Trying Times

Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Onward Christian Soldiers"1 (Lyrics)

She was 91, able to live on her own and manage her own life. She had a few health issues, but her major concern was intolerable back pain. She sought various remedies, finally settling on surgery to insert a spinal cord stimulator. In July, 2021, she awoke from the surgery saying, "I can't feel my legs." Since then, she has been confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down, dependent on others for her care. She lives in a private care home with nine other residents; most are too incapacitated to interact with her. It would be a miracle of God if she were healed.

I visit weekly, as do a few others. One son lives locally and visits often. One caregiver is a believer, so they are able to pray and talk about God together. Several pastors visit; she has an iPad and watches sermons and listens to Christian music. But that leaves many empty hours to think about her life — and it's difficult to consistently maintain a positive outlook.

The other day, even though she was feeling lonely and sad, she said, "I just want to do what God wants me to do. I know He put me here for a reason. The people here need to know about Him." Her faith is strong, and this has been her repeated statement since the paralysis.

Psalm 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (NLT)

God knows my friend's sorrows. He knows our sorrows, too, and grieves with us. But in our sorrows and grief, we have a choice: we can wallow in them, diving into depression, or we can turn to Him in trust. We can choose, as my friend does, to believe that we are here for a reason.

1 Peter 5:7Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (NLT)

Notice those words: choose and give. They require action. What can we do? First, study God's Word. It records stories of many heroes of the faith who made it through trying times with God's guidance and help. We can choose to follow their example. Second, confess our struggles; it helps us to understand that we may be part of God's bigger plan and choose to wait with patience for His answers. Third, share our struggles with our fellow believers. Carrying each other's burdens is an essential part of following Christ. Last, look for ways that we can give comfort to others. It helps us to look beyond ourselves.

Following these steps will help us to make our way through many types of difficult times. They are also steps that we should follow when our lives are going well, as they will strengthen our abilities to deal with anything that life brings us.

Prayer: Father, we pray for those who are trapped in desperate situations. Enable them to maintain their faith and witness. Guide each of us as we work through our own difficult situations. Help us to look to You and to praise You in all things. Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Cook <>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Sharon.

    God helps us to live and witness our faith in all circumstances.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us! Blessings.

    Thank you, Sharon for your message today.
    A very timely reminder for me as I was having a pity party.

    Your friend has an amazing faith, Sharon. She also has wonderful friends like you. Thank you for telling her story.

    Great message Sharon.
    Many thanks.
    (QC, CANADA)

    Thank you for this today. What a beautiful lady you talked about. This is so true and encouraging and it can be done in His name to accomplish His plan.
    God bless.

    Yes, Sharon. Many prayers for your friend have gone up for her today as a result of your telling what you know of her story. Blessings are coming to her. Grateful for your continued friendship with someone in her situation.

    Dear Sharon:
    Thank you for lovely devotional. Your friend has a great friend in you.
    Just out of curiosity, did the operation relieve her of pain?
    May God bless you always.

    Amen Sharon. My friend and l had a long discussion yesterday about this very theme and the importance of trusting amidst out sorrows and life’s struggle. I pray for your friend’s encouragement.

    Good afternoon, Sharon,
    It is so good of you to visit with someone who needs company. Through prayer and discussions with others we can cope during the difficult times.
    Thank you for writing.

    Good morning, Sharon,
    Your friend is blessed with good faith to recognize that God wants her there for a reason and to look for what God would like her to do. She went into the operation hoping for a different result and is learning to live with the result that happened. I have never thought about “action” words in the way you have described, but it is true. Our faith does need us to take “action” in order to keep strong, positive, and focused, not on ourselves as much as on others.
    Thank you for the reminder to pray for others who are in difficult circumstances and on the news. We are reminded daily of some of those besides the ones we know about with our friends and family.
    May God help us to do the actions which are necessary to keep the faith. Blessings.

    Hello Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing your story “Trying Times” in the PresbyCan Daily Devotion. We often resort to the “why me?” question when we suffer. The person you speak of is indeed very strong in her faith and it teaches us something about the will to live and the Will of God. I am facing some challenges myself and this story comes to me at just the right time to boost inspiration of what all can be possible. God lifts us up when we are down and sets us on the right path. The Lord lifts us up to be more.
    Thank you, Sharon, and have a great weekend.

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