Surviving The Storms of Illness By Becoming Saturated with God’s Presence

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

I love this quote from the well known daily devotional book:

“Wait before God until you feel saturated with His presence. Then move on to your next duty with the awareness of the freshness and energy of Christ.” Dr. Pardington (Streams in the Desert, January 30)

How I long to overflow with hope! How much I wish I could sit on my couch with a cozy blanket and read my Bible and saturate myself with His words, His presence, with scripture and studying it. Although i wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything, I wonder what it must be like for those who get to earn credits by studying the Bible inside and out.

I sit and read. I type endless notes. What was this person thinking? I ask myself. What can I learn from this scripture? What surprises me here? How would I feel if God had told me to do what He told this person I am reading about? What can I take away from this and apply to my life today?

Once I get going, I find it hard to pull myself away. And yet, I need to take a shower, do the dishes, go to the doctor appointment, pick up my son from school. And just as I begin to feel nearly saturated with the message God has given me. I fail. I pick up my husband’s things he left out, I nearly trip over my son’s toys I told him to pick up. I try to empty the dishes and drop a glass. I throw in e laundry but my hands ache as it takes me fifteen minutes to transfer it to the dryer. I start to grow impatient. I feel my chores go unacknowledged. I feel unappreciated.

Sure, I am a mom and these are my responsibilities that I should be doing with a generous spirit, right? But does anyone care that my feet ache and bones click on the soles with every step? Does anyone remember how hard laundry and dishes are for me to deal with as the clasp of my hand functions grows smaller and more painful each day?

How can I be so fully saturated with the Lord, and in mere minutes be selfish, bitter, and resentful?

As Dr. Pardington advises I am moving on to my next duty . . . But I am not doing it with “the awareness of the freshness and energy of Christ.” If I am not overflowing with the hope and joy in Christ, than I am merely studying scripture–but I need to put more work into being with the Holy Spirit. Many people have known the Bible inside and out, but they never had a real relationship with Christ.

If God is not flowing out of me, if the hope and power of the Holy Spirit does not accompany me through the chores of the day, then I miss out on the joy and peace of trusting that He knows what I am doing and He is saying “thank you for serving others with a generous spirit. I know how hard it is for you to do it physically.”

Prayer: God, I feel like I just soak You up. I crave You. And then I go through my day giving grace to so many–except for those I love the most. As I pick up Legos and do dishes, remind me that I am serving You as I serve others. Give me that awareness and freshness that comes only through You.

About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.

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How do you soak up God? How do you discover ways to saturate yourself with God’s glory and peace? what happens when you feel it overflowing and then something else (like bitterness) falls out?