When God Says ‘Go’ But Your Body Says ‘No’

“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.

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10 thoughts on “When God Says ‘Go’ But Your Body Says ‘No’

  1. Good for you Liz ! I pray that you will be a comfortable as possible and have little pain.
    Be blessed and enjoy the trip, you deserve it!
    Every 4th of July my in-laws have a big picnic, but it is a 15 hr drive from me. My husband usually goes and my son or daughter with him. My hubby does all the driving, but it is a long time for me to sit.
    I don’t even want to do it in two days, with one stay at a motel. Maybe I should fly, but hubby says that is a lot of trouble.
    So, I just don’t know. I need to listen to the Lord if He says Go! and not automatically say No!

  2. YOU GO GIRL!LISA I ADMIRE YOUR HOOTSPA!I WRESTLE WITH THIS ISSUE AS WELL.ITHINK WE ALL DO FROM TIME TOO TIME.IT IS HARD TOO GO WHEN DO NOTHING SOUNDS SO GOOD.I KNOW THAT SOUNDS BAD,BUT THAT IS THE WAY I FEEL AT TIMES.ESP FLAIRS,FORGET IT.BUT REGULAR RSD ACHEING,BURNING I COULD TRY MORE.THANKS FOR THE PUSH LISA,I WILL PRAY FOR A SAFE,LO-PAIN TRIP.,GOD BLESS,THOMAS

  3. Lisa:

    Wonderful Lisa! I pray you are being or have been so blessed by going to this conference.

    I’ve been learning to listen to my body (and mental state), but I agree with you that we must be so careful not to just automatically rule an activity out just because it seems impossible to us. God can provide for our needs in amazing ways and He ALONE should be our God.

    I long to go on a trip to Mexico to see my missionary son and his dear family in their environment. My husband does not want to go and right now I feel I couldn’t cope, even if a friend went with me. But I’m still saving Air Miles and hoping to do it sometime.

    I so appreciate these good words of yours.

    Love, Beth

  4. Lisa

    As always you are an inspiration to me.

    I have done more in the past year than in many years previous combined. I have finally decided that I have to try to step out and go when the Lord opens a door for me and not just stay home feeling sorry for myself thinking of the things that I am missing. Do I pay for going places – you bet I do!! But God makes it all work together for His good.

    I am glad that I am finally doing what He wants instead of what I want. And yes there are still many times when I want to go someplace but am simply not physically able to go.

    I hope you are having a great time at your conference and have a safe trip home. Will be praying for you and thinking of you – especially in the days post-trip when your body tries to catch up to you.

    Praying for you and your family as always,

    Gentle hugs,

    Heather

  5. Lisa – when you return from this wonderful conference, refreshed in spirit and with the joy of the fellowship of the others in attendance, you will not regret a moment or all it took for you to push to get there and be there.

    The pain will be forgotten – the experience that filled your soul will remain.

    I often enjoy my time away ( when that can happen ) more after I am home remembering it rather than the hard pushing through it when there.

    We all are pulling for you!

    Love,
    Lynn

  6. I too have learned to venture out more and more. I am more confident now that I have my wheelchair and don’t have to worry about being dizzy or too exhausted to stand. I have found that even if it takes twice as long to recover, as the time away was; it is so worth it! The refreshment, change of scenery, and memories made, are irreplaceable!

    You are in my prayers,
    Sandy

  7. Pingback: Rest Ministries - Chronic Illness and Pain Support

  8. Pingback: Rest Ministries - Chronic Illness and Pain Support

  9. Pingback: Rest Ministries - Chronic Illness and Pain Support

  10. Pingback: What Exactly Is A Chronic Illness And Who Defines It? : Invisible Illness Awareness Week

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