I remember like it was yesterday where I was when I first heard the news of this sobering day twelve years ago. Living in the Maryland-D.C corridor, we were near the front lines. Yet our sorrow was tempered with joy as we delighted in the birth of a precious new baby boy in our family that morning only a few hours after the first attack on the Twin Towers. We had a measure of peace, a bit of contentment in a world gone awry.
I am reminded that even in long-term chronic illness, we can see the ebbs and flows of pain and joy, judgement and mercy, intolerable suffering, and the breath of heaven that gives meaning to our very existence. My sister-in-law’s breast cancer has gone into remission again. My husband has had a far better than normal summer. A year ago he was totally miserable. We were pleading with the Lord for relief for both loved ones.
Contentment does not mean that you live in a blissful state of denial about the trials you are currently experiencing. I talked to a friend a week ago whose husband has been wheelchair bound for years. She shared some of the dearest gems of Christian truth with a small group of ladies she calls family. Yet when I asked how her husband was doing? Ummm, not so good. But , we don’t need to talk about that today.
In the journey of life with the cross of a chronically ill spouse, we are all in different hard places. Still, we can learn with Paul to be content. He knew how to be abased and to abound. If we treasure the mercies and joys God allows in our loves, we will realize again that the sufferings are only temporary. There will be new mercies to bless God for. Gloriously, the pain will finally end in a bright new day! Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!