I had the chance to read a card my mom got from a longtime friend. It spoke to me!

The card told of many medical and other problems among the members of her family. All of the situations were real. They were worthy of lament.

The problem is that those were the only things she shared.

I think we get tunnel vision when we are in the midst of our problems and sometimes we allow ourselves to be swept away. I do it all the time. It’s the whole deal about how a toothache can nag at you. The pain makes it hard to focus on the other things.

In the middle of my pain, what flows out is naturally what hurts me. God doesn’t want us to get stuck.

I have used quite a few methods to move through the pain and stay with it.

First: I look at other kinds of suffering in the world, and my comforts, and adjust my entitlement meter. Not that my pain isn’t real. It hurts where other people are suffering or not. But it opens the door for gratitude.

Second: Flows from the first. Make a gratitude list. It’s that simple.

Third: Share.  Keep in mind the blessings as well as the curses but share it somewhere. In a meeting, with a friend, with the clergy. The pain is real. So are the blessings.

There are others, but since I don’t practice them, I can’t share their effectiveness. But I do plan on practicing them. And that’s for real. I am able to fight back. It took a while, but it’s true.

Look at Isaiah 53:1-3: He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.

The phrase ‘bitterest grief’ strikes me. This is in the NLT. I’m sure others are quite different. But in my walk, I am constantly working on rejecting bitterness. Thank God for Jesus. I couldn’t do it without him.


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