“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”

Matthew 4:16

When I was in my early 20s and straight out of graduate school, I had great difficulty finding a job in my field. It took me approximately 2 years to get hired as a counselor. I had no income and bills were mounting.

As it turned out, I wouldn’t have been able to physically work, anyway. During that same period, I was also having physical problems. I was experiencing severe pain throughout my entire body and could barely walk. I started going to various doctors, trying to determine the cause of my problems. Each doctor said the same thing: “you have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).”

I would always dismiss their diagnosis. I had seen from early childhood, the severe and painful effects this disease had on a close aunt and uncle of mine. My uncle had both legs amputated because of it and my aunt had physical deformities and was wheelchair bound for the last few years of her life. 

My quest for a different diagnosis finally ended one year after I began my journey, when I met with a neurosurgeon. He examined me and then asked in a matterof-fact manner, “What is it you want me to do about your rheumatoid arthritis?”

When I questioned his diagnosis, he looked at me as if I had two heads and he asked how could I not know that I had RA throughout my body. He then proceeded to point out various indicators. That was when I finally believed the diagnosis. 

I learned through this and other experiences in my life, that these difficult times which I considered dark times, really weren’t dark. That’s because God, the Light of the World, was always with me. As Psalm 23:4 states, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…..” God doesn’t say that we won’t have difficult times, but that He will get us through them. He is always with us.

Lord, please help me to remember that you are with me always and will never desert me. Help me to focus on You at all times, and not on the circumstances. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash