Sunday, 7 December 2014

More Like Paul: A Blog Amidst the Journey

This week has probably been one of the hardest. However, I have never grown more in my walk with God. The Lord led me to write this blog to reach out to those who are suffering like me from anxiety. It has been a constant feeling of anxiety that has been on me for about a week now, I can't eat, have trouble sleeping, and sometimes I just want to scream. The colour has drained completely from my skin, and the gnawing pain of hunger and worry scrape my insides. I don't know when this will end, but I do know that the Lord has not given me more than I can handle.

God has taught me through all this continually that there is beauty in suffering. The biggest reminder of this has been from reading scripture, lately, specifically from 2 Corinthians 11 & 12. Paul is talking about his daily sufferings that have taken a hold of him.

"24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people,danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure.28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?"

2 COR.11: 24-29

 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 COR. 12:7-10

This scripture shows that healing is not always a matter of 'calling out'. Sometimes we need to learn what it means to suffer as a Christian. God doesn't always relieve things right away. This doesn't mean that he will never. But sincerely look at the situation. Are you still willing to praise God and be thankful for the blessings in your life despite what your situation looks like? God has given me grace to see my pride and the fact that I only cling to him through hard times, and have a lot of trouble dedicating my heart to him when things are going well. This is not what our relationship should look like. Don't get me wrong, I do not think God is punishing me. He is refining me. One day there will be complete healing, but as I take it day by day, it is easier when I remember there is healing in the journey. And my closeness to God allows me to see clearly all these prayers being answered (friends to pray with me, take me for walks, exercise, healthy food, counselling, the Word) My spirit is well, although my flesh is tearing me apart. 

Paul pleads with God to take away the thorn three times, and God answers saying that his grace is sufficient for him. That his power is made perfect in his weakness. We do not necessarily know what his thorn was, but for me, my thorn, is anxiety. Healing takes time. I have been anxious since I was a little girl. Why? Who knows, but now I need to deal with it. 
Another time in the bible where 'slow healing' occurs is Mark 8: 24-25. Jesus heals a blind man and he does it in a two stages. He did it twice. Does this mean that Jesus couldn't have healed the man in one go? NO! It just means that his power is made perfect in weakness. In order for us to be moulded, sometimes it takes time.

Personally the things I wanted God to work in me was self-discipline, patience, and hope.  All those things are being met with this struggle I am having. I am sure there will be more to come. Just know you are not alone in this if you struggle as I do. I love you, and I am praying for you.

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