“Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (Philippians 3:16).
Each summer I have the same struggle. As I see people enjoying more physical activities and travel, I want to mourn what I have lost. Ungrateful as it sounds, I feel I am missing out on what summer is all about. I am grieving chronic illness.
The Holy Spirit brings conviction and truth about these negative thoughts. I work through them and get over it–until the next time. This verse in Philippians challenges me.
Paul talks about pressing on to receive the prize and then he tells us to live up to what we have already attained. God’s Word translation says, “We should be guided by what we have learned so far.” I need to remember what I have learned and the victories God has given me in this struggle before.
We build and move forward on what we learn through experience. In order to cook I must remember what I learned about boiling water, browning meat, etc. If I had to start from square one with each meal, we wouldn’t eat much! The same is true in my spiritual life.
We are all at different stages in our walk with God, but we have all attained something on our journey. God has taught me many things thanks to His patience, mercy, grace, and love. When I forget those lessons, God brings opportunities for me to remember. The sooner I remember, the more I can move on to a deeper spiritual growth and walk with Him.
Summer will never be what it once was for me. But God reminds me of the truth that one day there will be no losses to grieve, and no temporary earthly pleasure can compare to what lies ahead with Him in eternity. I want to be thankful for all the blessings I do have. And as I keep moving forward, I know my heavenly prize far outweighs any loss here on earth.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for enabling us to learn and persevere in our walk with You. Strengthen and encourage our hearts to remember and act on what we have learned, yielding our losses to You even as we push on toward what lies ahead. Amen.
About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, eye pain, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.
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Are there certain losses you have grieved during previous summers that you now have attained victory over? What has God taught you through them? If you gave into grieving your chronic illness all the time, what would you gain. . . or lose?