiting room of life with Him.
Rejoice in hope.
Be patient in tribulation.
Be constant in prayer.
Easy? No. But definitely possible, with the Lord’s help. ￼✝️