Seeing the edges in the dark times

Seeing the edges in the dark times

Seeing the edges on Cheryl Schatz's On the Path Blog

There are times that I am seeing life by looking at the edges rather than the whole. For example, rather than concentrate on the realty of cancer, and the daily fatigue, I am grateful that today I can walk. That is a precious gift. On Monday and Tuesday of this week my legs were so weak, I was shuffling, rather than walking. The nurse at the hospital told me that with the chemo-related leg weakness, I will need to hold on to stair railings and to be extra careful not to fall. Should I fall and break a leg, my treatment would be delayed until I healed. That would be bad news. So rather than expecting complete wholeness, I can be grateful for little things, like strength in my legs and the ability to walk. But I am also learning that there are spiritual edges to pay attention to. Not the whole picture, but what is highlighted for today.

I have been reading through the Bible chronologically and I am working my way through the book of Isaiah interspersed with sections of the book of Kings. What pops out to me is the amount of trouble that is consistent in the life of God’s people. There would be peace for awhile and then God’s enemies would swoop into the land and threaten the people. Often the trouble is because of the people’s sin, but there are times that there is a godly king and the trouble bubbles up anyway. These times of trouble are an opportunity for God’s people to call on Him as their source and trust on his strength rather than an ally or horses and chariots. It seems like trouble is always there and within the trouble is an opportunity to meditate on the edges lit up in the darkness rather than the whole. What I see as a highlighted edge today, is that God responds that He is a God of comfort. Comfort is something that you experience while you are going through the trouble, not just when the trouble is gone. It is an edge that is lit up in the darkness of the trouble. It isn’t easily seen in the bright sunlight, but is experienced in the dark night of the soul.

I still have much suffering to go through with the remaining chemotherapy treatments and then radiation and surgery. With the kind and grade of cancer I have, statistics say that I have a 41% chance of being alive in 5 years. 5 years is the magic number where you are considered cured. During my time of going for the cure, I will be given an opportunity to experience the edges of life and to see things that I would not have appreciated within the light of full health. I want to be reminded daily that it is not about the entire picture as I suffer, but I need to focus on the light shone on the edges. I want to see and experience God’s comfort through the trial. Comfort is a part of who God is and how He relates to His creation. Experiencing comfort is a gift that flows in during the dark times if we will look for it. Comfort is the lit edge of the trial and it is a promise that although the struggle and pain is real, God has promised to work out all things out for the good for those who love God and are called for His purpose.

I have a ministry and a calling to write on hard passages of Scripture. I have already written and produced projects that have gone around the world and helped many to be set free. There is so much more that God has given me that I want to get out in writing. I pray that God will give me the patience during the many times that I do not have the strength or ability to research and write so that I can still experience the edges of His goodness to me. I truly do not want to complain or feel sorry for myself, but to take time to learn the things of God that are revealed as lit edges in the dark. Today I accept God’s clear edge of comfort that has been revealed. I will meditate on it, receive it and pass it on.

10 thoughts on “Seeing the edges in the dark times

  1. Such profound writing. I have reread your post several times Cheryl.

    One of the most profound lessons I have learned came to me some time ago through Roman 11:32. (From an old NIV) “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

    I pondered that verse at length. As I read it, I considered it from a different viewpoint: If I have been obedient, why would I need God’s mercy. I do not need God’s mercy if I have NOT done something that required His forgiveness.

    But Christ said it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. And indeed, I have learned that I am sick. I have been disobedient. In fact, the good that I knew to do, I didn’t do. So I thank the Lord Jesus that he looked at my deathly sick soul and showed me mercy in spite of my disobedience.

    My need for God’s mercy didn’t come easily. I didn’t learn how deep my arrogance and pride were until I got knocked down a few times. Only then, did I learn how sweet God’s mercy is.

    Cheryl, you said above about God’s comfort:
    “It is an edge that is lit up in the darkness of the trouble. It isn’t easily seen in the bright sunlight, but is experienced in the dark night of the soul.”

    If I have never done something to someone such that my actions result in my begging for that person’s forgiveness, I will not know much about the person. Why? Because I am not around the person when he or she has every right to be intensely angry with me. To really know that person, I need to know how he or she responds in the “darkness of trouble” that I cause.

    When I cause trouble, pain, or embarrassment to another, he may choose to forgive me and restore me to good standing in spite of the nastiness of my actions. But an offended person might also choose to withhold his forgiveness to me. Human forgiveness is not a given. It is not automatic no matter how desperate my apology. On the other hand, when the offended man does accept my apology and forgives me, I am not only grateful but filled with admiration, thankfulness, and love for him.

    In a similar way, how can I appreciate health if I have never been sick? How can I appreciate contentment if I have never been in pain? How can I fathom God’s comforting presence if I have not know loneliness?

    Cheryl, I am so blessed that you continue to find the “edges” that you see so easily during your battle with cancer. Because of you, we, your Brothers and Sisters, are watching more carefully for the edges in our lives too. You bless us as you continue to smile in your pain and as you thank God for his presence with you.

    I find 2 Cor 4:16-18 to be so timely.
    RCN

  2. God is clearly using you Cheryl! You have touched the edges of the world, and back again. My prayers are with you in your daily walk during this trial, and with your family as they support you the best they can.

  3. I read your latest post on Seeing the Edges to Jim. He and I were both touched by it and, unless you indicate otherwise, he is planning to share it with others. I am blessed by your writing and the raw reality and wonder of your life in, through, and with Christ. Thank you!

  4. Jenny,
    I too am so glad that our Lord has overcome the world. We have this promise that eventually all things will be brought under His leadership and in the end every tear will be wiped from our eyes. I am reminded of that especially right now in that my eyes are being affected by the chemo and my one eye is constantly tearing up and so I have to keep a tissue handy. Usually it is only an annoying thing, but lately the skin on my face is burning so the salty tears hurt my face. It is good to know that none of this is permanent and we will have a perfect body someday with no more tears.

  5. Randy,
    Thank you for your response. I am so glad that what I have written has brought out your thoughts on God’s mercy. Very good!

    I have mostly been away from the computer for two days as I battled fatigue. I find it amazing that I am perfectly fine one day and the next day I can hardly keep my eyes open. It is a day by day challenge for me, but I am very encouraged that God continues to work in my life and give me what I need for the day. I don’t necessarily want to stay in these dark times just because of the things I am learning, but I will appreciate these times for the remainder of my life and I hope I can encourage others because of what I have been through.

  6. Darlene,
    Jim is free to use what I have written to share with others. Thank you so much for your encouragement!! If my suffering can be used for the benefit of others, I would be honoured.

  7. Curious thinker,
    Sorry I missed your comment. For some reason your comment went into my spam box and I had to rescue it. I am very glad that you commented to let me know you have been following my blog and that you are praying for me. Thank you!

    I am doing better. The last few days my face has been burning and peeling from the chemo. The bottoms of my feet have already peeled off, but my face was a concern. The burning sensation has stopped and I praise God for that. There is so much to thank God for!

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