Strength is something that has eluded me today. Weakness coupled with fatigue frequently bring this sassy chick to her knees…or should I say to my bed. I don’t talk about it often when I’m blogging or doing inspirational speaking. It’s just part of my physical makeup, but not who I am. Autoimmune disease. Those are pretty ugly words, especially if you are blessed with the battle it often brings. I apparently stood in the buffet line when they were handing out autoimmune disease. You know, southern girls like to eat. I guess I felt the need to try a little bit of everything. The main strength zappers in my life are: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and rheumatoid arthritis. No, it’s not your grandmother’s arthritis. Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medications don’t help. Thanks for offering though!
So here’s the Cliff Note’s version of what my body does to itself. It essentially is consuming itself from the inside out. Yep. My nerves are overactive, so they think things that shouldn’t hurt a person, like clothes, feel like razor blades and weighted heavy bags rather than a pretty wrapper. Consider yourself in pain all of the time. Then think about what that would do to your strength. It’s exhausting to hurt. Let’s then add on a disease where my immune system attacks, not only my joints, but also my brain and my internal organs. Yep. That’s my arch nemesis rheumatoid. Now, to add to that fatigue and lack of strength, pile on the drugs necessary to try to protect my organs and joints from being consumed by the enemy team. Drugs for which you must read a novella filled with side effects, and then sign your life away to begin taking the toxic materials. Either the medication will kill me, or the disease will. Ok, so that’s life for me. I get tired sometimes. Actually, I get tired most of the time. I also frequently lose my strength; physical, not spiritual thankfully.
As a matter of fact, for a chick with all that I have going on in this sassy little package, I have lots of time to think. For some, that time to think will cause you to drive yourself crazy. For me, it has become a way for me to grow closer to the Lord, and for Him to use me. How does He use a chick who frequently loses the ability to walk through the grocery store without needing a nap immediately following? He gave me the spiritual gift of exhortation. In common terms, the Lord gave me the gift of encouragement. You know what’s wonderful about being an encourager? You’re not required to run marathons, lift a minimum amount of weight, or stand for hours on end. Nope! This chick needs to be comfortable sitting down with someone when they need an ear. As a matter of fact, being weak physically even served me well this week.
A dear friend of mine was having a very difficult time with family drama. You know the deal. Every family has at least one person who makes you crazy. Admit it, many of us have several. Well, that crazy person had run my friend to the end of her rope. She was in tears and needed to talk. Now, I was supposed to get up that morning, grab a shower, and head out the door to run errands. My body disagreed with my plan, and instead decided I should drag around, and linger over coffee while trying to muster the strength to take a shower. So when I was supposed to be on the run, my friend texted me. She simply asked if I was home. Yes Ma’am, I’m here! She then asked if she could come by. Of course! I’m in my jammies and my hair is plopped on top of my head, but if you can accept that, this sister is here for you!
In the door she came just a few moment later. She threw her arms around my neck and began in crumple in tears. We made our way to the sofa where we sat for hours. Drinking coffee with mint creamer topped with a squirt of whipped cream…because that makes everything better doesn’t it? She describes me as her rock. The person God knew she would need. I’m strong she says. Y’all, I just told you I’m a serious weakling. I struggle to take showers and walk around some days. Yet, my friend says I’m strong? I’m strong because God made me emotionally strong. He even told me in His word that He would.
Isaiah 40:29 explains part of it. “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” God gives me, He can give you too, power that we require when we are weak. He provides strength. No, I’m not going to bench press an elephant with the strength the Lord gives me. The strength He is providing is not necessarily physical, while I do know He provides a bit of that for me as well. The strength He provides me is spiritual and emotional. He provides me strength in my soul, He strengthens me in His word. Y’all that is all that any of us will ever need. God has given me purpose in this world, even when my body wants to rob me of purpose. Purpose! Isn’t that all each one of us really desires?
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 shows that as long as you and I wait for the Lord, he will renew our strength. Sister, when He comes back, we are going to meet Jesus in the air! You and I will be running to Him, and we will never again feel tired or weak! Do I get an Amen? Oh dear sister, you need to claim that one! Yes! The Lord will restore these cranky, broken, pitiful earthly bodies one day. He will give us amazing strength, and we will never be tired again! Ooooh! Hallaleujah!
Our creator, the almighty God, will give us strength, stamina, unspeakable joy, and allow us to live life eternally with Him. It makes me want to shout! Dear sister, are you like me? Is your body falling apart, consuming itself from the inside out, tired and worn? Are you wondering how you will get through tomorrow? I’ll tell you how. You need to put your faith in the Lord’s promise of power and strength while we wait for him. Stop looking at all that is wrong in life, and start focusing all that is right. If God can use a fluffy, short, creeky, half crippled body of mine, He can use you too. Stop looking for Him to provide physical strength and power, and know that sometimes He provides immeasurably more. He provides spiritual, heart stirring, soul sparking power. We just have to wait for Him.