Hard Pressed

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.                        2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I wrote this over a year ago.  A dear reader  mentioned it and I went back to read it myself.  I think it kind of fits for where I am now.   I need to acknowledge that though the going is rough … I’m still going.  :)  Hope it helps you today.

 One of the sayings I heard over and over as a child was “Nobody said it was going to be easy.”  Well, nobody told me life was going to be this hard, either!

I went into Chicago to have some dental work done.  No one in our area wants to deal with my illnesses and allergies.

 The trip to Chicago was grim.  The dental experience was painful - not during, but after.  My body hates the time it spends in a dental chair.  By the time the I got home, I was in a lot of pain.

My neurologist has told me that trying to get my muscles working again is going to be a challenge.  Not the words I want to hear! It’s challenging enough the way it is. 

A good friend of mine had shared the above verse with me a few days ago.  It never ceases to amaze me how I hear the right verses at the right time. 

As I lie on the couch, padded with ice packs, the words to this verse come flowing back.  Hard pressed is not such a far-fetched way to describe the pains I feel.  Yet I am promised I will not be crushed.  Perplexed?  You betcha.  I wonder why this is happening to me.  Yet, God says not to be in despair.  I even feel ‘persecuted’ by these current challenges.  But I am not abandoned.  I may be struck down, but I will not be destroyed.

The strength in these words is amazing.  The strength it takes to deal with chronic illness is immense.

So, today, my ‘Encouraging Word’ for each one of you who are dealing with the effects of chronic illness, is “Wow.” 

“Wow, look at how strong you are – you’ve made it this far.”

“Wow, look at how brave you are – feeling weak, but searching out encouragement.”

“Wow, look at how faithful you are – still looking to Him.”  (How do I know that?  Because you are reading this.)

My beloved readers you are stronger than you think you are, braver than you feel you are, and more faithful than you realize.  You may not think it, feel it, or realize it.  But God made each and every one of you a special treasure.

Each one of you is an inspiration.  You are living examples of being  “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  

Each one of you is a gift to the world – an example of keeping on when keeping on feels impossible.


Father God, I would prayerfully ask that you grant insight to each reader so that they may look at themselves and see the positives amidst the negatives.  I pray that they would be able to look into their mirror and recognize just how strong and brave and faithful they are.  Help them to see "Wow!" reflecting back at them.  Amen and amen.


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