For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us … So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, 16)
As a teenager I was bedridden with chronic fatigue syndrome – struggling to turn in bed with muscles wracked with pain, breathing an effort. I was not a Christian but I found the only Christian book in our house and it explored experiences of suffering and lead me to bible experiences of suffering. I was losing every bit of my control and finding true healing in the presence of God, grieving and sharing the pain, powerlessness, anger and darkness with me. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). This new knowing of God sharing in suffering filled me with joy and peace till I felt like I would burst, a healing at a spiritual level.
Illness changed and improved but even 17 years on I was still plagued by fatigue, in bed half a day and I paid for it if I pushed it. I was embraced into an experience of healing prayer with friends and nothing seem to come of it but unbeknown to fellow prayers I was left with a deep peace that I need to have a baby (irrational right?).
Having my baby plunged me into the depths of a mental health crisis which was scary – I was presented with two medications and chose one – the result was a correct diagnosis and treatment – and two weeks after the birth I was out walking the streets with the pram and out of bed all day with a complete absence of fatigue that had been unrelenting for 17 years. So having my baby brought me healing. However, the healing needing tweaking and it took eight months with a blanket of ill mental health to find a second medication that brought me fully well.
Even this week I have had words of healing spoke to my fears. I heard that in mothering while unwell, near enough is good enough, and that I was reliable in meeting my child’s needs. I hear it is not in striving that I will find wholeness but rather being open to God in all my weakness. God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Ω
Reflect: When have you experienced God sharing in your suffering? How has God worked through your weakness to care for this world? Pray about these experiences.
#Lent2020 © Sanctuary, 2020.
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