Stress. I’ve experienced so much stress over the last few months because of my health issues. I am thankful that God has allowed me to continue serving my husband and children despite these issues. I am thankful that I don’t have a serious health condition. I can wake up every day with the energy to carry out my purposes. I am thankful that I can reverse this condition in time and through some changes to my diet and lifestyle. Most of all, I am thankful for God’s grace and the hope that He has put in me.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17 the apostle Paul says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
I must admit that I have a hard time understanding how the apostle Paul could refer to his problems as light and momentary. Then I read this verse again and begin to see that Paul’s perspective is what makes this possible. His focus was not on the problems, but on eternal glory. This eternal glory is what he held on to even as he was imprisoned and persecuted. Paul didn’t have a home. He didn’t have a well paying job with great benefits and a corner office. He was homeless for most of his life and he endured great loneliness in his efforts to travel and preach the gospel. He did all of this with his mind set on God and his eternal glory.
I woke up today and realized that I may not see an end to my health issues any time soon. Despite my prayers for healing, I am still dealing with the same issues. And what if God chooses not to heal me? The question lingers in the back of my mind. Then I remember that we are not promised a perfect and comfortable life here on earth. Jesus didn’t get to enjoy a perfect life while he lived here on earth, so why should we? God doesn’t promise us a perfect life, but He does promise to be with us through it all. That promise is the only one I need.
I come back to the apostle Paul and what he endured and there I find an answer to my lingering question: what if God chooses not to heal?
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Paul didn’t endure his trials out of his own strength. He endured them through God’s power which was made perfect when Paul was at his weakest.
In any struggle, it is easy to search for the answer and fight the battle on our own, but God wants us to seek Him for everything. God wants us to see that He is the only answer.
In order to do this, we must seek Him more than we seek the resolution of our problems. Spending time with Him allows us to shift our focus from our weaknesses to His amazing power. Reading His Word gives us the opportunity to apply His truth to our difficult situation. Taking the time to worship Him through prayer and praise brings us back to what truly matters: eternity with Him.
I know of no other way to do this than to put the problem-solving aside and to give Him my full attention every day. My quiet time with Him may be fifteen minutes or an hour long, but I always walk away full of peace. Although nothing has changed and my problems go unresolved, my joy is restored and my hope is centered on Him again.
This post is a part of a blog series that I’m sharing this month on Living with Purpose in 2017. I hope to share what I’m learning through God’s word as it relates to these important areas of my life each week. I pray that it serves as encouragement on your journey this year.
Walking in Grace,