The Struggle Is Real

I’ve been feeling pretty crummy lately.  I find this somewhat ironic since my Words for the year is Health and Wellness.  I felt God speaking to me that this was the year that circumstances would change for the better in my life; I would get off this medical treadmill I’ve been on.  I believed this Word to be for my family and I was excited to take ownership of it.

Since January: my grandma has been in the hospital with pneumonia; my mom was hospitalized with acute kidney failure; my A1C measurement for diabetes went up an entire point; everyone in the household got a cold they couldn’t shake; my oldest daughter contracted walking pneumonia; I had a UTI; my grandfather has been hospitalized twice in this time period for infections and finally succumbed to his illnesses and recently passed away.  I’ve had a child receive an autism diagnosis, and another received medical care for digestive issues.  Phew!  Needless to say, I am not feeling either healthy or well lately.  And it’s less than halfway through the year, people!

So now what?  Am I holding tight to God’s promises to me?  Or am I struggling to feel I even heard from God and wanting to know what His deal is?  Yes, of course I’m holding tight, keeping it all together… right?  Well let’s get real for a minute.  I wish I could say that was the case but I’m afraid that I am questioning God’s deal right now.  And my own actually. Why am I facing this apparent persecution when I was told that I would have total health and wellness?  I brought this up to my oldest son and he shared with me James 1:2-7 (ESV):

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.  

Ouch.  When I ask, I am to believe and not doubt.  Otherwise, I am a double-minded, tossed-about bag in wind (paraphrase), and I should expect not to receive anything from the Lord.  This does not seem like a good thing.  Verse 12 goes on to say, “12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him,” James 1:12 (ESV).

This scripture helped me put things into perspective- in this world we are not without our trials and tribulations.  My present circumstances do not predict my future success and if I concentrate only on the end goal, I am missing some of the healing that is taking place right now in my SPIRIT.  God is not willing that any should suffer and God is a good Father, so I can rest in the knowledge that I am still attaining health and wellness even if it does not look like it!

The dictionary defines persevering as pressing forward; continued action.  I realize that I need to press on and press in.  The continued action on my part is my belief that my family and I will be whole and well, even if I can’t see that right now.  As I watch my family suffer in illness (a trial), I will trust and have faith in the Promises of God, my strength will lead to action, and my life will prove out this belief in better discipline, exercise, and healthy eating, which brings us full circle back to health and wellness!

As my son and I were speaking, he went on to say that God’s economy is different than ours and that a year may not be simply January to December or even a year as we know it to be.  He also said that God is Kind.  That hit me in that moment.  Why do I forget that He is for me and not against me?  It is the principalities of this world that revel in sickness and darkness, not our Creator God.

As Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Could it be that I am missing the mark in assuming that God has not been faithful in His promises to me?  Yes, I’m thinking so.  God spoke His Word to me and God is faithful.  I stand on 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 (ESV):

9But 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. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I can rest in that knowledge and I can honestly say that I can rejoice in my weakness and struggle, for God is my help and my strength.  Be encouraged that He has not forgotten one of His promises to you either!

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