As I listened to the Bible study teacher on video in our small group on Thursday morning, I had a struggle going on in my heart and mind. Blind now at age 42, Jennifer Rothschild is a wonderful Bible teacher. It’s somewhat of a long story, but I met Jennifer when I was a little girl at a summer camp. We were “pen pals” for a while and then lost touch with each other. Years after Brent and I were married, he preached a series of services for a friend. Jennifer was the music leader for those services. Unaware, at first, of who she was, (she wasn’t totally blind then, but could see very little) we introduced ourselves to her and her husband at a meal and began chatting. I realized during the course of the conversation that she was Jennifer Jolly, my pen pal from back in 4th grade. I couldn’t believe it! I talked about having her letters in a box at home. We then reminisced some about those days as children, etc.
I haven’t seen her since then (at least ten years ago), but recently I’ve come across some of her studies. Since we were children, Jennifer has become blind. When she was 15 years old, the doctors told her that she had an eye disease that would ultimately take her eyesight. As she teaches now, she is in total darkness.
Her message on Thursday morning was about walking by faith, not sight! Wow! She ended by saying that on her life journey, she’s learned three things: 1) God is good, 2) Life is hard, and 3) Walking by faith and not by sight gives us the ability to say “it is well with my soul even if it’s not well with my circumstances.”
I looked down at the verses on the page from the Message (II Cor 4:16-18), which said “So we’re not giving up…. Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace.” As I read those words, the battle raged within me – circumstances are so very daily, even hourly! They weigh so heavily on my heart from time to time. My soul becomes heavy instead of filled with joy. Will I ever get to that place in my life? That “blessed be Your Name” place. That “it is well with my soul” place? The truth is that my life is really good, not so hard. And I still find ways to be discontent, ungrateful, unfaithful, and anxious about tomorrow. I must say with the Bible author Paul, “I press on… I haven’t attained it yet…. the race is not over….not looking back”!
Well, that’s where I am today …. struggling to maintain soul wellness! If you relate, don’t give up! None of us need to ever give up!