Ever feel like God has forgotten you? You may be single, waiting for that special someone to come along and you’ve waited and waited and waited. You may be divorced and wonder, “Will I get another chance or was that it?” In both situations it’s easy to wonder if anyone will ever love you just like you are. Or you may find yourself dealing with a chronic disease, waiting and wishing for a day when you can just feel good again. Some of you deal with caring for a loved one who has a disability or disease that is slowly robbing him of his energy, and you feel that it is also robbing you of your energy, and you wonder if this situation will ever get better. You may be a young mom raising children alone, or your husband works a demanding job, and at the end of the day, he has nothing left to give to his children. Just when you need a break from the children, you realize that there’s not one in sight. I can relate; my husband Robert and I didn’t marry until I was twenty-eight. I had what my physicians called acute arthritis that had me living with swollen, achy joints with no relief. When I was twenty-nine, I had a hip replaced. Since then, I have had two more hip surgeries. I clearly remember when my two daughters were young, and I worked, sometimes full-time and sometimes part time, in order to make ends meet. Robert is in ministry, so many of his nights were consumed. I ended many days exhausted physically and emotionally. My husband has always been extremely helpful with raising our girls, but there were times when it was just me and the girls. Wow, those are even hard to remember.
It is so easy to wonder if God has forgotten you. We wonder, “What’s the plan, God? Am I destined for loneliness? Am I going to feel trapped in my circumstances forever?’ The answer is no.
Take a look at the story of Joseph. In Genesis chapter 37 Joseph’s brothers threw him in a cistern to die. Then on second thought, they pulled him out of the cistern and sold him. Joseph went from being the favored son to feeling that his death was imminent and by the hands of his own brothers. I teach freshmen English, and I know that my students many days do not like me. They should not like me all the time, but maybe they do like me sometimes. How must Joseph have felt during all of this? In chapter 39 we see that Joseph prospered as a slave in Potiphar’s household. You may remember that trouble struck again when Potiphar’s wife made a play for Joseph, and when he did not respond favorably, she falsely accused him of attacking her. He was thrown in prison. It is not known how long he was in prison, but it could be anywhere from two to thirteen years.
You know that after Joseph’s release he was promoted to power. Even as he was in prison, he proved to be trustworthy and was given much responsibility. He was also reunited with his family. His story had a happy ending. What can this story offer us today?
- We must be like Joseph. In prison God showed favor on him and he was promoted. Why did God show him favor? Joseph did not lose faith. He never gave up hope because he had faith in a God that has a bright future planned for all of us.
- Joseph was patient. His situation did not change quickly, and sometimes neither will ours. Stay in God’s word, continue to pray and not lose heart.
What else can we do? Find comfort in Christian brothers and sisters that are in a situation similar to yours. God has reminded me many times that I am not the only one experiencing this pain, and He has sent me friends at all the right moments. Take a break. Find a way to have some sort of break. When Robert was in a foreign country on a mission trip, my girls and I changed everything. Lots of movies and chocolate chip cookies were always a part of our survival plan while daddy was gone. I now cherish those times that I had with just my girls.
When faced with more serious issues such as caring for a loved one or a chronic illness, a break can still happen. I have always found peace in nature and getting outside can do a world of good. When I get my focus off of me and focus it on Jesus where it should be, I have always started to feel better. He endured a cruel cross, and my physical pain probably will never match His.
One last take away from Joseph’s story is that his story had a good ending. Mine does also. I someday get to live forever in paradise. On my worst day, my future is bright. At the bottom of my pit of any kind, I have Jesus. He can transform my thoughts and mind and give me peace.
When I think of Jesus, I remember that no, I have not been forgotten. The cross is a picture of ultimate love for us. Through faith in Him, we can endure all things. A better day could be and is just around the corner.
Do you know Jesus? How about changing your life forever today? Check out me website & consider starting a relationship with my best friend Jesus Christ.
*Can I help you with a women’s event? I am now raising money for a mission trip to Haiti in June of 2015. All love offerings given to me for speaking will go to that!