Good Morning, Everyone!
With my head firmly above water today I look back on what I last posted and thought I sure did let everyone in on my “pity party” regarding last week! As I thought about that, I was reminded of some content from a book that has always been precious to me ( “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard).
This book is a beautiful allegory of the Christian journey and it contains a chapter entitled “On The Shores of Loneliness”. There it explores the struggles and the blessings of the lonely times. I found my old book and re-read that chapter this morning with much pleasure. I believe I recieved some new awareness in light of my experience with the isolating loneliness that physical weakness can bring. What stood out to me with this reading is that loneliness contains its own wonderful gifts when it is accepted as an opportunity to find greater intimacy with the Saviour. I also was reminded that there are three major “stealers” that the enemy would like to impose on our lonely times which can rob us so insidiously if we allow them to enter into our spirits at all. These stealers are the “big three” – bitterness, resentment, and self-pity. How quickly, if we allow them access, these tools of the evil one move into our times of loneliness. Looking back, I believe part of what I discovered was God allowing me to undergo loneliness as a gift for growth.
I find that when I am engaged in spiritual warfare at a time when my physical body is weakened, there is a mental response that decreases my ability to fight on a spiritual level. Feeling “down” both physically and emotionally seems to deplete my spiritual arsenal, as it were. I find at those times that if I can muster myself to pay attention to II Corinthians 10:3-5, I can get critical direction regarding the “how to” of dealing with the “big three”. These three powerful robber-barons can easily become strongholds that hinder me in my walk with Jesus. Thinking all this through has been a good refresher course for me as I looked back at last week. I read II Corinthians 10:3-5 in the Phillips “New Testament in Modern English” and share it here:
“The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare, but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemies’ strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men can erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.”
I think I may have referred to this scripture in previous posts, but for me it keeps coming up as a concept which I continually struggle to apply. You may even see it again as I may never lay hold of it fully!
This has gotten longer than I like, but I do want to also report on my visit to my oncologist today. First of all, I was amazed how well I felt today less than a week after being so sick. My doc confirmed that the infection I had was a “bad bug” that had the potential to be difficult to fight. He pronouned me fit to enjoy the next ten days without restriction and said that I could proceed on schedule to my next chemo on October 17. After my appointment, I spent all day running around and shopping with Jenni and Marv in the morning and taking in a movie in the afternoon! While I’m certainly sure I will be able to sleep well tonight, it is now just after 10:00 PM and I’m no more tired than I would be after any other day. I can only say PRAISE GOD FOR HIS AMAZING MERCY, GRACE, AND HEALING POWER!
I’ll sign off by saying that once again I am so aware of the powerful prayer and the love that has been shed all over me by those of you who are certainly standing in the gap for me. The title of this post says it all, as I see God’s hand made visible through all of you!
Love and Blessings, Joy