“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. “ James 1:2-3
None of us like to face trials. We would prefer a life free from trials, and I whole-heartedly concur with the rest of the world. Living with a spouse with a chronic illness means you live your life with a baseline trial. It simply adds an element to your life that is not there for the average person. Frankly, I am not sure how people face trials like these without faith in Christ. God has been our Constant; our Rock.
Last summer we encounter our trial from a new perspective. It was a dark week for all of us. I cannot speak for my husband, but, for me, God took me to a new place of testing.
It was just two days prior to summer break, when I husband’s back went out. It was partially due to his chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis (R.A.) and partially due to him pushing himself in spite his R.A. And he found himself flat on his back for several days. He was unable to move, turn over, or even get out of bed without help. After four days he could finally sit in a chair for short periods of time.
There are times in your life when you know God has heard your prayer and He has answered…this was one of those times. But it wasn’t the answer I wanted. It seemed that God was saying healing would not come in this life time. And I stood at the end of a dark tunnel with visions of walkers and wheelchairs n our future.
At that moment, a deep sense of anger and fear swept over me. I was not angry about the illness. Instead, I was angry that God had called me to be a pastor. I could not understand why God would not allow me to be a CPA or business person or anything that would allow me to provide for my family. Rather, He had called me to be a pastor and, of all things, a church planter! The anger was coupled with fear that almost left me paralyzed.
But God gave me this promise:
“God made [us] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Col. 2:13-15
So I began nailing my anger and fear to the cross right alongside my sin. Sometimes I had to do it daily and sometimes I did it hourly. But I continued to do it over and over again.
Today I woke up alongside my husband and realized…it had stuck! My anger and fear have been nailed to the cross and I bear them no more! It is well, it is well with my soul!
Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep nailing it to the cross until it is permanently stuck!
Happy Valentine’s Day