COURAGE AND HOPE
Then, nearly three years into my chronic pain journey, a new treatment holds promise for long-term relief. Although a series of medical mishaps nearly prevents my accessing the treatment, God makes a way. I am ecstatic with anticipation!
Although the procedure isn’t 100% certain, the odds are definitely in my favor. I know it might take a few weeks to realize the full benefits, but I feel confident it will happen.
Time goes by quickly, yet much of my deep muscle soreness and tension persists. I notice some improvement, but significantly less than what my doctor and I expected. An all-too-familiar feeling of disappointment enshrouds my soul.
Despair looms like a dark, all-encompassing shadow, with doubt lurking nearby. Tears flow freely as I pour out my heart, “God, I thought You led me to pursue this path. Why is the outcome so different than I thought it would be?” I weep in His presence for a long time, utterly exhausted on every level.
WAIT FOR THE LORD WITH COURAGE AND HOPE
In the days that follow, I sense the Lord gently asking me to re-set my focus, to turn away from what I lack and choose to affirm all that is good. It isn’t a quick fix, but gratitude gradually starts displacing grief. I begin to recognize specific help, rather than only dwelling on residual pain.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see
the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord;
be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.
(Psalm 27:13-14 NASB)
I especially appreciate the phrase “wait for the Lord,” repeated twice in one verse. God knows I need those words emphasized and imprinted upon my mind, a divine strategy for experiencing His presence and peace.
In this text, the psalmist bases his perspective not on what he sees or feels, but on the Lord and His promises. He lifts his vision above current circumstances, fixing his gaze on God and looking to the future. There’s no denying present pain, but a bigger picture is portrayed, with an assurance of blessings ahead.
When our waiting feels like more than we can bear, God offers fresh courage to keep hoping in His love and power. Together we declare “He is always at work for the good of those who love Him!”
Oh Lord, You see me. Like no one else, You understand the ache of my body and soul. Please deliver me from despair and infuse me with fresh hope. Help me cling to Your promise to bring about good, in Your way and in Your time. I need You. I trust You. I praise You. I love You. Amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What specific aspect of “waiting” are you experiencing right now?
- How are unresolved challenges impacting your faith?
- What encouragement can you gain from Psalm 27:13-14?
Lee Ann Zanon
Lee Ann Zanon is passionate about spreading the truth of Scripture. For decades, she served in various women’s ministry roles (including teaching at Corban University for ten years) until chronic pain dramatically changed her life. Her background as a Bible teacher, retreat speaker, worship leader, editor and writer has prepared her perfectly for her current focus on writing and providing one-on-one encouragement. Lee Ann and her husband Mike live in Salem, Oregon. They have two married daughters and three grandchildren. She is the author of Honest Hope.
Called to Hope
Jesus is the enduring, timeless, and everlasting hope who came to seek, serve, call, forgive, rescue, redeem, and save.
Lee Ann Zanon
Lee Ann knows heartache, disillusionment, and the grief of having her identity, built for decades on external accomplishments, stripped away by chronic pain. She’s walked the road of doubt and loss, questioning God’s unwillingness to grant the request of her fervent prayers. She’s also had a front row seat to others’ suffering …