Today is my birthday. In the scheme of things, I am 59 years closer to heaven! On reflection there are many things I would choose to have been different than they were. Parkinson's Disease for instance. I would wipe that dark spot right off of my "timeline". But if I did that, I wouldn't know the things that I know. I wouldn't know God's comfort in the midst of this disease's darkness and pain. I would not have the authority to speak of riding out the darkest of nights by faith in the Son of God. I would not be able to have empathy or sympathize with the dark reality of this disease in your life. My encouragement to you to endure until the better day comes would be empty words untried and not tested.
I have been and do daily walk through the fire that you are walking through. The flames are all ingulfing - there is no doubt. The pain of it is all but unbearable at times. Parts of us are being burned away. We are consumed as the flames do their damage.
I would have doused this fire and denied its power over me if I could have. Wouldn't we all? But God in His strange mercy let the fire burn as I was turned from coal into something useful. You see, coal can be used to produce electricity. Electricity runs machines and heats houses. It lights our homes. There are countless advantages and many blessings that come from electricity. But it takes coal which must be crushed and pulverized. The finer the powder it is crushed into the more efficiently it will burn.
Suffering with disease is like being crushed into fine powder and scorched by unbearable heat. We would resist if we could.
I am reminded of the verse that says, "Bind with cords the sacrifice to the horns of the altar." (Psalm 118:27) In my own case, I would have crawled off of this altar had I not been securely fastened down upon it. Even though we do not choose to suffer in the valley of Parkinson's Disease, we must choose to trust Him. Though we do not see any good that may come, we must believe that He will bring light out of our darkness.
"the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Isaiah 9:2