Every cloud has a silver lining. All of us have probably heard this adage at one time or another. We have many such sayings that we use to try and be positive in the midst of difficult circumstances. There is probably an entire library of books that have been written about positive thinking. Often we even hear people say things like “sending you good vibes” as if somehow that is going to improve our circumstances. I find the true key in challenging times is not positivity it is recognizing the truth of a circumstance and being grateful even if the circumstance seems negative. I have been pretty open in my writings about the fact that I am facing stage four cancer which is in every way a challenging circumstance. It is hard to summarize all the challenges of this journey to really convey it to other people but that is ok because I don’t want to live my life explaining what is hard I want to spend it pointing out the good that the hard brings, the “silver lining” so to speak.
Because of my diagnosis people listen. They ask how I am handling all of this and often they are open to conversations that they may not be with other people or in other circumstances. I find myself sharing Jesus with so many people as I traverse this road. The challenging circumstances have 1) removed any concern, fear, hesitation or feelings of not being sure what to say to someone and 2) I have a clearer focus on why it is so important for us to tell others about Jesus. I may be facing physical death (according to my stage four diagnosis but we know God has the final say) but so many people are facing so much worse. Every day we see people who are in very real danger of facing eternal separation from the God who loves them. They live life with no hope, nothing to lean on or cling too. They live under burdens that God never intended for them to carry and it breaks His heart.
Now I know for those of you who know me you probably think I would not have any issues with sharing Jesus even before this diagnosis but reality is we all let things keep us from these conversations even if it may be unintentional. We let life, schedule, and so many other things push us along so fast that we don’t always see the moments when God wants us to share with someone. We don’t always see when someone is hurting, lost or maybe seeking hope. That is where these hard circumstances have been good in that all of these things that distract are washed away and life becomes so much clearer. Because so much has been stripped out of my life I am able to view things from an entirely new perspective. See I think the truth is that many times when we have hard circumstances happening we look inward and become consumed by what we are going through instead of looking outward for the good opportunities that it can bring. It’s a normal human response. When there is trouble you circle the wagons but as a believer God calls us to something higher. He doesn’t say that there won’t be hard times but He does say He will use all things for our good. So instead of looking at the hard circumstances I believe He would have us look for the good that He will bring. Let’s see His silver lining.