Three Things to Remember When Your Normal Gets Hijacked

“‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’”
— Mark 14:36

I still remember sitting in the office of my sports medicine doctor back in 2009; he was a bit perplexed as he examined my knee for what felt like the 100th time. I’d injured it while backpacking in April of that year, and dove head-first into therapy and treatment, 100% committed and absolutely certain that this problem, like all the other physical issues I’d dealt with as an athlete, would quickly resolve.

Fast forward two years and I was sitting in the windowless waiting room of the pain clinic at Swedish Hospital in downtown Seattle. The walls were gray and the lighting was dim and depressing - a perfect setting for the jumbled mess of suffering humanity that sat around me in piles of misery. The pain clinic was not a place of hope - it was the last stop on a bus called despair. The thought of going anywhere near pain medicine terrified me (and the side effects would prove to be at times worse than the pain itself), but at the time it seemed to be the only thing that had any effect on the mind-numbing pain that tore through my back, legs, and feet.

There were many times that year - and in the years to come - when I looked in the mirror and wondered how in the world this had happened. Nothing made sense. One day I was climbing mountains; the next I was curled up on the couch in a condo my wife and I couldn’t seem to sell, both of us jobless, my wife pregnant, wondering what in the world we were going to do. The anxiety made me so nauseous I threw up several times a day and lost over 20 pounds.

Have you ever stopped and wondered, “How in the world did this happen? How did I end up here?” Maybe, like Lysa TerKuerst, it was marriage that fell apart. Maybe it was a terminal cancer diagnosis, or maybe worse, an unidentified mystery illness that couldn’t be identified but left you helpless. Maybe something took the life of your child, or maybe the enemy got a hold of one of your kids and they’ve walked away from the faith, embracing a life of sin and destruction. Maybe it’s depression that never seems to lift.

Is there hope in the darkness? As Christians we of course know the answer is a resounding, YES - but sometimes that hope feels a million miles away, a gift that belongs to someone else but doesn’t apply to you or me. How do we not lose hope when all seems lost? In today’s devotional Lysa gives three truths we can lean on when hope seems lost. If you feel stuck in a pit of despair, take a moment, read today’s devotion from Proverbs 31, and let hope shine!