I talk a lot on my blog about the chronic pain stuff that many of us are experiencing for different reasons and how the Lord can use all of it for growth. I share my thoughts and the things He is teaching me as an individual as I trust in Him through the pain, physical or emotional, that I am going through at the time.
Some of you have shared that this resonates with you quite strongly. I am so very grateful that the Lord uses us to help one another~ because it brings glory to God and what He can do in us, doesn’t it?
I think one of the greatest blessings in my life has been getting to see how others in our community here are willing to divulge the vulnerable stuff, how they are growing in Jesus because of it, and help celebrate our triumphs in Christ all at the same time. I believe it is one of the best ways we can love God and one another the way Jesus teaches us to do. It truly is a gift.
I believe every word I have shared about how God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Every word.It comes straight from the bible, after all. So it’s easy for me to be confident in the truth that it holds.
You know it’s one of my favorites…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
At the same time, anyone dealing with chronic pain or even a sudden difficulty or heartache in life will understand this:
We may know without a shadow of a doubt that His strength is magnified perfectly through our wekaness, yet we cry out all the same. That is, if we allow ourselves to.
- We cry out at the same time we know God is working all things together for our own good.
- We cry out even though we know we are probably where we are supposed to be right now.
- We cry out because it is HARD ~ hard to deal with the in-between feeling – the waiting…or worse yet….the knowledge this may not be something we end up coming out the other side of any time soon. (Maybe not until we go home even).
- We cry out because our weakness is a reminder of death to self – and we are kinda attached to self.
I miss not only being healthy (i.e. “not sick with fibromyalgia amongst a multitude of other physical ailments”), but even more than that, I miss vitality.
VITALITY, I say!
This came to me after praying over my lunch hour today. I have been trying to yield to the Lord and His will in my daily physical and spiritual, emotional, and just all kinds of weakness. I have been praying for Him to help me to accept whatever His will might be as far as whether or not I will be healed physically any time soon. I have begged Him to help me get through this with His help and be the person He wants me to be through the process.
I keep thinking…”if only I had more energy.” (see the self part in there again?)
But I felt this whisper as I was praying. It seemed to be saying something like this: “It is good that you are coming to me every day and praying for me to do my work within you during this hard time you are having physically. But what is it you want that you aren’t sharing with me?”
Does this whisper indicate God wants me to tell Him what I want for my health situation because He doesn’t know or is just waiting for me to ask? Nope. Does it even mean He will give me what I ask for right away if I say “I want physical vitality, God?” Nope.
It means (and I know this)…..He wants to hear me cry out to Him. Not because God is wanting us to grovel, though. Because it is part of a near and dear relationship of trust. Vulnerability.
See, the enemy tries to tell us things like this: “You shouldn’t cry out and ask for healing. You need to be happy with where you are at, you selfish child.” So we don’t cry out when that happens, do we? Then we have a mediocre type of sharing with our own personal Savior on our end of things – not a type that’s filled with everything – all of it – the whole thing.
God knows. He knows what I want. But He also knows all of my other desires too.
He knows I want not only to be healed, but I would love to have vitality again. I don’t only want mediocre physical “health.” I want my old Annie (the way God made me) energy back. I want vitality.
Yet at the same time, I want to need Jesus. I want to know and see my need for my Savior. I believe this ailment is here to remind me of this right now in life. I want a vital spiritual life far more than a physical one. Maybe one day I will be able to see both things in my life at the same time. Has that happened to you yet?
- Have I learned enough yet, Jesus, to be able to remember to rely upon you fully without a trial of suffering going on all the time?
- Am I so weak and distant that I need this constant reminder or I will go astray or drift from you in some way?
- Am I not stepping into the fullness of what You have for me ~ am I sharing everything with you?
- Am I depending on some aspect of my own strength instead of looking to You for that?
- Worse yet….Am I relying upon my own weakness to feel strong in You?
- Or is this really just here because You aren’t done with it yet?
These are the things I still don’t have the answers for, friends. These are the things this child of God needs and covets your prayers over daily. I never want to “suffer” out of disobedience or stubbornness. I want to move forward and “walk on the water” all the way to Jesus without sinking if He calls me to do so.
Is it time yet, Lord? Have you asked me to walk across the stormy seas with confident faith that you will empower me to do so, or are you asking me to remain in the boat a while longer? I know you are with me, wherever I may be. I just want to be obedient.
Oh Jesus, help us to make it all about you. Help us to walk in Your love, Your power, Your light, whether we are facing things that seem medicore or less than best when we measure it against fleshly standards. Eradicate those standards, Jesus. Help us to live to the fullest in the face of real life – life in YOU – looking towards eternity, not this earthly existence. Help us move through this earthly journey according to Your plan. When it’s hard to step, due to physical or other ailments, fill us with Your supernatural power. Carry us. Move us from where we are to where you are at, or meet us where we already are if you want for us to stop a moment. It really is just a blink of a moment in the face of eternity anyway. Even when it seems like a long and drawn out lifetime right now, remind us, Lord. Remind us of what we have to look forward to. Help us to never forget to live this moment for You. Because this moment is not all there is. It’s all about our blessed hope – not this story…not this earth…not this journey. Help us to live to glorify You and You alone.
Physical Vitality. Health. Various types of Suffering. Mediocrity of all kinds. Earthly pleasures.
None of them are really what we should put our faith in our hang our hopes on at all.
It is Jesus. Him and Him alone.
It is He who brings about something that goes beyond the mediocre and transcends what we might call vitality in this limited, earthly realm.
He’s the One.
The One who will meet us where we are at.
The One who will nudge us to move if we are remaining stagnant.
The One who will slam the door if we try to enter prematurely.
The One who will call us out into the water to meet Him in His timing, and in His power.
Only Jesus, friends.
Only He knows. He knows what’s best. He knows vitality. He knows and Is Love.
We have only to cry out.
And that ~ that is not mediocre or halfway done.
And that flies right in the face of mediocrity.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18