“And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, He said, ‘Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.’ But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust Him or obey Him.” (Deuteronomy 9:23)
Last week I posted a link to an article about planning vacations when you are chronically ill. One person commented, “thank you,” but the next comment was, “I can barely get to the grocery store!” When we live with chronic illness we have so many seasons that differ in our own lives as well as when compared to others.
I’ve lived in both seasons. Yesterday I told my son I could not stay awake another moment and went and laid down. My husband came home and then I fell asleep. But today, despite a flare and arms that aren’t unbending, I am soon to trudge down to the store that is having a sale to look for something to wear (that fits) to a conference I am going to in St. Louis. It’s my annual “retreat” where I am fed by the amazing Christian women of AWSA.
Am I scared? Yes. I’ve never gone this long without flying due to my health. I’m having chest pains again occasionally, I am always EXHAUSTED. I’m miserable about the appearance of this body I am in. Part of me wonders how in the world I will pull this off.
But God worked things out: I was given a scholarship to cover the costs of the conference. I found a roommate, I was able to get a ticket on Southwest Airlines, which means I can take my Travel Ewe mattress without baggage fees. My parents made a donation to help cover part of my airline ticket. The women’s group needed someone to lead the Internet Marketing workshops so I was invited to do that. My husband was able to take a few days off to take care of our son.
The truth is I will always be tired. I will always be ill. At times it will seem obvious that I should not “go” or “do” but sometimes–when my body says one thing, but God arranges it so that when He says “Go!” logistics are taken care of–then I am risk of allowing my body to be my ruler instead of trusting God.
So I am trusting God. I got on the plane about 30 minutes ago and will be home late Monday night. Just typing this in advance is a step in faith. I will be tired. I will use a wheelchair. But I will go.
Prayer: Lord, give us discernment to know the difference between when You say ‘go’ and when you say ‘wait’ so that you are the one we trust, not our physical ailments.
About the Author
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyaliga since age 24 in 1993. Her most recent book is “How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry.”