Posts Categorized: endurance

Rencoling my spirit: Allowing God’s truth to bring healing

Turn the Page:

Do you ever feel like you are two people? One holds it together and keeps moving forward, and the other is caught in a vortex of pain, suffering, emotion and loss. Both are very real parts of ourselves.

I realized last night that the gap between the two was widening and took a step towards reconciling the two parts of my spirit. When I suffered from depression as a teen, I resented that tenacious part of me that refused to throw in the towel, no matter what I went through. Now, I am grateful that I have allowed God to cultivate that part of me.

But sometimes I move forward and ignore the very real and deep pain that Jonathan’s death has caused. I realize that I am losing sight of grace. Grace recognizes that we are but dust and provides a way when I cannot find it!

The two parts of me must eventually work in harmony and right now they are very much working against each other. I think that David struggled with this very same feeling.

Psalm 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God. 5Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Even as David is struggling he offers the key to the crucial transition in his spirit, verse 3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

While the tenacious part of me keeps leaning into the knowledge of God’s love, I do not yet feel it. I must allow my mind, body, and spirit to be encouraged by my hope in God. Lord I thank you that you send your light and your truth ahead of me. Illuminate in me the grace, and strength of your love. Amen

Perseverance: The “Hooah!” of Christian Discipleship

Romans 5: 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

My sciatic nerve is damaged. I have had pain every single day for the past eight years and it would be weird if one day the pain was suddenly gone. I have learned to adjust how I sit, stand and move to keep the pain at a tolerable level.  My grandfather, on the other hand, burnt his foot because his nerve receptors were destroyed and he didn’t know he had stepped on hot coals. Which would you rather?

Losing Jonathan hurts worse then any other pain I have experienced. I could try to avoid it, many do, or I can allow it to teach me perseverance. Some translations use the word endurance, but I see perseverance as the “Hooah!” of Christian discipleship. Perseverance comes from the gut of our spirit, and is an outward acknowledgment that I hear, understand, and obey the will of the Lord. When I persevere I am allowing God to draw out my character, which makes the impossible possible (hope) and displays God’s glory. At my core is the knowledge that God will not fail me.

Many of us endure trials, but not many allow those sufferings to complete the work in us so that we are not lacking anything (James 1).  That is what my suffering has the potential to do. Jonathan death motivates me to speak boldly on the behalf of others, to be aware of depression and suicide in a way that I never have before, and to seek the face of God every day. I know the pain will not always be this severe. But until that moment comes the pain is necessary and teaches me the discipline of perseverance. Hooah!!

Hope is a Purple Tulip

Hope is a purple tulip brush stroked into a pallet of dreary grey;
Drawing our focus to the possibilities.
Hope grows in the cracks of my doubts,
Surprising my life with defiant perseverance.
Hope is the cup of water held out to a runner,
when the finish line is painfully out of sight.
Hope is the cheer of friends
Reminding me that I am not alone.
Hope dusts off the truth of our purpose,
And reveals the treasures beneath our grief.

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