In the early months of striving to advance my fledgling company back in the late ’90s, I would sometimes go home from client visits tired, hauling a heavy heart, and feeling insecure. During those days, I encountered difficult challenges and I struggled against fears, uncertainties, and discouragements. One afternoon after visiting key clients, I dropped by Rempson’s, a small supermarket near my apartment-office. As I went around the store, I discovered, at the bottom of one of the dusty shelves, a stash of back issues of magazines about home and gardening. I’ve always loved to browse home and gardening magazines. Until now, I enjoy gazing at the lovely photos that seem to refresh my soul. I bought several copies and went home excitedly, all burdens forgotten.
Back then, it was easy to pick myself up whenever negativity threatened my confidence. I’ve always been a fighter and with the health and strength I possessed, I believed I could conquer the world.
It’s entirely a different story when your health and strength are gone and you can’t move as you used to and can’t do even the simplest things by your own but need the assistance of others. When illness robs you of your strength, career, dreams, simple pleasures, joy, and in their place is suffering, AND this has been taking place for far so long, longer than you would care to count —-IT.IS.NOT.EASY.TO.PICK.YOURSELF.UP. when feelings of discouragement and desperation come crashing like the waves of a turbulent sea.
Yes, even when you immerse yourself in all things spiritual. Prolonged illness and suffering have a numbing effect. They will do their best to topple you down and trample you. But because of the enduring mercies of God, you get back up again and again, as long as the supply of God’s grace doesn’t run out. You are only able to do this through His strength that you gather from your persistent prayers, silent worship, abiding in His Word, and making affirmations and declarations to yourself based on His truth.
I’ve done them all, but there is a need to fight daily. These strong negative forces don’t go away for good. Unless your most fervent prayer – in my case, healing – is answered, your battle continues. You fight against envy, jealousy over God’s love, comparison, impatience, bitterness, self-pity, discouragement. These things hover at your door because you don’t have what others have: physical health and strength and your days are hard.
Deep questions that don’t have answers hound your thoughts, and this in the midst of trying to breathe easily. And then you look at other children of God who are living your dreams, who are blessed year in and year out, who are covered with God’s favor as with a shield just like Psalm 12 describes. It’s a fresh wounding, maybe deeper and more painful than anything you’ve suffered. To entertain the thought that God loves and favors others more than He loves and favors you — it is something that is hard to get over.
But you fight the lie. With His truth that endures forever. You don the whole armor of God. You recite memorized verses in the face of the enemy. Sometimes, you just refuse to look at others’ lives. At other times, you steel your heart and just let it not feel anything anymore. This is not a victorious route but it can take your thoughts away from the object of your jealousy for the meantime. That is, until you have the courage to move forward in faith again, honoring God’s judgments and doing your best to rejoice silently with others in their victories and happiness.
Yes, because you don’t want to live numb. That’s as good as being dead. You want to live fully alive. So you wait for grace.
As I’ve said, I’ve done them all. And I’m thankful that I am much stronger spiritually now. Much wiser if you will. These episodes of weakness are few and far between or maybe my stronger, more matured faith has gained greater power over them. And lately, I knew I needed to address the feeling or belief that God has not loved nor favored nor cared for me just as he has done to others. For almost 12 years of sickness and suffering – it’s hard to believe otherwise.
But I do have tremendous blessings to prove that God cares for me. That I am not forsaken. Neither am I not known by Him nor am I not victorious. I am as victorious as the next child of God.
He took me out of the pit of an adulterous life.
He did not let me perish while I was living in sin.
No, He did not want me in hell. He wanted me in His Kingdom. With Him.
He gave me life.
He restored my marriage and family.
He healed our wounds; He healed us from our past.
He made all things new for us.
If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
I don’t want to live defeated for I know that my Savior has already won my victory at the cross. So, choose to live victorious in Him. Everyday. Even if it means you have to fight tooth and nail to do it.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Eph. 6:13)
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Journey with Jesus,