Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12 (NIV)
Flying home after a long week of travel, I received a TSA Pre-Check security pass, while my husband Paul had to go through regular airport security. There were long lines in each, but my line passed through with ease. Afterward, I searched the large crowded airport for Paul’s security line. When I saw him, I realized I was going to have to wait, patiently. I watched from the distance as he struggled with his belt, shoes, carry-on bag and cane. Then I saw the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease exacerbating.
The affliction of Parkinson’s Disease makes everyday life a struggle, and stressful situations only make it worse. When he was being searched thoroughly by security, I could see Paul was trying to be patient as well. It broke my heart to see my once very capable husband afflicted with imbalance and struggling to cope with the stress of airport security.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Paul and I are patiently allowing his affliction of Parkinson’s to bring us closer to God and to each other. We are patiently waiting for healing. We want the trials of affliction to do its work in us so we will be mature.
To our old nature, we would never count afflictions like a neurological disease as joy. But the new nature looks for opportunities to allow the Holy Spirit to produce growth. The, “Why me?” of affliction has now changed to, “What is this affliction for? What do you want me to learn through this, Jesus?”
Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Are you letting the Lord help you in your afflictions? Are you, in turn, helping others who are in affliction?
In hindsight, I should have forgone my welcomed TSA Pre-Check pass and gone in the regular security line to help Paul navigate. But the Lord took hold of his right hand and helped him. As we pray for those who are patiently waiting for healing from afflictions, help them to keep looking to the Lord for help.
Our God Hears,