I'll begin by telling you that this second post of the new year is one of my heart to heart posts.
From my heart to yours.
Did your 2018 happen to begin the exact way your 2017 ended?
Wishing you could have left some of your baggage back in 2017, but unfortunately it snuck into 2018 along with you?
Same end, same beginning?
Watching a television rerun for the umpteenth time?
Like a broken record on repeat?
If this sounds like you, I can definitely relate.
The first ten days of 2018 have found my chronic illness in many different flare ups.
Vacillating between being content and battling bouts of discouragement.
Days of respite followed by hours of unbearable pain.
Praises to the Lord, and yes, unfortunately, murmuring and complaining.
I could go on and on, but those dealing with a chronic illness or any type of life circumstance, which I dare say would more than likely include almost all of us, can relate to the struggles at times with emotions, feelings and thoughts.
don't lose hope!
I'd like to share just two of the many things which I have been personally putting into practice these first ten days of 2018 when the days have been rough and the nights have been long. I'm praying these two simple things will be a help to you as well.
First, I reached out to others for prayer.
"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."
We should never be ashamed, embarrassed or too prideful to ask others to help carry our burdens in prayer.
And, likewise, we should always be willing and ready to intercede in prayer on the behalf of others.
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
There is unexplainable PEACE knowing others are interceding to the Lord on our behalf.
There is that very same unexplainable PEACE when we take the time to pray for the needs of others, even people whom we've never met!
If you need someone to pray along with you, please go to the home page and click on the prayer request tab. It would be my absolute joy to stand in the gap through prayer on your behalf.
The second, and most important thing I did, and continue to do, whether my illness is flaring up or not, is run to my refuge and my fortress!
"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."
Refuge: "That which shelters or protects from danger, distress or calamity; a strong hold which protects by its strength; any place inaccessible to an enemy."
Fortress: "Any fortified place; a fort; a castle; a strong hold; a place of defense or security."
What an AMAZING way to picture the Lord!
All around us there is a constant ongoing war taking place consisting of health issues, marital difficulties, financial burdens, work related problems, and so much more, BUT, as a child of God, we are sheltered in the midst of this massive, magnificent, fortified castle with no need to fear because God is protecting us, surrounding us, keeping us safe, secure and sheltered!
In actuality the Lord Himself IS the massive, magnificent, fortified castle!
So does that mean I feel all better and my illness goes away?
So does that mean all your problems suddenly disappear?
I think you're smart enough to know the answer to that question!
Of course not!
But it does mean...
When no one else can truly understand my symptoms, or however you may be feeling, we can run to our refuge and our fortress because He totally understands.
When the tears are falling fast and furious, we can turn to our refuge and fortress and He will comfort us.
We can run to our refuge and fortress and He will pour out His strength upon us so that we can carry on whenever we feel as if we can't do this thing called chronic illness, or whatever your own situation may be, one more day, one more hour, one more minute.
There is nothing too big our refuge and fortress cannot handle for us.
There is nothing which comes into our life which takes our refuge and fortress by surprise.
Did you happen to take notice to the last definition of the word refuge?
"any place inaccessible to an enemy."
Who is my enemy?
Who is your enemy?
If you know Christ as your Saviour, our enemy is the devil.
He will do anything possible to draw us away from the Lord.
Planting all sort of doubts in our mind.
"If the Lord really cared about me then I wouldn't have to deal with this illness and these unrelenting symptoms on a daily basis."
"I just know this chronic illness is God's way of punishing me, so I'll just have to try harder to be better and do more good works!"
"God doesn't care about me, so what's the point of reading His Word and praying everyday only to feel sick and miss out on all the fun stuff of life?"
Those lies will work for any type of life circumstance, but don't let them!
When the devil hurls those thoughts our way, and he most certainly does, we MUST purpose to RUN to our refuge and our fortress to be renewed and strengthened in our minds from the TRUTH of God's Word.
"Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word."
"For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
"Father, thank You for not only being our Heavenly Father, but for being our refuge and mighty fortress Who we can run to. Thank You for sheltering us with Your hand of peace and protection. For surrounding us with Your sure and steadfast love. For Your safety and almighty power against the snares of the adversary. Lord, we love You beyond words.
In Jesus' Name, Amen"
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May God Bless You,