You Have Problems - But You Also Have Opportunities

John 4:35  “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.”

Isaiah 43:2, 5a “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you…. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

I have always had a variety of health problems. In the last few years, I have been dealing with chronic health problems every day in one way or another. Most days I live with some type of pain with varying levels of intensity. I recently had a serious and rare infection. I have ongoing issues of immune deficiency, arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma/COPD and IBS/Constipation. If any of you are dealing with chronic health issues, you know they not only affect the body but the mind, emotions, and spirit. They can really wear you down.

At those times, it is very easy to keep your mind on the circumstances and the problems. I have to be careful that these medical issues don’t become my identity. It is hard to focus on the Lord and rely on the truth that He is in control and has His purposes for all that is happening to me. I must choose to accept the truth that Christ is my identity. These are just problems but not my identity.

The other week, I was dealing with one health issue, and then had problems with a new health issue. At first, my thought was, “Oh no, not one more health problem!” I had to be hospitalized again! You know you have been in the hospital often, when the nurses know your name.

Because of this chronic health problem, God has taught me that there is relief in praise. So, when I feel the “Oh no!” again, I stop, take a deep breath, thank God that He is with me and praise Him for the opportunity to be part of the harvest work He has for me at the hospital.

Some of you may have heard the expression “Bloom where you are planted.” At a women’s conference I attended many years ago, when the speaker challenged us to bloom wherever God plants us. I must admit that I wasn’t expecting God to plant me in doctor’s offices and the hospital to bloom. And at first, I wasn’t quite sure how I could bloom for the Lord there.

As I prayed and asked the Lord to show me how to be His salt, light and fragrance there, He opened doors of opportunities I could never have imagined. It was exciting to pray for people, encourage them, share the Gospel, and provide practical helps and resources. And I still get utterly amazed at what He does as I continue to just surrender myself to Him. 

So, do I like going to the doctor’s or spending time in the hospital? Definitely not! I would much rather be outside enjoying God’s magnificent creation, or spending time with my friends; but my heart’s desire is to pray and ask God to help me bloom for Him wherever He chooses to plant me.

If you are facing chronic health problems or other life challenges, why not pray and ask God to help you bloom for Him where He has you planted? You can be a beautiful flower for Him in His garden.