In one form or another, I wake up every day with it. It envelops me. I’ve been dealing with a broken body for a long time, years even. It sure puts a damper on someones outward “happiness”. I am thankful that oftentimes a deep-quiet-internal-smile-to-oneself-kind-of-joy is much more God honoring (in my humble opinion) and soothing to my soul than trying to have a surface-slap-happy-laugh-out-loud kind-of-joy. Dealing with chronic pain has a way of stripping away any superficial “happy” tendencies.
Pain. It’s humbling.
It brings those that deal with it….low.
The saying “if it’s not one thing, its another” seems to be my motto for living life in this body.
I’ve read the Bible verses about what it’s like for us to live in our earthly bodies while it wastes away. I am not that old, but, oftentimes, I am reminded that I no longer have a 25 year old “invincible” body…or so I thought. I would even gladly take my former 35 year old body over the one I have now. My body began breaking down soon after I had my son, 9 years ago. Having a baby at 35, I never quite recovered from it.
I take great comfort in verses like 1 Corinthians 4:16
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
My body deems this verse to be truth and the daily renewing of my mind and my soul by staying in God’s word is medicine to this wasting away body.
I honestly don’t know how someone, who is not a believer, has any silver lining or hope when faced with chronic illnesses or never ending pain. I just don’t know how they endure it.
Every morning, I walk and listen to the ESV Chronological Bible. I look forward to my time with God and His word. Listening, as opposed to sitting down to read, has given me an interesting and fresh insight into discovering who God is in regards to how He deals with His people after their never ending failures. Listening, as opposed to reading, helps me hear ALL of God’s ultimatums, “but if’s” and “therefore do”. When the people disregarded God, He not only sent affliction to those who were against Him or His people….but He also sent affliction to his very own people. Oftentimes, God used it as a form of discipline or chastisement.
I also know that God’s ultimate chastisement landed on His Son at the cross. Jesus not only paid the penalty for our disobedience, but bought us and keeps us. Eternally.
But…that does not solve the issue of current illnesses and affliction that fall on people that are His today.
Its a paradox really. It does not fit into simple understanding or merry box of reason. (Trip Lee)
I know its hard for someone to wrap their minds around God possibly allowing and using affliction for His purposes, but to be quite honest…I don’t know how someone can trust God if that were not true.
This morning, during my morning walk, I thanked God for affliction….even though I am emotionally tired of it. I don’t think that’s a contradiction.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
I’d rather live life limping to the finish line and relentlessly relying on God to get me through my day with a body that hurts, than living life fit or healthy, clinging to a deceptive perspective of self reliance.
I’m actually afraid of those two words.
I want nothing to do with them.
So….if God is allowing affliction to reign in my body for a season…or even the rest of my life…like a thorn that keeps me humble…I accept it.
I am His clay. He is my Potter.
Anyone battling long term pain or chronic illnesses knows what it’s like to be deep in the trenches of spiritual warfare. Affliction does one of two things. It can either rob one of their faith in God….or renews and reminds one of their faith in God because that’s all they have left.
Ridiculous phrases, also known as, “cute quotes and anecdotes” usually go something like this –
“my thoughts are with you”
“sending good vibes your way”
“keep your chin up”
They mean absolutely nothing compared to knowing that God allows affliction to sift us and knowing our hope lies in something deeper than trite meaningless words. We can either despair or rest in the fact that Jesus prays for us and intercedes for us (the entire chapter of John 17), giving us strength so that our faith will stay centered on Him with a rock solid unwavering kind of faith that tells pain
“You don’t got me!”
The first time I heard Trip Lee’s Sweet Victory, tears welled up from deep in my soul, but they were not tears of grief or tears of tiredness…..no…..they were sweet tears of “yeah…I get that”.
I probably have listened to this song more times than I ought to.
It comforts me.
I feel like I can relate and share so much more on how God uses affliction to refine a soul….but I’m tired today….
This is the song that gives me comfort.
I feel thorns where my crown was
I be weak but I’m alive
From the dusk until dawn
I’ll survive, cause I got sweet victory
Nobody can take it from me sweet victory
Cause I got sweet victory
You see me limpin’
I know you see me limpin’
You can’t tell on these CD’s but bro I’m knee deep in it
I’m wading in my weakness He made me dependent
I be lyin’ through my teeth to say I don’t resent it
Even as I write these lines I’m close to tears
Body ain’t be workin’ right for 7 years
So miss me with that keep your chin up try to smile
Bro I’m 26 I should feel better by a mile
Keep all your anecdotes and cute quotes
I’ll pass on cliches for true hope, it’s too dope
Toast to the King
Cheers to the ceiling
Feeling good we gon’ make it to the finish (sweet victory)
You hear me
Holla if you feel me
We still runnin’ even though we limpin’ (sweet victory)
Cause we winnin’, yeah you know we winnin’
Even though we winnin’ we’ still in it (sweet victory)
Cause we winnin’, yeah you know we winnin’
Now we livin’ (sweet victory)
They see me on the stage
They like that boy the man
They hear play on them songs
They clappin’ in them stands
They like “I bet you got a lot of them stacks in rubber bands.”
So when I say “It’s been a few hard years” they think I’m playin’
But you don’t know my life boy
You don’t know my life boy
You don’t know what it’s been like on my wife
Don’t know my fight boy
Being in the trenches steady tryna’ fight my foes
And when I couldn’t fight no more it brought me low, low
It brought me low I know can’t get it low
They like I hear you talkin’ wins but I see your losses
You celebratin’ crowns but I see your crosses
That’s the paradox that don’t fit in your merry box
You might not understand if you walk in this pair of socks
The victor ain’t the one that’s winnin’ seventh inning
Trophies don’t go to ones that got a good beginning
When I say I win I don’t mean the state I’m in
I mean that day when the gray skies fade out then
I’m winning cause I reign with Him
The crown of thorns
Declares you’re King
A scarlet robe can’t cloak Your majesty
They nailed Your hands
You nailed our death
From the cross You reigned
Your Kingdom knows no end
You won it all
You won it all