As I have been thinking about a lot about the yokes that Jesus offers each of us (the custom made ones that will fit us perfectly) it occurred to me that my diagnosis is part of mine. Before I was made God knew exactly what my strengths and struggles would be and exactly what it would take to train me in righteousness and holiness.
As you might have guessed if you've been around these parts for any length of time, I resist rest. Like abhor it. The not writing on Sunday's was difficult for me to get to because I insisted that my desperation for consistency superseded my need to take a break. But after almost a year of writing it was becoming abundantly clear that I really needed a brain break. Badly. And so I (finally) submitted.
But just like our persistent Biblical ancestors who needed to build a tower up to the heavens to make a name for themselves, I am guilty of searching for ways to do what I want regardless of any limitations. When I had a stress fracture in my right foot, I did horrid ab workouts. When I broke my right foot and was in a boot, I did things single leg. (My backside was pretty lopsided from that.) And when I sprained my ankle, I lived in denial for a week until it was the size of a softball. (Probably not one of my brighter ideas.) The point is, I ignore and work around things when I should proably heed the call to rest.
If you are too weak or too tired to do something, no matter how hard you try, you can't. It's quite literally impossible.
So the girl who hates to rest has entered a season of being forced to rest. Okay, not completely, but things just aren't what they were. Typically I can clean in about 2 hours if I'm really motivated. The last time it took me quite a bit longer and it had to be spread out over time because I needed breaks. And while I can still do my 'steps' there isn't a whole lot more than that happening. And by the grace of God and what must be some pretty massive prayer warriors, I am actually okay with it. And just because God likes to show us his grace in unexpected ways, my short course of prednisone took down a good bit of the soft tissue swelling that remained from the sprained ankle 3 years ago. He didn't have to allow that, but he did.
Now, I haven't really thought about myself being a conceited person, but when I read Paul's words that his thorn was given so he wouldn't become conceited (2 Corinthians 12:7), I have to wonder if there is a bit more conceit in me than I have been willing to admit. When most of us think about being conceited we think we about someone who thinks they are better than someone else. But in that instance, we are viewing the 'someone else' as a known person, as in somoene we interact with. But what if the conceit is based on the resistance of God's will because we think we know better than he does and we try to skirt his discipline and training for holiness and sanctification. Ouch....that stings a bit.
I'd be willing to bet we all have things we wish were different. It could be our hair, our job, our education, or our health. But what if the very thing we wish were different and continually try to change is the greatest gift God has ever given us to realize our absolute dependence on him to give us the abundant life he planned long before we drew breath?
I don't know that I will never lament what is a part of my story again, but I do want to try and embrace it more as God's faithful reminder that he's the one that's sustaining me through it all. Maybe with a slight shift in perspective of what we each face individually we can start to see God a little more clearly and shine our lights for him a bit more brightly.