As many of my readers may know, I had some recent health complications. After nine days of urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and overnights in the hospital, I want to share what I believe the Lord taught me through it, and what I believe He wants everyone to understand and hear clearly.
1. OUR BODIES ARE FALLIBLE.
Our bodies are going to fail us! As much as we want to believe that we are invincible, we aren’t. I know that feeling all too well.
That feeling of looking around and seeing pain and trauma everywhere around you, yet believing that you are immune to it. We become reliant on our own flesh, believing that we can be our own savior. In turn, we lose sight of the only One we should be putting our trust in.
Finding our strength in our flesh is life-shattering the moment our flesh fails us. The Lord is our ever-present strength. He reminded me that He is the only Source of true strength, and He will never fail us- His nature is wholesome, constant, and ever-renewing!
My flesh and my heart may fail, but the Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- Psalm 73:26
2. WE NEED OTHER PEOPLE, AND THAT'S OK!
If I am being honest, this is not something I wanted to learn. I am someone who loves to believe that I do not need other people.
But the Lord taught me this: “a joy shared is doubled; a sorrow shared is halved.” How true!
Whether we are going through a season of pure joy, or we are going through trials and sorrows - we need people. God created us to be in communion with one another, and this life was not meant to be tackled alone. It is so easy to get wrapped up in a lifestyle of not wanting to rely on anyone, but I promise you this: there will come a time when you will not be able to do it on your own.
For me, this meant a season of not being able to walk on my own, change my clothes on my own, or bathe on my own. But when you allow the people God has placed in your life to help to carry your burdens, you allow yourself to experience the love of Christ through them. And trust me, there is nothing more healing than feeling the tangible love of the Father, through the people He has so perfectly placed in your life.
Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. - John 13:34
3. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WE TAKE FOR GRANTED.
I do not want to assume that every one of you reading this takes these same things for granted. However, I know that if I am being honest with myself, the Lord truly revealed to me just how much I take for granted daily.
How many of us find ourselves thanking the Lord every morning when we are able to lift ourselves out of bed, stand up, walk down our stairs, and make ourselves breakfast? What about being able to eat that breakfast on your own, without your body rejecting it? Or how about changing your clothes for the day, or hitting the bathroom right before you leave the house? Do any of you thank the Lord every morning for the gift of good sleep? I know I didn’t.
These things seemed simple to me - even mundane. However, now I have eyes to see what a truly beautiful blessing it is to be able to leave my bed in the morning - without any medication or assistance. I have learned how incredibly AMAZING it is to have a full day of health: healthy lungs to breathe without oxygen tubes, healthy legs to walk without a wheelchair, a healthy stomach to consume and digest my food, and a healthy and pain-free brain - free to wonder and bask in thought. It is so important to recognize the abundant amount of beauty and the overflow of blessings behind each and every day.
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:18
4. WE THINK WE HAVE CONTROL, BUT WE DON'T.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone through life relatively confident that you can somehow avoid all pain and hurt. While it is extremely ignorant and prideful, there is something comforting about believing you have control over your own life.
I see a terrible car accident on the news and I think, “I can easily avoid that by being a good driver and being aware of my surroundings.” Or maybe you work out everyday and eat healthy, and that is your way of controlling the outcome of your health. While driving safely and taking care of our bodies is important, we are missing the point. We ultimately don’t have control, as much as we love to believe that we do.
If you have ever experienced any kind of trauma or hurt, you know what I am talking about. That feeling of utter helplessness; that moment you realize what little control you really do have - how truly small and powerless you really are. But there's good news - we serve a BIG God.
And, if you allow Him to, He can have complete control over your life. You can rest assured knowing WHO holds your future, instead of worrying about what your future holds. You can set aside the attempts to control the outcome of every situation, and finally let go of the anxiety associated with that. You are completely set free by fully relying on the One who is protecting you, fighting for you, and sustaining you.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. - Exodus 14:14
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? And if worry cannot accomplish anything, why are you anxious? - Luke 12:26
5. WE WON'T UNDERSTAND GOD'S PLAN ON THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN.
This was a revelation that was particularly comforting and valuable to me, and something the Lord really wants to speak out to us. Honesty time: There was a moment this past week in the hospital where I was in so much pain that I actually prayed to God to take my life. I didn’t understand why He was allowing this pain to overcome me, or why nothing the doctors were doing was helping me.
I am sure we have all had those moments - where we cry out in pain to God and we wonder how He could ever allow us to suffer. You have probably asked the questions, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Or, “If there is a God, why is there suffering in the world?”
While these heart cries are very real, and pain is very prevalent, I can humbly say we have been missing the point. We are not God, and we are not equipped to understand His plans. Our definition of “pain” and “good” might be completely different than His. It is easy to let the idea of not being able to understand God overwhelm you and push you further away from Him. However, I would encourage you to do let it do the opposite. Let it comfort you that we serve a God SO BIG that our human minds cannot even comprehend all that He is. There are facets of His character and depths of His heart that we will never understand until we are face to face with Him. Isn’t that amazing? If we understood everything about the Lord and His plan for our lives, there would be no need for faith - for faith is complete trust and confidence fueled solely through belief. Faith does not rely on certainty.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my WAYS higher than your ways, and my THOUGHTS higher than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9
6. PAIN IS ALWAYS TEMPORARY.
I will be the first to admit that in the moment, it does not feel that way. I know that if someone had told me this while I was laying on the hospital bed in terrible pain, I would have become quite frustrated. However, now that I am pain-free, I wish I could go back and tell myself this.
Isn’t that so true? In the midst of heartbreak, financial crisis, or health complications, it truly seems that your world is falling apart. It is discouraging. It is life-altering. It is painful. BUT guess what? It is temporary. I can say this with brave confidence because this is our temporary home - everything here on earth is temporary. The things of this world will pass. We serve a God who already defeated evil and has prepared for us an eternal and everlasting home with Him. Our hearts were created for Him, and someday we will return to Him in the perfected heavenly realm!
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or PAIN. All of these things will be gone forever. - Revelation 21:4
I don’t pretend to know your present situation or the struggles you may be facing. What I do know is that God is good - all of the time. In the depths of the darkest valleys, and amidst heights of the most breathtaking mountain tops - God is good.
We don’t need to know the plans that the Lord has for our lives, or why obstacles and struggles are thrown in our way. We don’t need to know because God knows, and He has us in the palm of His hands. He is our ever-pursuing heavenly Father, and our most endearing and trustworthy friend. He wants what’s best for us more than we want what’s best for ourselves.
Rest assured, dear one, the Creator of the universe has the hairs of your head numbered, and the path of your life mapped out.
All we need to do is SURRENDER, BE STILL, and TRUST HIM.
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