2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Sick ain’t one of those thangs I do with grace.
When I woke up Saturday morning with a small pang on the inside of my butt cheek. I figured it would go away. Until Saturday night when I could no longer sit on my derriere comfortably. Sunday was a bit torturous: church, dinner, hubby, kid… I was miserable. I felt helpless by the time my husband had gone to work last night. The thought of getting paid without using my hard earned PTO gave me the determination to decide work was happening today. I took some ibuprofen to ease the pain a bit and went to sleep. I woke up an hour later, upchucking over the side of my bed. Not once, but three times. With an achy butt, hurting throat and queasy stomach, I cleaned up the mess and wanted to sob. Only I couldn’t. I hurt too much.
I lay in bed with my butt hanging out, and my belly a nauseated swirling mess. I asked God to get me through this. To give me the grace to endure it so He would get the glory, and whatever was attacking me would be ceased. The Lord showed me what I was experiencing was an organized assault on me. Yeah. Walking the walk…it makes one visible. Not just to the Lord, but to our enemy as well.
I’m not quick to say things are an attack of the enemy when it comes to me. It’s not always recognizable for me. However, the Lord began to unravel what was going on as I lay in bed last night, in totality. He revealed the other attacks during the week had a purpose (revealed it earlier in the week), and the purpose had been achieved. However, it was not expected we would seek Him even harder, even individually and on one accord in that individual space. The Lord told us the pot was being stirred. And so it is.
When I laid there in absolute misery, the Lord reminded me of Job (since I’m having a similar physical issue), then Paul. Both of these men were upstanding and righteous. Who really impressed upon me was Paul. In 2 Corinthians 12, he describes an encounter he has had with God. And by verse 8, it became clear to me…there’s a cost associated with this walk.
Blessings that are bigger than you COST something.
While Christ died for all of our sins, we are also to share in His sufferings, to walk in His ways. This means we are going to suffer. Mentally, emotionally, physically, financially. We are going to experience Christ as He experienced us. The good thing is, since we suffer with Him, we also experience the resurrection power He possesses. The same power is in us. We don’t get to skip the unpleasantness, though. We are called to walk through them. How else can we minister, relate to or persuade others if we don’t suffer?
This does not mean we are going to suffer alone. He is with us every step of the way. So are the true men and women of God. People all over the world are taking one for #TeamJesus. As I lay in bed, and even now while I’m typing, the Lord is bringing to mind my own pastors testimonies of things that happen when they are used mightily by God, of other leaders who endure hardships that are not of God, but planned attacks to discourage and disperse. It is not God who causes the attacks, but he will allow it so that His glory is seen for all.
Even as I sit here at home, unable to force my body to do my will, nauseated and still in an incredible amount of pain, I thank God for choosing me to do something for Him, even if it causes this light and momentary trouble. So when you really go through something, a series of unprovoked attacks and you’re walking in the righteousness of Christ, count it all joy. You’re in with the greats. We’re doing something for someone aside from ourselves. It’s for the Kingdom.