Saturday, January 19, 2013

No Time for Tears (Confessions of a Weary Warrior)

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. -- James 1:2-3, NLT
By the time my work week ended, I was at the end of myself.  Sleep-deprived and weary from work, trips to the hospital to visit an ailing relative, and the relentless cough that lingered after a recent bout of the flu, I resolved to come straight home from the office on Friday afternoon and take a much-needed nap.  When my son greeted me with the announcement that he might have broken his wrist the night before, suddenly I found myself rushing him to the orthopedic clinic and wondering how we were going to come up with the hundreds of dollars it would cost to have him treated for his injury since we had no medical insurance.  When the bill was twice what I expected to pay I did what came naturally -- I cried and I prayed.

Knowing that a good night's rest and a leisurely quiet time would make all the difference in my Saturday, I resolved to not let the disappointments and stress of the week steal my joy and rob me of the energy needed to run errands and take care of my family.  As I began to pray, I wrote these words of confession in my journal:

Despair is pounding at the door.  Were it not for my absolute certainty that You are in control and are allowing these difficulties in my life, I don't think I would have the courage to face another day and tough it out.  I don't like what is happening or how things have turned out so far this year, but I cannot control what happens -- only how I respond to the adversity.

I choose to praise You, Lord, for allowing me to share in the fellowship of your suffering through all these trials.  I choose to look for You in the middle of my circumstances and the lessons You would have me learn and share with others.  I choose to find something to thank You for, even when things are hard or I don't understand what is happening.  I choose to thank You that despite the financial setback caused by unplanned expenses, with Your provision and our continued perseverance we will eventually get caught up and pay off our bills.  I choose to look for blessings today and victory rather than defeat.  I am more than a conqueror because of Your grace and the resurrection power of Christ at work in my behalf.
Satan may be on the attack, but I know that You have my back.  No weapon that's fashioned against me will stand.  Not one.  Your Word assures me of that.  The enemy may be alive and well, but Your Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.
Lord, I choose to praise You.  You inhabit the praises of Your people and where You are, Satan cannot possibly be.  The heavenly hosts I cannot see are waging war against my enemies. I need only to stand still, know that You are God, and rejoice in the victory that has already been won.  Hallelujah, Lord!
Perhaps you, too, are going through a tough time.  If you will dare to claim God's promises, trust Him to work all things together for your good, and believe that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18), then you too can know the peace that surpasses all understanding.  God is not being mean to you by allowing you to suffer; rather, He loves you and longs for you to draw close to Him, close enough that He can shoulder your burden with you. 

Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

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