Causes of the Blues
Chronic illness sucks. We live with varying degrees of not feeling well, of being exhausted, of feeling pain, nausea, anxiety, and sadness. Too often we miss out on fun outings or we go and find ourselves completely beat long before our companions are.
Add in that life is still going on. The dishes and laundry still need washed. Our children and/or spouses need attention. Or if we’re alone, it all falls on us and we feel that overwhelming weight that if we don’t do it, it won’t get done. We can’t keep up and clutter/disarray eats at us as we look at what needs done and can’t do.
If we need others to help us with our daily self-care tasks we can feel like a burden on those we love. If we need help with anything, we may feel ashamed that we can’t fend for ourselves.
It is so easy to get depressed in this situation. We feel less than others, useless, and not important. If we are experiencing financial difficulties, because of our illness, we can be anxious about not having what we need. Questions like, “What if I can’t afford my medicine? or my rent? or groceries?” flood our minds.
Lies That Hold Us Hostage
What we tell ourselves and how we cope with these feelings can either build us up or tear us down further. I recently realized that between my poor health and tight finances that I have been feeling like I have nothing to offer to anyone. This was revealed to me one Sunday. It was a too busy day for me as I went to church, drove home for lunch, drove back to church for a meeting, and then made the mistake of going to the grocery store.
An Example From My Life Of Lies In Action
Here’s what was going on in my head: I love my pastor and my church dearly, but we had just been told about a new fundraising campaign at the meeting. I was feeling like I could not give any more than I already was. Also, I had also just gotten a request to help feed people experiencing famine in Africa. These appeals break my heart.
With these thoughts weighing me down, I foolishly went to Aldi’s to buy groceries. As I get done loading my car, a thin, elderly man with a veteran’s cap asks me for a donation for another vet injured in Afghanistan. Before I even have time to think, I blurt out “I have nothing for you.”
My heart sinks as I sit there with the quarter in my hand from the grocery cart lock. Why did I say I had nothing to give him? This haunts me, because even though I immediately look for him, he’s gone. This was a slow, shuffling man and I cannot find him!
As a Christian, I feel like a failure! I could have given him the change in my purse. I could have offered to buy him some food and asked him if he knew Jesus. But I did none of those things! I have to ask God to forgive me, yet again.
How God’s Truth Reveals Lies
Monday morning as I’m talking to God about my failure, He very gently opens my eyes to the lies I was believing:
That I did not have enough.
That I wasn’t good enough.
Do these lies from our spiritual enemy, the devil, torment you as well?
The Riches We Have
First, God reminded me that He has my back. That I have never gone hungry. Money is constantly tight, but my God showers me with love and care. Whether you know it or not, He is taking care of you as well. Every day that we wake up is a gift. Every glorious sunrise and sunset is a gift.
The food we eat and the clothes we have are gifts. If you are able to work that is a gift. The skills and talents we have are gifts from God specifically given to each of us.
However, the evil one doesn’t want us to remember these truths, so he’s always whispering lies in our ears. “I don’t have enough” is a huge lie. I’m forgetful and when I’m beat down by fatigue, brain fog, and pain, I need to be reminded that God is enough for me. Because He really is ENOUGH!
I know from experience that when I share with others, that I have never lacked what I needed.
The Problem of “Am I Good Enough?”
Second, the truth is that we aren’t really all that good. Too often we’re selfish and self-centered. Too often we want our own way. We do what’s easy and pleasant, instead of what’s right. We may strive for perfection, but we’ll never attain it which just leads to frustration.
However, despite our faults and weaknesses, God really loves us! He showed His love for us by sending His son, Jesus, to die on a cross to take our punishment for all the selfish, bad things we do. And then Jesus came back to life!! He tells us that if we follow Him we will be with Him forever in heaven. Also, He promises to be with us every step of our lives right now!
I don’t know about you, but this blows me away! That my holy, perfect creator God loves me and you so very much that He was willing to be abused, slandered, whipped, beaten, abandoned, and nailed to a cross, and die a horrible death to pay the price for my wrongdoing and yours.
The devil wants us to think that our mistakes will make God want nothing to do with us. He wants us to think that our weaknesses are detestable. The truth is that when we recognize our weaknesses and faults and ask God for help, then God can be strong in us and help us. He never butts in where He isn’t wanted.
God Works Through Our Weaknesses
Next, is the truth that God uses our difficulties to help us grow and mature. The apostle Paul, had a health problem that he prayed to God three different times for healing. Each time God told him:
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
If we keep our eyes on Jesus and ask for His help, He works His ENOUGH through us. What an awesome gift this is!!
There Is Hope
Finally, what keeps me going is my hope that Jesus will keep His promises, and I will receive a brand new, healthy body in heaven. He promises no more tears or suffering there. He provides me with hope and gently reminds me when I get confused that He loves me and won’t ever let me go.
My desire is for all of you to share in this hope with me. I want you to experience the joy and freedom that comes from God’s love and forgiveness.
Being sick is hard enough. Believing the devil’s lies only makes it harder. Thankfully, God is always waiting for us to turn toward Him and ask for help. When we do, He always comes through! His answer may not be what we want, but it’s always exactly what we need in order to grow closer to Him.
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Till next time, Kathy
This is a really powerful post, and I’m very glad I found your blog through CIB. So often, at least once a week, I break down because I feel like a burden, especially on my husband. At only 26, my health has already taken a major toll on how I live my life, and I’m the busy working mom to a 3.5 year old and educator to a bunch more kids. But I have to focus on God’s truth; how God sees me, not how others see me or I see myself. You are so right; we are enough through Jesus! Thank you for this reminder.
I’m so glad I could be an encouragement to you, Kat. We have to keep reminding ourselves of God’s truth, sometimes many times a day.
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