Life is often punctuated with intrusions by death, interruptions by ill health, and irritation by difficult people. Such i-Problems are stressful but we have the choice to turn them into ideal opportunities to develop new insights and to see them as invitations to pray and draw closer to God.
Over the past two weeks I attended five funeral wakes - a patient, two old friends, the mother of a close friend, and my uncle. It was a time for deep reflection on the meaning of life as well as a time in which I experienced the truth that in praying for everything we do not need to worry about anything.
In our grief we can mourn and rejoice in the Lord at the same time. We cannot rejoice at the death of our loved ones but we can rejoice because of Christ's promise that He is with us always - especially in times like these. As we do so, we can find joy in the midst of sorrow.
My late uncle had shown me over the past few months, that "no life is so hard that one can't make easier by the way one accepts it." He was not religious but his life was filled with contentment and a quiet joy even in the midst of his suffering. Through his life and death, God showed me the truth that His steadfast love never ceases and His mercies never come to an end.
It has been said that suffering is inevitable but misery is optional. Many see the Christian life as a burden rather than a joy. We try to please God by own human efforts instead of living the life of peace with God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We struggle to enjoy life instead of finding the joy of discovering the love that God has filled our lives with. We want to know the answers to the problems of life instead of learning to live out the questions that life presents to us.
The psalmist expresses in Psalm 89:47-48, the feeling that many of us share:
“Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity!
Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave?”
Og Mandino when he was stricken with prostate cancer, found that one must learn how to die in order to teach others how to live. He drew attention to the importance of our attitude as the deciding factor between suffering hell or enjoying heaven here on earth. We can choose to let our i-Problems conquer us or we can overcome these i-Problems with i-Prayer by rejoicing in the Lord and giving thanks in all circumstances.