It’s times like these—the unexpected pains, the unplanned detour, the unannounced upset—that make me realize how lucky I am. Oh I know we don’t believe in luck, but God’s good hand of providence. But sometimes the word luck just makes you feel special. It captures the seemingly random blessing we do nothing to deserve. It means having unexpected good fortune. Believe it or not, that’s how I feel about my recent health crisis. It took a malignant tumor to emphatically underscore how incredibly blessed I am!
Saul the zealot turned Paul the apostle understood this concept of blessed bummers. God foretold that He had selected Paul as a fortunate man who would experience triumph through trials. The Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15-16).
It is my joy to testify that each morning, as I rise; I experience God’s incredible faithfulness. He has been good to me every moment of my life, not just the fun ones. And in the evening, as I recline, I’m acutely aware of God’s especial grace and kindness to me…much more apparent than in prosperity.
David understood that walking in long shadows highlighted goodness and mercy as his lifelong companions from God. They would join the Psalmist beside still waters of refreshing or scary encounters with enemies. I’m blessed to share the purposeful pain these saints enjoyed. I have joy for this journey and anticipate that great doors of opportunity will open along the way. My cup overflows!
Something Matthew Henry wrote helps me frame unexplained pain. Once, when he was accosted by thieves and robbed of his wallet he wrote these words in his diary: "Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, and not someone else."
Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. They have been treasures.