Being An Elite Athlete In The Invisible Illness Fight

athleteIt takes a lot of fight in us to take care of ourselves physically when hit with a chronic illness. But are we balancing our priorities correctly in what we fight for? Kerryn explains.

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if dealing with chronic invisible illnesses involved fighting on only one flank–our health!

However, I’ve discovered that health is simply one area of the battle.

Most people have to resign from their job, like I did. This impact our finances, along with the added expenditure of expensive supplements, dietary changes, and medicines.

Extreme fatigue means that you’re fighting to keep friendships alive too, as you can’t get to social events and visits are too exhausting. Friends gradually dissipate.

This all impacts upon mood, self-esteem, and mental health, as control disappears from your life and grief enters at every turn.

I can see so many elements that compare to an elite athlete.

They’re totally focused upon their health and diet and often have to forfeit their friendships to train. Many struggle with their mental health when injuries occur or their body doesn’t meet the expectations placed upon it–especially when they lose in competitions.

Yet, all of these factors are taking the focus off of what is truly important and our perspectives can be skewed.

This verse in 1 Timothy 4:8, clarifies that there’s only some value in spending our energies focusing upon these physical aspects.

Spending time with God invites Him into each area of our lives lifting the burdens, as He guides us to His comfort and help.

Godliness is the training of higher value by:
* spending time in God’s presence in prayer, worship, and stillness
* searching the scriptures for God’s guidance
* using our gifts and talents to give in some way to others, which may be as simple as a smile, thank you, hug, or short email of encouragement

We are in a battle, but God is preparing us for the best victory of all–life with Him!

Prayer: Lord, I get so tired in this physical battle I’m in. Help me to rest from the physical battle and focus on godliness by spending time with You and those You commission me to. Thank You for the life to come. Amen.

About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family among the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.

How does this verse encourage you? Do you need to rest from the physical training more? What area of godliness is God growing in you?

This is Addison Road singing “Fight Another Day.” The lyrics share how we can feel a lifetime running, but in the end it is our relationship with God that really matters. We can walk away from the challenges in life, but we will eventually have to stand and fight for what we truly believe. Hoping if you are having a hard day and you feel like giving up and choosing not to participate in life, this song encourages you to keep going. -Lisa

Here is a 1-minute video about the story behind the song. Inspiring!