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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Slow and Steady ...

[Though unbelievers may get something beneficial out of what I have to say here, this post is directed towards women who fear the Lord. This post is a long time in the making. There is so much more I'd like to say here but I'm just going to go ahead and post it.]

I'd like to share a few things I've learned over the last 1 1/2 years or so. I pray this post is a blessing; if you have words of wisdom to add, please do.

I realize that some (myself included) are struggling with not-so-good health. Some (not including me) have to care for younger children and husbands even in the midst of illness. In physically weak moments, I have often thought of such women and what it must be like for them. If this is you, I pray you are able to deal with such things in a way that pleases the Lord.

First, I have learned that some believe illness always stems from a lack of faith. I do not believe this. I think of Job. He was tested and tried but it was all for the GLORY OF GOD. I also think of the disciple that was sick nigh unto death FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL. And too, I think of Timothy who was instructed to drink a little wine for his stomach's sake and his oft infirmities.

Was lack of faith their problem? I don't think so.

Let us be shining lights for Christ regardless of our health circumstances.

In EVERYTHING give thanks.
This is the will of God! He will not give you more than you can handle. What can you learn from it? What does he want to teach you? Embrace it. Praise the Lord for it. Learn and grow and stretch. The Lord is with you.

Being physically weak causes us to slow down. Sometimes it causes us to be more quiet. It builds compassion. Meekness. Humbleness. And so much more. Praise God!! There is so much to learn. If the Lord wills that I have physical struggles the rest of my life, I am very content with that. I am beyond thankful for all he has taught me so far and know there is a lot more I need to learn.

Pushing past your limits is a form of pride.
It's all right to ask for help. It's all right to leave jobs undone. Be humble. Be honest with God, yourself and others. Do what you can and ask for help for what you can't.

Not working up to your potential is a form of laziness and selfishness.
While it is not good to push yourself past your limits, it is equally not good to sit around when you could be doing something.

Not too long ago I had a particularly rough day but could at least do something. The story of the tortoise and the hare came to mind ... "Slow and Steady Wins the Race." Little by little, bit by bit, I managed to get some things done. I rested when I needed to and then got back up and worked slow and steady some more ... and then rested again when I needed to. In this way, a few things got done instead of nothing at all.

Caring what others think is a form of pride.
Whatever illness you might be struggling with, it goes without saying that things will change. You might not ever be the person you used to be ... and so what?! Don't let pride get in the way of praising the Lord and embracing the changes.

Patience / Long suffering

PATIENCE is one big thing you can learn. What a blessing! I know from experience that it is easy to be tempted to lack patience when you are not feeling well. Patience might be the biggest thing you can learn through physical illness. Maybe?

Be patient with yourself. You may not be able to do all the things you used to be able to do. That's all right. Praise the Lord anyway! Be patient with others who do not understand. Try to see things from their perspective instead of your own. They do not know what to do. If they are close enough to you, just be frank with them and let them know where they might be of help. Be patient with your little ones who are clueless and just need a mama. The Lord will help you!! Look to him to be your strength.

Recently this came to mind: My strength is made perfect in weakness. What all does that mean? Maybe I'll share my thoughts on that some other time. But for now ... it seems a good verse to keep at the front of my mind.

Keep walking ...
Even if you can't actually walk :)
"Just go through it" is a little phrase my pastor (David) told me when I first met him, and it has been with me and blessing me ever since. I guess this can go along with my first thought about giving thanks in everything. The Lord knows what he is doing. Keep looking up and pressing on. Let your light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven! It's all for HIM.

Something else David said recently, though it was to a brother and I was listening on ... "all we have to do is walk. The Lord has laid the path out for us and we just have to walk it." Plain and simple. If we keep the right perspective (the right FOCUS and SINGLE EYE), it really will be that simple. Just keep walking.

Expectations ...
The Lord only expects your best. If your best is just a little bit, then so be it. Recently David had a talk with my oldest son and I think it fits well here. He said what I just said but also included a little story. You know those indians that only have one feather? If the Lord has only given you 'one feather' then you be the best 'one feather indian' you can be! "Just be." That is all God is expecting of you.

Praise be to God.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful encouraging post Joanne. Would you mind if I put a link to it on my blog?

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  2. I don't mind. Thank you for the comment.

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  3. This has been much a part of my life the past 16 years, Joanne. Altho I have been steadily gaining health back the past 5 years, I know that path of learning to ask for help, being ok with being misunderstood if my housekeeping wasn't 'up to par', learning to walk instead of run, learning to rest between work but then to get back up and go again when I was rested, etc. It's been a journey that has been a blessing when I surrendered my will and allowed the Lord to use it to prune me and to conform me more into the image of Christ.
    God bless you. I pray that you will be in good health as the Lord directs.
    ~Marcia

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  4. Thanks for this post..it was a blessing to me. My health has been on a decline over the past ten years...I am now on a jouney to work,with Gods help,at getting better...blessings

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  5. Just a thought...ever notice how many "faith healers" and "faith people" wear glasses? Think about it.

    Just checking back for any new posts you may have written.
    I’ve been a follower on your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation.

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  6. Wise observations. The older I get the more I find the need to eliminate the things that take attention from what matters - the things that have eternal significance. If you aren't careful some people will draw you into their "blackholes" and you never get the important things done. Guard against them. You have to have rest to stay sharp enough to listen carefully to the Lord and not get lost in the static. Have you ever read The Christian in Complete Armour, by William Gurnall? He wrote it while he was sickly to bless his congregation, and he has blessed the world. Take good care of yourself for the sake of others. Blessings, Liz

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