Friday, April 15, 2016
focused forward: past the trial... past the pain
As many of you already know, I struggle physically with my lower back. Over the years, I have receive many epidural shots filled with steroids to help lessen my pain and aid my endurance. That said, I always seem to be coping with much daily pain while living moment to moment and realizing that I must be deliberate and disciplined to exhale my breaths while attempting to find a comfortable position. However, even as I suffer, the Lord has continued to show up to reveal His light. (Thank you, Jesus.)
A while ago, my doctor and I were talking about what pain medications I should be taking. This is the same doctor who has treated my life-changing injuries within the last decade. Needless to say, he has seen me at my very worst. Anyway, through the course of our meeting, my doctor commented to me, "Victoria, I have witnessed you endure a tremendous amount of pain every day for several years and still you seem so upbeat and positive whenever I see you. What's your secret?" I proceeded to tell him that strangely, being in pain somehow becomes familiar. In short, you just get used to the constant annoyance of being uncomfortable. Yet outside of dealing with these daily disabilities and shortcomings, God has graciously shown me the freedom that awaits ahead of me... past my trial... past my pain.
This morning in the tub, the Holy Spirit reminded me about this conversation with my doctor. While rubbing my legs in the hot bath water, I began thinking about all the "simple" things I take for granted in life - like the ability to walk. Sadly, I shouldn't have to be reminded of this... I should know and regularly acknowledge this gift! For walking is something I had to re-learn several years back from a former accident. I never want to forget how valuable it is to progress forward step by step. So, this morning I am in pain, but extremely grateful that my legs have been recently weakened from sciatica. Why? Because once again - even through the hurt, I am reminded to pause and give thanks for the blessing of being able to walk. (Thank you again, Lord.)
From a spiritual sense, all this has caused me to further consider the ever-present pain of sin in my Christian walk. You see, sin remains uncomfortably familiar in my every day on this earth. When I look to sin, it hinders and disables my progress for a new, healthy, holy life. But thankfully, God is always good. He continues to provide the solution of Jesus Christ - allowing me to see past my own corrupt human shortcomings and move forward toward His eternal hope.
So, today I am compelled to ask you also to consider this: How are you walking in your new life? Do you view each step as a blessing? Even past your current trials? Even past your present pain? Ladies, our Shepherd is waiting to lead us forward and out of our sin. He is ready to restore our souls no matter how intense our suffering. All other distractions, no matter how great or tremendous they may feel, are insignificant when compared to His glorious grace.
Will you look ahead? Will you believe His promised hope of good things to come? Can you rejoice and be glad no matter how difficult your pain? Can you acknowledge Him in all your ways? I hope so. For He has promised to direct your paths! He longs to restore your soul! He will lead you to the steps of His kingdom if you let Him... so let Him, and walk accordingly.
Today, my hope, my health, lies in the capable hands of the Great Physician... my Holy Comforter. Join me and let's choose to walk disciplined in faithful obedience to Him. Let's focus forward to His good, eternal kingdom and be deliberate to breath in His truths every moment of every day. His kingdom will indeed come. So, let's live enthusiastically in joy - for His will is already done. His plan cannot be altered. Our eternity and peace is made complete by His blood. So, let's walk in agreement and praise our King. Let's focus forward and see our Savior - past the trial... past the pain. Yes, let's only see the wonderful, perfect Savior. For our assurance is secure in His promise!
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
(The Solid Rock; Written By Edward Mote)
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)
© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson