Some months ago the NY Times* ran an article that declared “languishing” as the reality many of us are living under. In a nutshell, editorials are telling us that since there has been immense national and global upheaval, we are languishing under the reality of it all and the uncertainty of what is ahead.
How is it with your soul in these days? Is languishing a descriptor you resonate with?
Several weeks ago my wife, Beth, and I met with her back surgeon. He is well respected in his field; conservative, not quick to make hasty decisions. 10 years ago he operated on her resulting in much relief. However, the past seven years she has been living with chronic pain. This time, the doctor told us that based on all he is seeing with her MRI’s, he is unwilling to do surgery – that it will not provide long term relief. Her case is “complex” and requires a longer range view. So he is referring her to a pain management doctor.
We have no idea what this means. We have no idea what Beth’s mobility will be. We have no idea what her work, let alone, daily life will look like. More of the same? Improvement? Lessening?
The Spirit is nudging me to hold onto hope. I do not want to give into “languishing” under this uncertainty or limitation.
I want to allow the Lord to define this reality, and to walk with him and others as he provides grace. He said “no” to Paul’s times-three-pleas to have his “thorn in the flesh” removed and instead gave Paul more grace.
So, how is it with your soul?
How is the Father bringing to reality the blessing of Romans 15:13 within you:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope?”
This is neither triumphalism nor prosperity pick-me-ups.
This is the Person of the living God pouring his love and life into ours amidst the very context we find ourselves in. In the midst of deep adversity, God can define our inner world and relational response by terms of joy, peace and abounding hope.
As followers of Christ, as caregivers, leaders, and shepherds, the context we find ourselves in is the very one Jesus beckons us to walk with him and with others in.
Let me say that another way: Whatever the circumstances that mark your life, it is right here, right now, that Jesus is with you, beckoning you to deeper abiding with him and to steady companioning of others.
How is God defining your present context? How is he revealing himself to you?
Jesus, please give more grace; fill us with all joy and peace so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope. Amen.
*https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html (I think this is the article I originally read last Spring)