“The Wrestlings” Discussion {Chapter 8}

In chapter 8 of my free ebook The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path, I wrote how I face the day-to-day challenges of maintaining a gentle and quiet spirit. I do, indeed, wrestle with the many things that try to steal away my  patience and gentleness.

Unlike other Christian households, ours faces more difficult challenges. My illness is the number one source of weariness for me and burden for the family. It frustrates me to such an extent that I often lose patience and the courage to forge on. The combination of the discomforts (difficult breathing, dizziness, and overall weakness) brought about by my illness, the problems of dealing with maids that do not uphold our family’s rules, practices, values and beliefs, and kids that disobey and constantly fight, gets into my nerves and it is a humungous task to hold my temper.

Sometimes I find myself shouting, speaking succinctly while grating my teeth, snapping, or giving out a lengthy sermon. And sometimes I just bow my head, put my hands to my face and cry in frustration. I had analyzed that when I’m physically weary and have not given my mind and body enough rest, I am most prone to being impatient and ungentle.

The following teachings that I share with you on how to maintain a gentle spirit, patient and unwavering in its pursuit, are the ones I do my best to practise everyday. I am not saying that I have perfected them and am now in that place of bliss, but they do help me retain peace and joy in my heart and mind despite my circumstances, and help supply the inspiration and encouragement I so need through the day.

  • Quiet Meditations in the Morning

The first thing I do in the morning is to reach out for my Bible and read and meditate on the Word. Sometimes I take note of verses that are speaking to me in my journal. I read a daily devotional, then sing praises to the Lord. I do my best to shut out the world in those few moments of communing with God through worshipful and prayerful songs. I strain to feel His love for me, to appreciate and praise Him for His faithfulness with my whole being. Then, I pray. And I find rest, peace, and strength, both physically and spiritually, to face the day.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat. 11:28)

  • Always in Remembrance of the Word

When I am drenched with the Word, the powerful verses constantly hover over my mind during the day, reminding me to pause and think, speak or act according to the Lord’s teachings. When I let the cares of this world take over my mind, pushing the Word to the periphery and let it fade into the background, negative powers take hold of me – impatience, anger, resentment, discontent, disappointment, discouragement, self-pity.
And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)
  • Rest or Nap During the Day

Don’t let weariness punish you and ruin your day. Care for yourself by resting or napping, especially when you are really tired. Don’t push your mind and body to the limit until you are burnt out and have nothing to give. Even the Lord rested from His teachings and healings, and He encourages us to do the same. (I wrote about this here).

 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

  • Teach Your Children

I believe there are kids out there who are more responsible, industrious, obedient, and easier to get along with than my kids. But I also know that there are kids who are worse than mine, spoiled and selfish ones. However difficult our kids sometimes are, we know that there is no giving up in our calling of motherhood, of rearing our children in the love and admonition of the Lord. My kids and I, we pray together, read and discuss the Bible together. I teach them, sometimes with tears. I give them of myself, hoping that in this way, they will see my deep sincerity to teach and guide them as they grow.

And you, fathers [and mothers], do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4, bracketed addition mine)

  • Maintain Inner Quiet and Strength

Aside from resting and napping during the day, I have also found the wondrous comfort of keeping in touch with my inner self in quietude. When you have learned the practice of revelling in quiet inner peace, whether you are in a clamorous crowd, in the middle of an argument, in the verge of losing it, or in the blissful silence of self and surroundings – you do not easily get provoked and unravelled. In the middle of a rift or any situation where you know you can be robbed of your collectedness, capture the gift of silence and forbearance. Show meekness. Stop the flow of words that you know are counterproductive. There is pure delight in knowing you have a place inside of you that you can retreat to when your surroundings become hostile.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting onfine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Pet. 3: 3-4)

 Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (Prov. 10: 19, NLT)

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. anne says:

    What is wrong with you? What is your diagnosis?

    • RinaPeru says:

      I used to be healthy and strong. In May 2003, I had lipo procedure in my abs and tummy, though I wasn’t fat. I just wanted those places to be really flat. After that, I continued to go to the gym. One day after high-impact aero, I thought I was going to black out. When I came around, I felt like my back wasn’t there. And that was the start of my suffering. By the time I was brought to the Philippine Heart Center for another workup, I felt my body was no longer up to it, so, I backed out and totally surrendered my life to God and trusted Him to heal me. In 2006, I received partial healing and in 2007, I got pregnant with my second child. But after that, I became ill again and unable to travel.

      My illness remained undiagnosed, but it affects my ANS including my spinal column. I suffer from difficult breathing (though I never use oxygen), dizziness, overall body weakness, and it’s hard for me to walk.

  2. What a great reminder. Gentleness is my word of the year this year. Thank you for sharing.

    • RinaPeru says:

      You’re welcome, Chelle. We all need reminders from each other, like-minded, Christ-followers.

  3. Amen, Rina!! Maintaining a resting in the Spirit gets tougher when we are struggling with physical trials. What an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to flow from us, though. If only I surrendered to His Spirit all the time!! Thanks for sharing the wisdom you’ve gleaned through this trial God has allowed in your life. What a challenge for all of us.

    • RinaPeru says:

      We need to face day-to-day challenges, Kate. But ever grateful that God’s grace is always sufficient!

  4. Laura says:

    So many good thoughts, Rina. Thank you for using your story to help others.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, Laura. I believe this is the purpose of God why we face difficulties and challenges.

  5. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us!! You are a sweet refreshing breath of hope and joy!!!! I am encouraged by you even though I am new to your page. I have a struggling marriage right now. We’ve been married for 32 years. We have five children ages 31 -19 and now have a great niece(8) and two great nephews (6&7) that live with us. There are days that I just barely hang on. I can see in the midst of our circumstances God has been so faithful and that gives me strength. I just wanted to say “thank you” for being a blessing to me. :)

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for your heartwarming words, Karen. You’ve been blessed with 32 years of fruitful marriage. I pray now that you will continue to live happily together, honoring God’s work in your married lives. You have blessed me, too.

  6. I printed this post to PDF last JUNE (b/c we have no internet connection at our house, I have to do this and read things later) when I stumbled across it, but I just read it this week. I am neither a wife nor a mother (YET! I do hope to be one Lord willing someday!!!) but this was a great post and an encouragement to me!

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