"Peace is not the absence of affliction, but the presence of God."--Author unknown
Don't you love this quote? How I wish I knew the author so that I could give it the proper attribution.
As I look around my circle of family, friends, and acquaintances, I cannot identify anyone who is not suffering from some affliction. These afflictions vary, from severe health problems to financial problems to family problems.
Even those who seem to lead charmed lives are dealing with some kind of pain. One of my favorite hymns, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee," contains the words, " ... sorrow that the eye can't see ..." In a fit of self-pity and envy, I once said to my husband, "She (a friend) doesn't have any problems. Her life is perfect." Wisely, he said, "We just can't see her problems."
Since then, I've grown a bit in wisdom. I've tried to look at others with fresh eyes, trying to see beyond the surface. You know what? It's hard. It's hard to focus on something and someone besides myself.
I looked at my friend again and understood that her life was not problem-free, but that she coped with whatever life threw at her because she walks hand-in-hand with God.
This I know for sure: when I walk with God, I'm not carrying my burdens alone.