The Living Word
We can rejoice, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5
The Word In Motion
As some of you have read in the last couple years I have been dealing with a disease that has changed my life. What was once a life of go, go, go; has changed to stop, evaluate, and then go. My life has literally stopped. I now have to assess if I can even go grocery shopping today.
The disease is Sarcoidosis - a hyper-immune disease which can affect all the organs in your body. It has affected my lungs, joints, lymphoids, and skin, it has its ups and downs. No one is sure how it starts or what causes it. Needless to say, it has been a very difficult journey. A journey that has brought me to a lot of different locations. (For more info read the blogs Detours in life)
This past year I have been in the location of "The pit of Despair" (said with Princess Bride inflection). What was new and difficult, became mundane and difficult. So the depression set in. Everyone else in my life has moved on. Their lives are still going at the pace I used to function in and mine has slowed way down, and it seems like they have left me behind. (Now, I know that is not entirely true, but seeing this through the eyes of discouragement tends to exaggerate things.)
Also the pain I am in can cause discouragement. When people see me, I don't look “sick”. It is a disease that is inward and not always discernible. I also don't like to let on that I am not doing well. (I am working on that one). Many people don't realize that my life has slowed, so they keep moving on, until they see me again. This leaves times of fellowship few and far between. I try to reach out, but being limited to times of physical ability, it is hard. Also, they have lives that need to keep moving and not stop on my account. (Told you, still working on it).
So this depression sets in, not an easy thing to deal with. It can consume you and your perspective on life. Now, I don’t usually get so depressed, so this is a new experience for me. Especially when I know without a doubt that God has a plan in all this and that He turns all things to good! I also know that I am healed!! Whether it is seen now or in the future I am healed.
So I say all this to tell you about a special time I had with the Lord the other day. It was one of those days that I was in a lot of pain and not feeling I could get up, but I wanted to go to church. So I went. As I was in worship the pain and weakness got really bad. I cried out to Papa God, “Why am I in this position, O Lord… Pain, weakness, tired, alone in a pit of despair.” I just started to cry. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and showed me a picture.
I was in this deep pit, no way to climb out, with a shaft of light shining down on my collapsed body. "This is not a pit of despair my daughter...this is a position of honor!" What? How can this be? I am in a pit, alone and in pain. "My precious one I have chosen you for this time. I have placed you in this position to bring glory to my Name. It is a position of honor that I have placed you in. That it is a pit of despair is a perspective your flesh has made it to be. I have chosen this as a place of honor to bring glory to my name." Now I need to tell you that at first I was, like, could you choose a different place for this position. (Sarcoidosis is not what I would have wanted.) My discouragement was so overwhelming that I almost missed what Papa God was revealing to me. But then the picture of the pit started to change. The light was not just on me it got wider.
It says in Psalm 40 that when we cry out, He listens and lifts us up out of the pit of despair and gives us a firm place to stand. That firm place is His UNFAILING LOVE!! The firm place is his love for me, it gives me the ability to stand firmly and not sink in the mire of my discouragement. I learned that day that my fleshly perspective is a lonely pit of despair but with His unfailing-love-perspective (the shaft of light) I could see others in the pit with me. I saw their pain and suffering, loneliness, and fear. I saw people who needed hope and an understanding of God's unfailing love for them in the midst of their pain. I understood. I was in a position (of honor) to reveal God's love and hope to those I would not be able to reach if it wasn't for my disease. A light in the darkness to bring glory to His name. Wow! what a perspective change. He does turn all things to good. It's not all about me and my pain. It is about how God uses my suffering to reveal His goodness to others.
Now does that change my circumstances? No, I still have to deal with this disease and at times my discouragement, but Papa God always reminds me of His promises. * His understanding of what I am going through no one can fathom. He never grows tired or weary of helping me when I am weak. His unfailing love is always underneath me supporting my life. He is always faithful and He loves me unconditionally. His plan for me is to prosper not to harm me and to give me a hope and a future. These are truths that I believe with all my heart and they give me strength and joy every day. This is what I need to share with those who are suffering.
He has put me in a position of honor. He trusts me to reveal His love and faithfulness to others. During this time, I have been able to encourage more people than I have ever imagined. Nurses, techs, doctors, admissions, and so on. People I would never have reached if it wasn’t for this sickness. They ask me, “How can you be so positive when you are so sick?” I just look at them and say “God.” My position opens doors to reveal His glory.
Many of you are suffering and need a word of hope. Read the truth of who God is in the paragraph above *. He is a faithful God in all things.
For others of you who are suffering, you need to be reminded of who God is and that you are in a position of honor to bring glory to Him. What are you reflecting on while in your pit? It is not all about you. He is trusting you to reveal to others what He has been to you. What do your actions and statements reveal?
A position of honor is a place of surrender and responsibility. To surrender your perspective/selfishness and take on the responsibility of bringing glory to His name. Reveal who God is in the dark places of your life so others may see an amazing God who never leaves nor forsakes them. One who never fails and always loves unconditionally. AMEN!
Our sufferings are our places of honor. It is not about how we feel, it is about who Papa God is. We are in Positions of Honor to bring glory to his name.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory. I Peter 4:12-13