“How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?”
Psalm 4:2 NLT
The problem with suffering is that it very easily makes me the centre of my own universe. The immensity of my pain, physical or psychological, blinds me to anything other than my own difficult circumstances.
It was a revelation to me as I worked out how I was perceived through the questions I was asked. These often related to my behaviour, wrestling as I was with Katey’s diagnosis of progressive MS, and I resented the questions. Had they really no clue as to my circumstances and the complete collapse of my internal navigation system when it came to steering my life effectively? With hindsight the short answer is “no, they didn’t”. Equally I’d no clue how I must have appeared; lost as I was in my own new world of shadows. I took my pain out on others with sarcasm, anger, and projected my pain wherever I might in a sorry, and vain, attempt to be rid of it. Everyone can appear to become an enemy when fighting an enduring disappointment and the pain it unleashes.
I’d lost sight of the fact that the unlovely are not easy to love. In a busy life, who really has time for the antics of a drowning man? Distance grew and of course many lost confidence in both my competence and reliability. I withdrew, convinced there was no value in maintaining any relationships. Never have I been more conscious of the distance there was between my public and private personas. Yet within that gap I discovered the person I truly was and began a journey of making peace with my true self, the person God had created me to be. This was the beginning of the road back to God and health, self-acceptance and self-esteem.
Where I had looked for God in those who’d once been my colleagues and Christian peers, I now recognised no one had the power to rescue me, only God. And, as with a drowning man, until I stopped thrashing in the water, God could not get close enough to rescue me.
What truths anchor your soul to God when you’ve experienced trial and difficulties in life?
Lord, when all I can see is the darkness, please open my eyes to your light.