Praying for Strength

I’ve prayed for strength like Debbie’s, to appreciate God even when life is painful.

By Sam Adriance, Providence, Rhode Island

As appeared in

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. . . . (Jeremiah 30:17)

I had dinner with two of my friends from college, Mirielle and Debbie. We met at a Tibetan restaurant and started catching up. We were all struggling to make ends meet and figure out what to do with our futures, but I saw quickly that Debbie had even worse struggles.

As she looked over the menu, she reached into her purse and pulled out a large color-coded card. “What is that?” I asked.
 “It’s the list of foods I can’t eat,” she said. She’d recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and it was seriously restricting her diet.

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Only a few minutes later, she mentioned something about a lump on her neck. Her doctor thought it was probably thyroid cancer. At our dismay, she tried to assure us that it would be no big deal to handle.

Then she started talking about her trip to Israel and was bursting with stories about visiting holy sites like the Wailing Wall; sharing in religious rituals; and having conversations with the Israelis she met, whom she thought were deeply spiritual people. Debbie had so much to feel victimized about, but all she wanted to talk about was how close she’d come to God.

Since that day, I’ve prayed for her health, but I’ve also prayed for myself. I’ve prayed for strength like Debbie’s, to appreciate God even when life is painful.

Thank You, God, for Your messengers who direct me back toward You.