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A Constant Struggle

By guest blogger, JoAlyce Waugh

Life has a way of kicking you in the teeth when you least expect it. These are just a few of the people who know firsthand what it’s like:

There’s a man who has a skin disease that makes it impossible for him to sit or lie down without some part of his body experiencing excruciating pain. The physical pain is stupendous, but it’s nothing compared to the emotional pain he’s in. His kids were killed in a freak accident right after he lost his business, and he’s cried so long and so hard that he can’t produce any more tears. He’s literally at rock bottom. There’s no way to go but up, but there’s absolutely no way to. go. up.

There’s a woman whose body is wasting away fighting itself. There’s a long list of foods – healthy foods! – that trigger an overreaction from her immune system, which attacks the very body it’s meant to protect. She’s been eating a vegan diet for years and exercising regularly. Now it’s a constant struggle to consume enough calories every day from the foods that don’t cause a reaction or that don’t cause a severe reaction. She is gaunt, and this fight to regain her health is exhausting.

There’s a young man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He had everything he could’ve ever wanted. His dad was preparing him to take over the family business, but his conniving siblings had other plans and figured out a way to get rid of him. Their connections led to the ruination of his dreams through human trafficking. He ended up trapped in a country far from home, slaving away to make another man rich. And then that guy had him thrown in jail on a trumped up charge. His future had been so promising, but now he’s behind bars.

There’s a man who devoted his life to working for God. However, terrible migraines combined with fibromyalgia and depression created a perfect storm in which medications to treat the individual problems either made all the other problems unbearable or had crippling side effects. He ended up losing his job because he couldn’t function. Shortly after that his doctor figured out a combination of meds that seemed to balance everything out. He managed to find another job, and then had to go on long-term disability a few years later because the meds couldn’t sustain his progress after all. He’s in constant pain. Every moment is a struggle to keep living.

Maybe you’re not experiencing anything like these people and life is going pretty well. Most of us aren’t battling situations of this magnitude. But maybe you’re plodding through a situation that’s crushing the joy out of you, or you feel like you’re going to drown in the pain because the trial you’re going through is never going to end. If God has a plan, He sure isn’t in a hurry to let you know what it is. Maybe you’re going to end up like John the Baptist and this trial is going to be the death of you. But then again, maybe you’re in the middle of your story, like Job or Joseph, and all the strings God is going to pull for you just haven’t been pulled yet.

In those moments when you’re just trying to survive life, this song by Michael W. Smith, Sovereign Over Us, is a reminder that God hasn’t forgotten you, that your story isn’t finished yet:

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