Last year, I learned about myself that I need exercise to live a life free of the blues. I have been faithful, realizing that it’s a necessary discipline for me. But what do I do when I am hurt and I can’t?
I tell you, I was fearful for a while. Fear of spiraling. Fear of tanking. Fear of hitting walls.
“Your walls are continually before me”, he says. “I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands.” He thinks of us as a nursing mother, who is continually reminded of her babe’s needs for sustenance. He brings it.
He climbs those walls. He comes for us. He rescues us from the dominion of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of life.
He alone is our rescuer. Whatever our situation. He is enough. That there is good news.
How do I believe that?
I mean, how do I convince myself that this is true on a regular, regular basis? A lot of the time, I feel like I need rescuing. My life is far from perfect, I need healing in order to fully function. Lord, you know me, my inward being. You go before me. Before I was born, you knew all of my days and had them written in a book.
Whatever my situation, he knows it. Intimately. And uses it for my good.
“So to keep me me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, 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. 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.” says Paul.
So I stop and think, how can I be thankful for this present thorn in the flesh? How can God use this particular weakness of mine to receive glory in himself? How can I delight in my seeming disability and trust that in my weakness he is strong? The weaker I am, the stronger He is through me. The less I can rely on myself, the more I have to rely on him. Another opportunity to put my full faith in him and not in myself.
In our deepest darkness, he’s the light coming at dawn.
In our weakness, he’s our strength.
In our mourning, he’s the dancing around the corner.
Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.
That’s all true. So today I’ll delight in this pain in my back that keeps me from the exercise I once thought so important to my emotional health. If all things are gifts, then I will choose to delight in this weakness as a gift of rest from God, and a gift of more time with him each day instead of exercise.
In his graciousness, he’s not given me another choice.