“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Have you ever had a bruised week? Or maybe a bruised month, or a bruised year? A time when you felt like you were being tossed around through the washer and dryer and you got stuck on spin-cycle?
Last weekend, my friend met her sixteen year old daughter to get a manicure together. As she followed her home from the nail salon, she watched her daughter get into a car accident. Could you imagine watching as your precious spawn got tossed around in traffic? I can’t imagine. Thankfully, she is okay; her car is not.
It reminds me of the time that my husband and I went on a leisurely horseback ride and I impotently watched him as he lost control of his horse, fell off and dislocated his hip. I felt sheer terror as it happened before my eyes. My words were powerless.
My brother and his wife are adding on to their home. They are at the stage of walls up, roof yet to be put on. August is the season for monsoons in Arizona. My brother stays close by his home renovation project, just to pop over and make sure everything is safe and protected. What will he do if a huge storm rolls in? How wide does he think his arms can reach? Don’t trust in our own strength.
This month has been full of injury in our household. My youngest had an inflamed, traumatized bone in his wrist. Because of his big brother’s recent broken wrist on Mother’s day, it just so happened that we knew a pediatric orthopedic surgeon that could help him. Ben had an MRI and then a cast for 3 weeks, and now his bone is much happier. Unfortunately, he badly sprained his ankle the next week, had an allergic reaction to pain medication this past weekend, and got stung by a scorpion on Monday.
My daughter has been complaining about wrist pain ever since she got home from cheer camp. Thankfully, after a month of her reminding me, I was able to get her into our friend, the pediatric orthopedist. She is now in a wrist brace, and is on the mend, if you don’t take her GI issues into account.
My middle boy is recovered from his wrist fracture, but is dealing with severe panic attacks. We are in the process of finding the right avenue to help him.
My bumper fell off of my Suburban in the Target parking lot last week, what?
On Tuesday, my daughter dropped her cell phone and it cracked to high heaven.
Our AC pipes leaked so our ceiling is peeling off, and the dripping water puddled on my new suede boots. Don’t trust in riches.
Three pretty fingernails broke a couple days after I got a manicure. Don’t trust in beauty.
My laundry pile is three stories high. My floor is sticky. My refrigerator is missing its shelves. My junk drawer has turned into junk bags and junk rooms. When we are often too busy to let him out, our little dog poops in special locations around our house.
I slammed on the breaks yesterday, and my whole purse dumped out. We went to the MDV to switch the title on a car, but forgot the mileage, so had to go back home to get it.
Mom, I forgot my lunch.
Mom, I need money for student council.
Mom, my throat hurts.
Mom, my skateboard broke.
Mom, can you drive me to Timbuktu again and pick me up in a couple of hours?
Spin, spin, spin.
The busy cycle of injury and life maintenance spirals.
We bang against the sides of the washer, but we are hardy.
We are bruised but not crushed.
How will we respond when life brings trouble?
When life seems to be throwing too much at us, it probably is. Too much. But how will we respond?
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
When life is throwing too much at us, we need to pray. We need to call on the Lord who knows all and sees all, and He will rescue us in our time of need. Trust in the Lord.
When we feel like we are spinning out of control, we need to stop and read God’s word. We need to quiet our hearts in his presence. We need to ask Him to give us his perspective on our madness.
When we don’t feel like we can keep up, we need to ask for help. We need to help one another through the storms of this life. Maybe a phone call. Maybe a hug. Maybe a conversation over coffee. Maybe help organizing a closet, or fixing a car bumper.
Let’s be people who care. People who help others get through their spin cycle, and come through a little banged up, but still soft.
The trials and traumas and injuries of life can make us hard. If we see them through the lens of trust in God, we can allow our difficulties to make us stronger, more patient, more kind, more understanding, more Christlike. If we see our storms through the eyes of I just want to be happy and have life easy, why can’t I get a break, then we will stay stuck in the spinning cycle and only wallow in our own complaints.