On good days I can see it with a clarity that borders on being hallucinogenic: my purpose; to serve God by serving His people. My purpose is to serve my family, my husband and children and to over share the details of my life for His glory. Most days I enjoy what I’m called to do. I thrive on the humor I find in life and the joy that God has given me in my children.
But for the last six months, I’ve barely been able to pray, much less be joyful about doing God’s will. It’s not that I’ve “backslidden” or turned away from God, I’ve simply been so physically sick that the only thing on my mind has been the next small function that is key to survival: drink water, rest, eat, try not to overdo it, sleep. After spending weeks in the bed the physical strain began to affect me mentally; I was isolated from my friends, and even from my family. Not that I felt like chatting with anyone but simply being alone for days at a time, only interacting with my family when someone drove me to the doctor’s office, or I passed one of them on the way to the bathroom or the kitchen.
I began to sink into an abyss. I felt like a failure to my family by putting such a strain on everyone else as they had to take up my slack. I felt like a fraud in my writing, what little I could accomplish, because the humor felt so forced. I lay in bed feverish, occasionally crying out to God in my heart, “Where are You? I know You are still here. Help me, please.” But He seemed so far away, life seemed so far away.
I realize there are people all over the world, whose lot in life is much worse than mine. Christians die for their faith, children starve and millions of people around the world live in poverty. I realize this, yet I can only speak from my own experiences and for the last few months it’s been so hard to see past my circumstances to the good things God has for me.
The laundry list of everything that has gone wrong in my life in the last six months is huge. Medical bills have piled up as my family has endured five different hospitalizations in the last year; our hot water heater blew, followed shortly after by the tires on my car and the AC unit in our home, my best friend from childhood lost her mother to cancer. Every time I thought we had gotten through the worst, something else would happen.
After spending a week in my bed with my oldest daughter, followed by a three day hospital stay, I was at my lowest– mentally, physically and spiritually. I didn’t want to get out of the bed, even if I could, and I felt like nothing in my life would ever be right again.
It took a trip to church to remind me that there is higher truth than the way I feel. All of the things I felt were subject to change, but there is one thing that never changes: The Word of God.
These are the things I know:
1) Jesus died for me.
John 3:16-18 (The Message) “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”
2) I am NOT alone.
This is the message that struck me so hard at church that it literally took my breath away.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (New Living Translation) “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
We do not serve a faceless God, we serve a God who sent His Son, to suffer as a human, isolation, depression (Jesus cried tears of blood in the garden of Gethsemane,) physical suffering and torture of the most extreme… Jesus experienced all of these things and He is our High Priest, our intercessor. He doesn’t take our afflictions lightly… He literally took them personally, on the cross. Our burdens have already been carried by Him. He had not deserted me or forgotten about me, He was the only reason I was still surviving.
3) God has a plan for me.
Jeremiah 29: 11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
No matter what we are going through God has good things planned for you. Life is hard, sometimes you can’t see past your circumstances and your own pain to the bigger picture. God will never leave you, He will never forsake you. When things are bad, as they sometimes are, we simply have to wait on Him. He will never let you down.
Copyright © Robin O’ Bryant, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved