Sweat trickled down my back as the white coated man stepped in. Thankful to mask my tears, I made out mere muffles before realizing it was again just me and my white-walled room. More problems. More pain. More questions. Though still no answers. Instead, doctors continue to pass me off like a hot potato.
As the past two years have unfolded an unexpected story of tubes and needles, wheels and diagnosis after diagnosis, my heart has been in mourning. Clenching tightly to hope, I still wonder if I will be able to eat, walk, feel, and live a “normal” life as a twenty-six-year-old.
Yet, I cannot deny the sobering reality as it slips through my fingers and the fact it may never happen here on Earth. Especially considering my medical history of sepsis, strokes, anaphylaxis, and seizure, I may not even be here tomorrow.
Fear chains me tight as I attempt to dodge doubt and discouragement, wrestling with the “why.” Although even in my heartbreak, I have learned, Jesus is here. You are not alone, and neither am I, thus I would love for you to join me as we look deeper into Scripture to three secrets to persevering.
- Posture of Patience through Praise
- Waiting for Christmas. Waiting for doctor appointments. Waiting to pick up groceries. Waiting for a phone call from the secretary. I do not know about you, but waiting is not my area of expertise. I would much rather have things happen how and when I want, on my prepared script and schedule.
- Although, we know that’s not how life nor God works.
Psalm 40 verses 1-3 say “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”
- It can be scary and uncomfortable in the waiting. Trust me. I get it. I lay here, now, unable to move my entire left side, no vision in one eye, a wet diaper on my bottom, and a tube going into my chest waiting for my complete recovery and healing.
- Still, I can attest that this posture produces such a greater dependence on God for we have absolutely no strength without him.
- I also love how David shares that praise became his anthem, even before knowing how God was going to work it all out.
- We cannot control what we experience nor the outcome, although thankfully our God is good and faithful.
- Thus, as we let go and trust his character, we know for certain we will see him at work incredibly and in the process can bring him glory. For he is more than worthy.
- Power in Community
- As we press forward, we come to Hebrews 12 to see the power in community.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
- When we accept Jesus, we are adopted into God’s family which means we no longer must face life alone. Instead, we have people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds joining us in our “running.”
- It is crucial for us to not only go to church but to “be” the church, the hands, and feet of Christ as we learn to carry one another’s burdens of the day-to-day grind and spur one another along in prayer and study.
- As an independent, stubborn twenty-five-year-old woman moving to Roanoke where I knew no one nearly two years ago, I spiraled tragically fast. Though, when I began sharing my heart and reality beyond “I’m fine” and letting others in, I have continued to be amazed, especially as they remind me how much it too is a blessing to them. Again, and again, God has brought the right person in my world at just the right time even before I have asked him.
- I also want to point out that Paul challenges us to “Consider Him.” Jesus was human too, walking this Earth for 33 years. He experienced the worst of the worst; thus, he knows exactly how we feel.
- Eternal Eyes
- Perspective has also been huge for me along my journey so let’s look at 2nd Corinthians 17-18:
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
- While my doctors and medical team try their best to fix my body using tubes and medicines, surgeries and injections, there are no guarantees it will help, let alone cure anything.
- Even still, I refuse to give up. So as I battle my body here on this Earth, I cling to the hope that this world is not our end.
- I believe God could heal me now but even if I do not get my healing here, it is coming even greater than I can imagine in Heaven. This earth is not the end if we belong to him.
- Thus, I pray that you will join me as we strive to see through eternal eyes.
Having a posture of patience and praise, the power in building community, along with seeing all through eternal eyes are the three secrets to perseverance.
- Which of the secrets are most difficult for you: Patience, Community or Eternal Eyes? Why? How could you change your game plan to be more effective the next time you face a trial?
- How have you or someone you know demonstrated perseverance?
Lord, please help me to persevere when I face tough circumstances rather than giving up or giving in to temptation. May you surround me with others who love you too. Thank you for giving us the sacrifice of your son and that we may have the hope of Heaven. May you use us for your glory in the meantime.