We are presented with plenty of crossroads in life. Chronic illness is just one of many. Inside of that intense crossroad of illness, are all the small yet significant crossroads that take us on the right path or not. We are given a set of directions to navigate us through chronic illness while walking with the Lord.
Who is in charge of my crossroads? God, not me.
Trust in the Lord forever,~ Isaiah 26:4 (NIV)
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Knowing who to trust can sometimes feel like the easy part. The Lord is our Rock, our Savior, is all-knowing, has all the answers, provides everything, especially eternal life.
But what about those endless crossroads that we encounter, small and big?
We keep trusting. We keep walking them out.
This is what the Lord says:~ Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
It goes on to speak in detail of what happens when we don’t follow His directions.
When I choose to listen, this is really quite simple. God has very clearly told me what to do at the crossroads.
God is so awesome. Who says life didn’t come with a manual? IT DID!!!
It is my individual choice whether I listen and obey or exercise my free will right into oblivion.
I have made many exceptional choices and I have made many poor choices. Neither define me. It is what I choose today and who I choose to place my faith and trust.
Directions for Crossroads
Step-by-step instructions are clearly provided.
STOP — The Lord said to stand, not walk, not run, not crawl, not grovel. He said to first STOP.
Look — Just like any road we cross, LOOK. What parent has not taught their children to look both ways before crossing the street.
There are many things to do before stepping ON that crossroad. I know I easily get ahead of myself and start walking the path too quickly.
ASK — The Lord instructs us to ask for the ancient paths, His ways. So quickly we can hear the messages of our times, the media, family ways that are simply not God’s ways.
To me, the ancient paths are the ones that are set in stone, they are black-and-white. Either I choose eternal choices or not.
Remember, at this point, at this crossroad, the Lord has not yet told us to take a step ON the crossroad yet.
I know I can quickly skip this step because I do not fully ask for HIS good way instead of all the muddle that has built up in my mind.
Here we are, still standing before taking a step ON the crossroad yet.
WALK — Not just walk but walk IN IT. We don’t even know what “it” is if we do not do the above steps.
When I skip those steps, I think that I already know and take that first step too fast and end up caught up on the wrong path. Then it takes consequences, time and energy to get rerouted.
Even those little crossroads that seem so insignificant have detoured me from what the Lord so carefully has planned for my specific life.
REST — Finding rest for our souls is the reward and the way to live in peace with our choices, because they are God’s paths.
Finding rest for my soul has always been the indicator for me if I chose the right path or not. The problem, for me, is that my indicator was the last step, not the first.
Free Will — God gave us free will. We get to chose, each one of us. That alone is the ultimate crossroad.
Chronic illness was a time, for me, to let the Lord do some rerouting on me. Ha, like I really “let” Him!!!!
Chronic illness stopped me in my tracks. Everything came to a complete halt. There was no choice. My body did not function and I lost control of so many things in my body, my mind, my life that the STOP happened for me.
For me, not against me.
So often we view chronic illness as something that happens to us, against us. When in reality, it is also an event that happens for us. It is a tremendous opportunity for rerouting and walking closer with the Lord.
Illness can be an opportunity to learn to stop, look, ask, ask again, THEN step on the path so that we can rest.
Since my largest issue was resting and taking care of myself, chronic illness was a true gift. It forced the issue. My loving Heavenly Father cared enough about me to force this on me, for my good and His glory. That is a gift.
Instead of fighting chronic illness at every turn, I encourage you to find the specific gifts in it that were intended specifically for you.
Healing comes in many forms. Not all of it is physical. Resting with the Lord on the ancient paths is a spiritual healing.
Sometimes our physical healing will not move forward until we receive more spiritual healing. That does not mean we don’t already have faith, sometimes the Lord wants us to dip deeper and find more of Him that he has to offer. His abundance is greater than our minds or imaginations could ever conceive.