Matthew 9:28 - When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.
In the ocean, far away from shore, sits a small desert island.
The sand dunes shift and change position with each passing breeze. Only a couple of palm trees stand as sentries guarding the island. Not far from the trees, something moves. And then drops to their knees.
It’s a person, and there’s no one with them. That’s because they’re stranded on this little desert island, because they can no longer come and go as they please. That’s how a person with chronic pain or an illness feels.
But that’s not the way it has to be.
If you stand up and turn around you’ll see an oasis in the distance. That oasis is made up of people who serve as those two, sentry palm trees, always on duty being your friend in spite of your pain.
But you have to take the first step toward them.
Let go of your fears.
If you want things to be different, you must believe they can be.
Cnbc.com in their article, “18 Ways Successful People Think Differently,” gives us some ways that we can do things differently and change our present, such as worry, fear, action, and gratitude are all choices you get to make. No one gets to decide anything for you. Every decision is completely yours to make. In addition, today is that second chance you have been asking for. Use it.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. There were some men who were blind. They went to Jesus hoping he would heal them. But even though they’d gone to Jesus, they still needed to believe he could do it. It’s the same with us. If we want things to be different we have to believe that God is able to change things. No, he may not change everything, and he might not even change the worst things you’re going through. But he does touch our lives by bring others to stand with us through our trials. God will also bring healing to our hearts and encouragement to strengthen us.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Sometimes anxiety fills our minds for a very good reason:
So we see that there are valid reasons for the unease you feel sometimes. However, sometimes anxiety comes on without any apparent reason. It surprises us. We can’t pinpoint where this anxiety is coming from.
But what we do know is that once anxiety has a chance to put its foot in your door, it can quickly move into a full blown panic attack.
Here are some ideas that may not completely take away your anxiety, but they can help calm you:
Whatever you choose, remember that though you may not believe it, anxiety is under your control. You decide whether you’re going to let your anxiety rule your life. Just believing you can gain back control may be enough to chase away your panic attack.
Heleo.com in their article, “10 Simple Strategies to Control Your Anxiety,” provides us with additional ideas on how to get your anxiety under control, such as avoid asking yourself, “What if?” The more time you spend worrying about the possibilies of what may happen, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action and calming yourself. Also, disconnect. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline.
Whether we know the reason we’re feeling anxious or not, with the help of the ideas above, we can release our anxiety into the wind and let peace and calm take its place. And, remember, God asks us to cast all of our anxiety on him. He cares for us and will help us not just find peace for the moment, but will grow that peace into an everyday occurance.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 - Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with an incurable pain or illness? Finding this out can be devastating to your life. It can cause you to question everything.
Something good has to come from all of this, right?
If you are a friend of someone who is trying to figure out why they have to suffer, and want to truly help, here are some things to keep in mind:
Trying to help a friend quench the fires of depression can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. Helpguide.org posts the article, “Helping Someone With Depression – Supporting a Depressed Person While Taking Care of Yourself,” which provides a guide through the symptoms of depression and how a friend or family member can help. It’s especially important to be sensitive to the pain the sufferer is going through, and this article provides ways to start a conversation, and examples of questions you can ask.
The fires of depression can quickly spred from one area of your life to every part. You may quickly begin to lose the battle against it, but just as the Bible verse says above, when you have someone else with you, they can give you their strength and you will be bound together in a cord that’s not easily broken or burnt up by those depression fires.
1 Timothy 4:12 - Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Whether good or bad you’re going to be an example to those around you.
What do you want others to see in you?
Take care with what you do and say. It may be difficult to speak kindly to others sometimes, but doing so reaps a rich relationship where your friends truly feel that you care.
This will be the result:
You may feel afraid to look out for others before yourself. But you may be surprised at how good you feel about your life when it’s centered on someone other than yourself.
Kellyexeter.com.au, in their article, “5 Easy Things We Can All Do to Look Out For Each Other,” says that you may think you don’t have enough time to take care of yourself let alone others, but in fact, you do. The article has some ideas such as give people the benefit of the doubt because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, and ditch the sarcasm and snark for cheering people up.
Even though the Bible verse above speaks about a young person, the second part talks about the kind of example you set. We are to be an example that God can use to show the world his love, through our speech and deeds. And this is the kind of example that will answer the question to what you want others to see in you in a positive way. Be that example, and others will notice.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.