II Corinthians 1: 8-11
The last few months of my life have been a roller coaster of emotion.
In late July/early August my mother fell and ended up in the hospital. The next few days I traveled back and forth between my home and the hospital. Just as school was ready to start and I was supposed to begin teaching again, Mom was transferred to a local nursing home for continued therapy. I spent my days teaching and my evenings traveling to the nursing home to check in with her before heading home to do my daily paperwork.
As I was dealing with this I also found myself moving my daughter into college to begin her freshman year and my son to his college to begin his junior year. This left me dealing with an empty nest for the first time in 20 years.
My daughter's year has gotten off to a rough start and I have been trying to mother her through phone, text, email, and regular visits. I hate to see her suffering through the pangs of feeling friendless, behind in her classes, and struggling to maintain her high standards of academic achievement. I have often felt helpless, sitting on the other end of a phone wanting so badly to just embrace her and say, "It's going to be ok."
My class load this year has presented its own stresses. This year's groups of students have proven to be a greater challenge than I typically face. Behavior issues, student apathy, and lack of effort seem to be creating more problems for me and for my colleagues and we find ourselves feeling depressed, unsettled, and discouraged much of the time.
Then..... about 2 weeks ago I got an emergency phone call that my father had fallen and cut his face very badly. I rushed to my mother's side and waited. Hours later he returned from the emergency room with at least 23 stitches encircling the outer edge of his right eye. I spent the next 4 days with him, helping to cook for them and cleaning and dressing his wound daily.
Just as I thought things were getting better I received another phone call Friday telling me that he was being rushed to the emergency room again. I am so glad that it turned out to only be a strained back muscle, nothing worse, but it was another jolt to my already weakened emotional state.
Through all of these challenges I have found myself thinking, "How much more will I have to face?"
Then I thought of Job.....
He suffered the losses of his sheep, his oxen, his camels, his servants, and his children, and yet he never lost his faith in God. He kept on praising God and thanking him for being there.
These past few weeks I have found myself going to the Lord, again and again: to ask for his strength in dealing with the things that I was facing, to ask for the healing mercies on those who were suffering physically, to ask for strength for my daughter as she tries to find her own way in the new world of college, and to thank him for the many things he has done for myself and my family.
I have no doubt that there will be continued challenges and stumbling blocks that I find in my path, but I also have no doubt that the Lord will continue to be there for me, if I only call on him. As Paul said, in 2 Corinthians, I have placed my hope in the Lord and my hope will continue to be there no matter what comes my way.
I pray that you can also place your hope in him and trust him to be your guide, your comfort, and your strength as you deal with the things that you face.