“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
For folks with a chronic illness, particularly a progressive one, this can be an amazing verse to hold on to. Yes, outwardly we are wasting away, sometimes in a seemingly frightening manner. To go from independence – to needing a cane – to not being able to climb stairs and needing a stair lift – to a walker – and finally to a wheel chair can be a devastating (and humiliating) progression.
I think back to the last 4th of July and realize I was able to do some walking using a walking stick. I was able to navigate stores. This year is a different story. This year my physical therapist was pleased I could get out of my “chair” and take 35 steps with a walker.
How easy it would be to become angry, bitter or depressed at the hand life has dealt me.
I read this comment in an email a friend of mine sent to me:
“I believe . . .that either you control your attitude or it controls you.”
If I were to focus solely on the ‘outward me,’ my attitude would certainly be controlling me. It took me a long time to realize I had a choice in the matter.
Verses like the above helped me to realize that it was my outward focus that was driving me downward. Outwardly I am wasting away. In truth, we all are – one way or another as we age. Yet, God tells us to not lose heart, because we have another place to focus. We can focus on the fact that inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
As we seek God and look to Scripture, our attitudes change. I’m not saying the outward problems disappear, but we have a choice on where to focus our emotional energy. We can look to God – or look to ourselves.
Renewed day by day. Not all at once – not sudden perfection – but grace as we need it as we look to Him. Day by day.
About the Author:
deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic pain and illness is to bring them to the feet of her Lord and Savior. Her multiple illnesses (Celiac Sprue, Atrial Fibrillation, Ankylosing Spondylitis, to name a few) have taught her many things about herself and her Christian walk. It is her fondest desire that her lessons may be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic illness. Her website is http://www.pathwaysforchange.com/Encouragement . deni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .