All the super heroes in the movies today are kicking away walls, withstanding horrible barrages of laser shots and too many enemies, never giving up and never giving in. As laughable as that sounds, that’s how I feel about the obstacles to my health. I’m going to do my part, by God’s grace and involvement, to bring ’em down.
Now I want you to know that we can all live to the call of a different drum. Perhaps you approach your battles differently. I certainly do admire with all my heart the many people with tons of courage who believe that they are not going to get better and are doing the absolute best they can with their lives, great attitude and smile, focused on helping others, full of gracious ways. There is that.
But accepting labels and present symptoms–that’s not for me. At least not this season.
There are times that I might yield to a pity party, entertaining the gloomiest, doomiest scenarios of being trapped in a body I don’t want, unable to drink coffee, eat sweets and carbs—how I hate that, or fighting diseases down the road that I don’t even want to mention their names; scary.
When I’m discouraged in the middle of a battle, I honestly let God know, unafraid of condemnation, sure of His acceptance. One day in deep discouragement due to numbers at the doctor’s office, I got still to listen. The Lord spurred me on to envision myself in better health, what I’d be doing, how I’d be sleeping, laughing, eating, working with zest. (By degrees this is really happening, despite the numbers.) So that day as I viewed my life, beyond illness, with Jesus, as though we were watching a movie, my life getting better, I truly felt energized and uplifted for all the rest of that day.
And, you know, I think I’ve turned a corner. No more tired lags in the middle of the day. I’m truly having a good amount of energy all day. That’s a big improvement I’m grateful for.
Danny Gokey is a Christian singer who made it to the finals of American Idol’s 8th season. His wife died unexpectedly in surgery one month before his audition. He went on with it to honor his promise to her that he would do it. He had to drag himself out of bed. He was angry, bitter, suicidal. But he pressed on past all the negatives.
Today he is a successful singer, happily married with children, and has a consuming passion to reach out to encourage the hopeless. His songs and personal story of tragedy are touching many people. [Check out the lyrics of “The Comeback.” I get so fired up listening to it that I’m likely to sing LOUD, not necessarily prettily, but all the naysayers have to run screaming from the room. :)]
John Eldredge, a motivational speaker and counselor, tells a story of the perfect deer that got away during hunting season. His faith in God’s goodness faltered because he thought the deer was a gift from God. Kinda mad at God then. But when he listened in prayer, he got this gem of an insight:
Joy is central to life. And joy is opposed.
How many of us think like that? We are sure life is full of troubles but a bold expectation of joy? And a realization that joy will be opposed:
not by God but by people, circumstances, the opposer of everything good.
What a difference a wee shift in thinking can make.
So instead of feeling like life and God are against us when things go wrong, how about shifting to confidence that God is on your side in a battle, wanting you to get back to joy?
If your joy has been stolen, retreat a little while. God is the ultimate Encourager. Listen and see what unfolds. I think you will be soaring soon. Why? Because joy is worth fighting for in our lives and ‘back to joy’ is always the goal. Even babies know this, eyes shining with tears as a smile breaks out again, after a jag of crying, after interrupted sleep, after a toy is taken away. They receive comfort and get back to joy.
We really don’t have to settle for confusion and depression when life gets tough.
In the middle of a battle, fight your personal demons, be honest with God, and receive the help you need to press on for the joy set before you. You’re wired for this, just like a newborn baby.