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Surviving the ‘Staging Area’ of Chronic Health Problems

Posted Oct 25 2013 9:00am

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).

Each fall my husband takes some camping/hiking trips. A few years ago as he was gathering all of his equipment in one room, he called it his staging area. I had never heard that term before and teased him about it. Now when we plan to go somewhere, we joke about our staging area.

I recently looked up the definition of a staging area. It is “a place to gather in preparation on the way to a destination, or a temporary location to stay while awaiting transition to a new field of operations.” Two words impressed me–preparation and temporary–and I realized that my chronic pain and health problems are a staging area for my eternal life.

Every aspect of this earthly life is preparing me for eternity. Pain and suffering deepen my personal walk with and faith in God like nothing else can, causing me to rely on Him alone and reminding me that this life is not all there is.

Staging areas can be messy. Our family room loses its neat appearance during these preparation times and that can’t be helped. So it is with my earthly body and life. I want my life to be neat and organized, but pain and illness are messy.

Life doesn’t go as planned, but this is only temporary. I am on the way to a “new field of operations”–my heavenly home. Right now God is preparing me for what lies ahead. There are things He wants to teach me and aspects of Himself that He wants to reveal to me in this staging area of pain.

In many ways I’m ready to move on to my new location. But I pray that I can view this staging area as a valuable tool God is using to prepare me for this glorious new destination, and willingly live with mess until then.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the perseverance and faith to accept this staging area of pain and suffering that You are using for my good, even as I keep my eyes fixed on my eternal destination with You, and all that awaits me there. Amen.

About the author Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, eye pain, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.

Are you able to see God using your pain and problems as preparation for new ways of service here on earth as well as preparing you for the glories of eternity? How so?

I heard this song on the radio the other day and wanted to share it with you. “He is With Us” by Love and the Outcome speaks of how God is always with us and that we can trust Him. I hope you are blessed by it. -Lisa

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