Reblogged from Servehiminthewaiting
Previously published on March 7, 2012
I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” -Paul the Apostle
“The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit. Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerers in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us. The saint never knows the joy of the Lord despite tribulation, but because of it. -Oswald Chambers
Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:29
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
We live in a fallen world. The Word tells us that by one man, sin entered into the world, and by sin, death. All decay, death, and sickness is ultimately taking place becuase of “Original Sin”. Sin is like a genetic conditon that we all inherited from our first ancesters Adam and Eve. When sin corrupted creation it was no longer perfect. ‘But Romans 8 tells us 22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
I know a thing or two about this groaning. I am 47. I was sexually assaulted at age 19 and suffered anxiety and depression related to that event for many years without ever telling anyone about it or getting any help in dealing with it. For the past 18 years I have experienced debilitating fatigue accompanied by chronic pain, and weakness, and not surprisingly, frequent mood issues. I was first diagnosed “dysthymic” (a mild chemically-based depression of mood). Later I was diagnosed “cyclothymic”, or having moods that cycle. Progressively I was diagnosed to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, then Biploar, and only a few years ago it was determined that I suffer from Narcolepsy with Cataplexy, which is likely the real root of most of the other. However only recently I have developed a degree of weakness unexplained by the cataplexy, and an accompanying peripheral neuropathy. I would say my life bears out the verse which says “in this life ye shall have tribulation”. There have been days I wondered if I could bear to take another breath, let alone another step. But I can also honestly say that I would not have known the heights of joy that I have experienced, had it not been for all of these troubles, struggles and challenges. They drive me to Him, and to His Word. They make me aware of other’s suffering, and give me the opportunity to extend comfort to them with testimony of God’s goodness or even just an honest empathy.
I have never asked God why. I know “why”. It’s a sinful and fallen world. But His grace is sufficient. And that’s really all I need to know. I pray that He will make me what I ought to be, and give me grace to bear up under the strain, and that it will all somehow bring glory to Him.
I could write reams, as both nurse and patient, about navigating the healthcare system, being one’s own advocate, and so much more. But the most important thing that I would want anyone to know who is struggling, is this: Jesus invites you to “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. When two oxen are yoked together, there is invariably one which is stronger than the other. And by the laws of physics, that stronger oxen bears the brunt of the load. The work of the other is made easy, by the stonger oxen.
So there you have it: Count it all joy, glory in your infirmities, and stay in the yoke while His strength is being made perfect in your weakness! That’s how I get by.