I’m not gonna lie...this type of existence totally blows. Sometimes it almost feels like it’s happening to someone else...as if I’m looking at some strange woman passed out on my parent’s spare bed...with a dozen prescription bottles within reach. Every morning I wake up hoping that today will be the day I feel better. And every day I’m reminded that I’m a prisoner of my broken body. The one word question, “again?” has become my heart’s lament.
And yet, even as you are confronting the agony of your own struggle...you’re praying unceasingly for a girl lying on her parent’s spare bed. That’s why...when I’m lying in bed, contemplating my “again”...my mind wanders to you. As a girl who has often found the Church wanting...lately I’ve been awed and humbled by the splendor of His Bride.
That’s why for the last few days, I’ve had a terrible sense of urgency to tell you something. Something that Abba has revealed to me in slow, agonizing glimpses...over a year of extreme refining.
Even though it’s very, very hard to believe on some days...I’ve learned that suffering isn’t shaped liked a boomerang. That would imply that we alone have the strength to remove it (which is good news...because when we’re facing our “agains,” strength is often hard to come by). No, the shape of our suffering is just another lie from the enemy. He wants us to believe that we should always be looking over our shoulder...so, that we’ll miss the flaming arrows headed straight toward us.
He also wants us to focus on our own misery and bitterness long enough...that we feel alone and hopeless. Imprisoned by fear and facing our own impending doom. What a total load of hooey.
Believe me...this is not my chosen method of refinement. I’d rather drink mint juleps as I’m being fanned by a good-looking man reading me Song of Solomon. But, alas, Abba has decided to use my broken body to show me some profound truths. Because the more times I stand up in the midst of my misery...the more I begin to see the big picture.
It’s kinda like Google maps. The Accuser wants us to only see things at street level...but if we want to see what the God of Universe is up to...well, then...we have to zoom out. And...man oh man...what a view. Turns out, I’m not standing alone in a boxing ring. I’m standing in the shadow of my Father’s wings. I can see His strong right hand upholding me. He alone is my shield. The horn of my salvation. My strong tower. He is surrounding me with songs of deliverance. He has delivered my soul from death...and my eyes from tears. No weapon forged against Him will stand. He will satisfy my needs and strengthen my frame. He will bind up my broken heart and bestow me with a crown of Beauty. And the more I’m forced to push through the “agains” of suffering...the more I am forged in the truth that the Lord my God is with me...and He is mighty to save.
Friends...we are not prisoners of suffering, fear, or our broken bodies. No, we are prisoners of hope (Zechariah 9:12). And through this Divine hope...we will see the redemption of our “agains.”
Hold fast to the truth. Keep standing up. Push through the fear. And remember...if you have a British accent...”again” is pronounced...a-gain. Hallelujah. Amen. (Z-snap)