This Battle

Posted on September 27, 2011

It has been a week since my diagnosed of Fibromyalgia, and it has not been an easy week per-say. I have had an ongoing struggle. People ask me how I am, and I battle the usual “okay” versus saying how I truly feel. But when people are asking as they walk away, how can you say “No, I am not okay.” Or how do you say, “you know what, I am not doing so good today.”

I do not think it has hit me yet. I think I am still waiting to wake up, and have it disappear. Since that does not look like it is going to happen anytime soon, I am doing what I can. I am researching. I am noticing how the symptoms of this illness progress. I am medicating myself through a nightly prescribed medicine and daily vitamins. I have regained some of my spiritual strength, and I am putting on my armor to fight this battle.

Fibromyalgia is like other battles we all face. Whether they are friendships in turmoil, temptations of our old self, and other trials and temptations. The trials keep us down for moments at a time, but we can choose how to fight. When we weak, it is easy to be overcome by life’s adversities. This is what the adversary one wants. The devil wants to kick us while we are down. And at times, I am sure he does kick us while we are done. I know I have felt some of those very hard punches in the face lately.

In James 1:2, scripture reminds us that trials should be considered pure joy. Some days, I wonder how they can be considered joy. Some days, I think they are pure joy. It may mean that we must be doing really well spiritually if the devil finds us worth picking on. And on those other days, I do not have the strength to fight or think about the fight. On these particular days, I get punched extra good. These days mean I have not thought or prayed about a plan of attack. How will I handle this today?I need to have plans of attacks, if I plan on winning the battle. I need new methods of fighting.

On Sunday, I was reminded of the One who fights on my behalf. Jesus is winning the victory for me. I cannot give up, even on the days I want to. When I made weak, He is my strength. I become completely dependent on Him, and that is when His strength is more than enough.

In the Common English Bible, Philippians 4:13 is worded this way: ” I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.” We can endure ALL these things through the Power of God. That kinda makes it hard to give up when we have that verse in mind, doesn’t it?

As my weak arms and hands compose this blog, I know how easy it is to say “Well I hurt, and can’t do this!” Do you have another option? We can either try to fight in our own strength and lose the battle, or we can trust in Him completely and let Him become our strength.. The choice to fight is more than a daily struggle. But it is also all we have. We are the only ones that can say “let’s do this.” Sometimes the ones fighting this battle is only us and Jesus, and no-one else. But, we can do this!

2 Corinthians 12:10 says, “Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.”

While I am not “all right” with my weakness, I choose to let God fight my battle for me. Prayer is the cornerstone for any battle. We would not go into a war-zone without armor. We need prayer to face this hidden battle. It is not so well hidden. We experience some kind of battle daily. Maybe, physical. Maybe, emotional. Maybe, spiritual. But we encounter battles daily, and we should greet them with prayer.

Here are some of the bible verses I have been wrestling with as I undergo this invisible, but very real battle….

Exodus 14:14
“The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Deuteronomy 1:30-31
“The LORD your God is going before you. He will fight for you just as he fought for you in Egypt while you watched, and as you saw him do in the desert. Throughout your entire journey, until you reached this very place, the LORD your God has carried you just as a parent carries a child.”

Ephesians 6:10-13;18
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and his powerful strength. Put on God’s armor so that you can make a stand against the tricks of the devil. We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens.”

Therefore pick up the full armor of God so that you can stand your ground on the evil day and after you have done everything possible to still stand.

Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time. Stay alert by hanging in there and praying for all believers.”


Content in Weakness

I have been reflecting on 2 Corinthians 12 much more these days. I have been reading about Job, different verses on persecution, and various sufferings that other followers of Christ have endured. I have had the privilege to see Christians suffer, and you can see their faithfulness to their God. God is glorified through it all!

As I sat and waited, wondering what would happen at the doctor. I ponder the words found in 2 Corinthians 12:10, which said:

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“What would it mean to be content with this weakness?” Today, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. My mysterious illness now has a name. My symptoms are no longer “just in my head”, but they are in some way validated and made more real through having a diagnosis with an actual name. They are the insults of my body. They are trials I must endure, whether I want to or not.

Being contented with this weakness, for me, means relying on Him. It does not mean not treating the illness with some modern day medicine (or attempting to treat this “weakness”), but it means for me to continue to let Him be my strength. We may face a variety of weaknesses, but who do we choose to determine our path of life? Is the priority the situation or Christ? It is choosing to act in such a way that puts Christ first, and casts aside how else we may want to react to the situations we encounter.

Without Him, I can do absolutely nothing. But with Him, I can do all things! God gives me the strength (Matt. 19:26). He continues to teach me through this muddy process of going from a busy maniac to a person who will one day know the value of rest.

I have walked this road of wondering for a while, and I firmly believe God does not give us more than we can handle. In the sense that God will equip us to do everything He gives us. God may bestow illness upon us, but it is for His glory—and His glory alone! We do not have to understand it, but we have to remember that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6).

-James 1:2-4

James 1:2-4 (The Message)

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Even though I want so badly to feel better, I know that my faith is at work. As I sit here and have enjoyed a good day as far as my health goes. God is testing me, and building up my faith. We are called to consider it an absolute gift from God where we are pressed on all sides and under tests. It does not always feel like a blessing though, does it?

I personally do not feel the blessing until after the test is over, then I can smile and say “Finally, God. Thank you! It is finally OVER!!” I enjoy the effects of the suffering, but not the trial. I enjoy the faith that is being built, but I despise the learning time. It can be seen as the equivalent to wanting the degree, but not wanting the years of work it takes to get that college degree.

Trials force us to show our faith for what it really is. Through our trials, we (and everyone else) see our faith for whatever it is. It is an encouraging experience, especially when we think about Philippians 1:6 which says: ” he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

God is continuing to work in me. It is painful. It is ugly. It is uncomfortable. But, it is progress. It is reassurance that God never gives up on me, because I am constantly reminded that I will fail without Him by my side!