One of my Power for Living interviews was with a gal named Jan Turner. Amazing woman. Years ago she contracted pneumococcal pneumonia. Her body struggled to survive by shutting down blood flow to her extremities. Gangrene set in, and she had to undergo a quadruple amputation.
A single mom with two adopted sons, Jan determined not to let discouragement override her. She applied herself to the rigors of physical therapy and learned how to walk with prosthetics. Using metal hooks that replaced her hands, she learned how to do all the usual things able-bodied people take for granted – things like combing her hair, brushing her teeth, driving and cooking. She returned to school and obtained a second degree in Communications, and she became an ordained pastor.
I listened in awe as Jan told me her story, and then I asked her how she maintained such a positive outlook in the midst of pain. She quoted 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “…Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
“It’s all in one’s perspective,” said Jan. She explained that when troubles come, we’re all faced with a choice regarding where we fix our gaze. Will it be on the pain or on God’s promises?
Focusing on God’s promises might sound trite to someone dealing with extreme difficulties, but in reality, what else can we do when there’s no easy answer and hope seems distant at best? Fixing her gaze on the Truth of God’s Word worked for Jan – her life proves it. It’ll work for the rest of us, too.
What particular promise from God’s Word has sustained you and given you a proper perspective in the midst of pain?