The Wisdom of Going Through


“Why is it that men who can go through severe accidents, air raids, and any other major crisis always seems to think that they are at death’s door when they have a simple head cold?”Shirley Booth

A week or two ago, I came down with a cold. I had achy-breaky fever and chills. I sneezed and felt the tingle of impending sinus infection doom. I was miserable. You know the feeling. It’s funny how we can endure so many things except when our own body or health is challenged. You eventually recover from these little things, with a new appreciation for all the time you spend NOT feeling this way. Sometimes going through is the absolute best thing for us. Like exercise, sometimes we have to push through pain and discomfort in order to be stronger.

I spent years as a single mom who worked and went to school online. (Talk about your “going through”.) It was hard. There were so many times I felt like giving up on my dream of improving my life and the lives of my children. I almost threw in the towel instead of being a good example and showing my children (and the many naysayers) that some things are worth a fight. Instead of this, however, I pushed through and pushed and pushed and eventually earned my AA in Business Administration. After a few more years, and becoming very happily remarried, I was able to return to my studies and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. I have hopes of earning my Master’s and beyond one day. I will NOT reach these goals, on the other hand, if I begin to doubt that I can. My mind dictates the path my life will follow. not everything that happens to us is something we would have chosen, BUT we can learn the lessons we are meant to learn and come out better, stronger, and kinder than we were before the troubles came.

Perhaps my cold could help me to be more motivated to clean my house, eat healthy, drink water, wash my hands (for my sister in nursing school), and get good rest. Perhaps the next time I hear a friend is sick, I will be more compassionate and know how to ease their suffering a bit (temporary though it may be). Perhaps when I hear of people (or their loved ones) suffering chronic or terminal illnesses, my heart will go out to them, instead of a cold should shoulder and judgement, and I will be able to turn my attention toward thankfulness for all the pain I have NEVER had to suffer. It is only reasonable to expect us to learn something. We are reasoning beings, after all, are we not?

Maybe more than our immune systems or personal goals should be made stronger when we endure something unpleasant, tiring, irksome, humiliating, etc. Maybe what should be strengthened is our determination to reach out to others and encourage them as we have been encouraged. Maybe this strange life we all have to live on this strange planet and in these strange bodies with other strange beings is simply getting us ready for the ultimate strange destination of our souls?

“…Then he took hold of the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady, And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking about and praising God, And they recognized him as the man who usually sat [begging] for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement (bewilderment, consternation) over what had occurred to him…” Acts 3:1-26 Amplified (selected, read the whole passage here)

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Hope Deferred, and Deferred, and Deferred…


“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” Eliza Tabor

Where I live, there is a common saying that Spring has not arrived until the snow flattens the daffodils.  Let me tell you, it is as true as it is disappointing.  The lovely, cheerful yellows, oranges, and whites under a blanket of snow is a bittersweet beginning to the end of winter’s long, slow sleep. Winter can seem so long and drear, it is sometimes hard to remember that it lasts only for a time. Winter, however, is only a season, even in the mountains. Everything in nature tells us that nothing lasts forever. Winter eventually turns to spring, every time. The seeds that go into the ground eventually sprout and rise from the soil as young seedlings, already well on their way to become the dreamed-of plants we originally intended to plant in our gardens.

Life, like the natural seasons, has its times of growth, blooming, death, recovery, and most of all, waiting. Sometimes it seems we wait forever, until the day at last arrives when we see the fruit of our labor, tears, prayers, and long, sleepless nights. Our hopes and dreams usually follow a wait, as well as a lot of hard work and planning. We often have to implement a lot of changes and innovations to our old ways of thinking and doing and talking. We make new contacts, buy new things: clothes, tools, buildings, etc.  (Dreams are many and as varied as the people who dream them.) We also often lose weight, start exercising, add rooms on to our homes, build, begin, become.

Days, weeks, and sometimes years pass before we are able to see our dreams come true. Most likely, more time passes than we anticipate. More money is spent than was in our original budget. More work was necessary than our original estimate. Our plans alter as we prioritize and fix our sights on the future and the realization of our hopes and dreams. We do a lot of waiting… “One day”, we think.  “Someday”, we hope. “But when? But how? But how long??” we cry.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Luke 8:43-48
Twelve years is a long time to wait, especially when an unpleasant situation continues to take its toll. Scorn, ridicule, shame, and more were this woman’s food for thought for twelve long, and exhausting years. Outcast and broken both physically and financially, she encountered Jesus, and followed in his wake until she was able, perhaps during a pause in his gait, to grab hold of just the smallest part of his clothing. She believed that even a brief encounter could change her life and make her whole. She was at first afraid of what she had done, but hoped on in spite of her boldness and the social impropriety of what she had done. Her shocking presumption to touch a man who was not her husband was met, not with a frown or yet more derision, but with the love of a Savior, whose purpose was to seek and save what was lost. (Luke 19:10)
You are probably waiting for something today. You may have been waiting for a really long time. The continued waiting is probably frustrating, wearing, and discouraging to you and the people who wait with you.
Be encouraged. The snow WILL melt. Spring WILL come. One day will eventually be TO-DAY. Your waiting will not last forever.