Suffering and Healing

Ten years go today I wrote this and it is still relevant today.

God gave you the honor not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for him, both of which bring glory to Christ. (Philippians 1:29, NCV)

Boy, there are some times when I feel like I am eye to eye with God and I ask Him, Why me? Why this? And there are other times when I tell him “thank you” for this road.

Someone recently asked me if I remember what it was like to be pain-free. Honestly, I don’t remember. It’s sad in a way. It’s like asking a blind man if he remembers what the color blue looked like. Sure, he has an idea, but after 25 years, your memory tends to get a little fuzzy.

Sure, I can imagine running. I can imagine no pain… but do I truly remember what life was like without these chains? It’s fuzzy.

I don’t mean that to say there are not times when I thank God for this illness. There are times it’s proved to be a ministering agent to someone who’s encountering a rough rocky road. It’s been a good first hand lesson to my children on how to be gracious and caring to someone in need. It’s tempered my marriage, and calmed my wild oats. It’s brought me to places I never would have gone. It’s driven me to the deep dark secret place where God stores his extra grace and mercies. It’s shown me a fraction of what Christ endured for me and you.

Today I sit ambivalent about the disease that plagues my body. I have hope. God has given me eternal hope, so I have no fear. I also have been given a chance at another kind of hope through a medication that could possibly turn this disease around. Not cure it… not by any means, but give me a chance at a different quality of life.

I hope for that.

I pray for that.

Not because I want to lose sight of the gifts God has given me through out this trial. Not because I think God is at all finished with me. Not because I’m not willing to suffer for Christs cause… but because I long for once to break free from these chains that bind me, to open up freely, to soar like an eagle with my kids and to be care-free physically, even if for a moment.

May God grant me that freedom. May God use that freedom not only to free me, but to free His word, His testimony.

May I be a bright beacon, no matter what.

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