I have inherited a lot of things from my parents. Many of them I consider to be good things such as my blue eyes, brown hair and fair skin. Others, I consider not so good, such as my poor eyesight, slow metabolism and arthritis.
For the last few years, I have suffered from time to time from the pain and stiffness associated with this arthritis. Until recently, it has been only a minor nuisance. It has slowed me down at times, but I have been able to manage the pain with over the counter medications.
The last few weeks, however, this arthritis decided to attack my right knee with all its might, and I have found myself moving more and more slowly. Each day, I have expected the pain to ease as it has in the past, but each day it has seemed only to grow stronger. On Thursday, when I was barely able to limp to my car without bursting into tears, I decided a visit to the doctor was in order.
The doctor ordered tests to rule out any injury or damage that might require surgical intervention, but she suspected that the culprit, was indeed my progressing arthritis. She gave me a couple of prescriptions and sent me on my way.
As I limped slowly and painfully to my car, I began to feel more sorry for myself with each step. My mind and imagination began to kick in to overdrive. If this was just my arthritis getting worse and causing all of this pain, wouldn’t it just continue to get worse with each passing year? What if the medication doesn’t help? What if I am forced to limp around like this for the rest of my life?
At the height of my pity party, as I got into my car, I looked up and happened to see an elderly man just outside the doctor’s office. The man was in a wheel chair and wore a jacket with a Navy insignia on it. He appeared to be a Navy veteran. As I looked closer, I noticed that he was missing one of his legs.
As I watched this man chat happily with a friend, tears ran down my face and seemed to wash away every trace of the self pity that existed seconds earlier. I was embarrassed that I had let myself get so distressed, so worried, over something so minor, so trivial by comparison.
I am grateful that my Heavenly Father placed this man in my path that day. I’m glad that seeing him helped me to gain perspective and better see the reality of my own situation. There are so many people in this world that suffer trials much greater than mine. I am grateful that He changed my focus so quickly from worrying about myself to thinking of them.
I am grateful that my Heavenly Father reminded me that I need not ever worry or feel sorry for myself. He has taught me that the physical ailments, trials, pain and suffering of this life are temporary and will one day be nothing but a distant memory.
I know that no matter what trials or adversities I must face in this life, when I need Him, He will be there to comfort, uplift and carry me. He will always be there for me…..no matter what.