Resting is not my strong point. Sometimes I think I was afflicted with chronic illness just to get me to stop, slow down, rest. I can chatter about slowing down until the cows come home but actually doing it to the degree that an ill body needs was a completely different story. My body stopped me, for me. The illness and pain forced me to stop, to consider a more significant rest. When I finally did it, the Lord provided a broader path for me to walk out of the past and into the present. Not sure I will ever fully learn to rest completely when I need it, but progress is being made.
Well, this seems so simple to a Christian. The only path we desire to be on is God’s very specific path for our lives. It is His path that glorifies God, not ours. Seems so simple.
Sometimes through the fault of our own and sometimes by the hands of others, we diverge off that perfect path.
Get rid of blame. We are not where we belong.
God does have a way of getting us back where He wants us. That is when God may allow illness to redirect us. If we are still breathing, there is still time to get back on His perfect path.
A resting path is the opposite of where I thought I belonged. Well… the Lord has certainly shown me otherwise, over and over again during illness. I needed more rest than what I thought humanly possible.
I am no longer in the depths of chronic illness and the life-threatening wildness. Instead I have the opportunity to look backward on it all and not only be grateful to still be alive but in awe of what all the Lord has done and who He is.
Had I rested more…
- I would not have gotten so ill
- I would have healed faster
- I would not have struggled with so many things through the dark years of intense illness
- I would have been more peaceful
- I would have been more forgiving of abandonment
- I would have been more eternity focused
- I would not have grown the way I did
This is how we learn, by experiencing life which comes with heartache, pain, and suffering.
Had I not gotten so ill for so long and it had been so dangerous, I would not have learned more about resting. It is still one of my biggest struggles but whew, have I come a long way.
During illness, we need to rest. We need to rest our bodies and our spirits. To get our minds to take a break from the endless chatter can seem impossible when life becomes so uncontrollable. Until that chatter is quieted, we cannot get to the peaceful existence that we are offered.
I read Psalm 18 today and thought about my thoughts during illness. Much of it was wasted time. Some of it was incredibly useful. Parts of it were gripped in love and devotion to our King.
Words were lacking to make sense out of it all. So sometimes the thoughts got jumbled, they still do.
God gave David the words in which to worship His majesty. I read this today and it reminded me that my words and thoughts through the intense illness was not quite adequate. But God’s words are.
Psalm 18:1-36 reminds me of who God is and why I can rest IN HIM. I don’t need me, I need God. As I read this it gave me a visual of His power. Hopefully I have learned to turn to the Lord for my rest and rely on His magnificence.
Look at the long list of things David acknowledged that God does for us. I love picturing God taking care of the impossible. With a breath, He can blow away the barriers. With a thought, everything can change.
The more I read all of this, the more peaceful I become because I can truly rest. What I have noticed lately is that the path really did broaden the more I chose to peacefully rest.
The experience of intense prolonged chronic illness was exactly what I needed. Thank you, Lord.
1 I love you, Lord, my strength.~ Psalm 18:1-36 (NIV)
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
ForI have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the
deviousyou show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my
so that my ankles do not give way.