I was just reminiscing about the serious heart and lung illness that God brought me through just over 2 years ago. Sometimes it hits me harder than other times that I could have been dead and buried had it not been for God’s mercy.
This new illness has added new challenges to a lifelong condition that I already suffer from. It has changed my life and tremendously diminished my quality of life. And although my breath is short and my energy depleted, I have to be grateful and give God thanks and praise because He has spared my life. I Am Alive. Hallelujah!
Now don’t get my praise and thanksgiving confused with personal strength, bravery, faithfulness or any such character attributes. That is not the case at all. It is all God’s doing. I am still alive today because of His Grace and Mercy.
With all of the expensive medicines and high-priced doctors and specialists and lab tests that constantly drain my social security income and with all of the personal suffering, pains and strains in addition to the burdens of family obligations, I was ready to give up many times. I am often overwhelmed and crushed beyond measure. I would like to give up now. I would like to rest from the pains and sufferings and from the nightmare of unfulfilled dreams due to ill-health and the inability to earn a living and adequately support myself and loved ones. The internal male instinct and drive to protect and provide for my family still resides in me strongly. The desire to achieve and excel still abides in my soul but not in my body and this incompatibility between my God-given patriarchal spirit to provide and protect and my physical disability to do neither only exasperate to my pain and causes me great emotional suffering.
I am not like others who espouse positive thinking and a rosy demeanor as a cure for almost everything. I know that these things do not effectively address all of our circumstances and sufferings. Life has taught me something totally different. I speak out of personal experience.
I can relate to the human factors of this Christian Faith Journey that makes us wonder if God even cares about us in our pain and sufferings. I can relate to the unspoken doubts and fears of Christians who are going through and it seems that there is no way out. I can relate to the utter feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. I know what it is to give up on yourself and on ever being well. I know what it is to feel that it would be easier to die than to live.
I know that everyone will not be able to relate to what I am sharing here because their lives, experiences and circumstances have been different. Therefore, I am speaking to those of us who are familiar with the suffering factor of the Christian Faith and live through it daily by the grace of Almighty God. We are not deceived by the illusion of positive thinking, positive speaking, personal strength and intestinal fortitude. If any of these things would have cured us then we would be well today. But we know that we have survived another day only because of God’s Loving and Eternal Grace and Mercy.
The Word of God, particularly in 1 Peter 5:1-10, encourages us to humble ourselves and our bodies as a living sacrifice and surrender our will to God’s will for our lives. And that may mean suffering for the greater plan of God and trusting that He knows what is best for us. And although it is not pleasant, prosperous or satisfying, His will be done. Our lives are ultimately His do with as He pleases. God Is In Control.
Many fellow Christians have suffered worse illnesses than we are suffering and many more are suffering horrific diseases today. Their suffering doesn’t diminish ours nor our theirs. We are not trying to compare degrees of pain. The fact is that where one is hurting, we all suffer. (Galatians 6:2)
Therefore my fellow suffers, arm yourselves with this attitude and revelation of God’s Holy Word. Never Give Up! Never say uncle! God Is Keeping You! Regardless of how things look or feel, GOD Is Good All Of The Time. And after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us.
This is our hope in hopelessness. This is our Faith in the face of pain and suffering.
1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Never Give Up!
Keep Looking Up!
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