When a person is diagnosed with a disease, he has two options as to how he will allow the disease to affect his emotional and spiritual well-being. The first is he can use the disease to strengthen who he is as a person. The second is to become broken in body, mind, and spirit. This happens because he allows himself to become defeated. Having done both of these things, I can honestly say that even though the second option is the easiest choice, it is not the best decision.
After living in defeat, I knew I had to change the way I looked at life. So I made the decision that I wouldn't allow my illness to steal anything from me, aside from my health. I wouldn’t allow lupus and Crohns to make me weak emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There have been days this has been incredibly difficult – days I have had to fight through the pain and be kind to someone when I wanted to lash out at them. There have been days I had to fight tooth and nail to keep from falling into a pit of depression. There have been days I’ve had to fight the urge to not be angry at God for allowing me to suffer. And I’ll tell you a secret: it has been worth it. Despite how hard it has been, I don’t regret for one second making the decision to not allow my illness to break my spirit. There is so much I would have missed out on if I hadn’t done this.
When God creates us, He has a specific plan for how He wants to use each of us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago,” (NLT). But we can’t be used by Him if we allow our illness to place a spirit of negativity and brokenness within us. Personally, I think Satan wants this very thing. He wants us to give in to the urge to quit truly living, and be miserable, broken people. Because if we do, we are not a threat to him. God can’t use people who live in defeat.
Unfortunately, there have been times I've bought into the lie which says those who are broken in body are useless and will never amount to anything. I wish I could go back in time and change the way I’ve behaved, but I can’t. None of us can. All we can do is vow to change and begin again. Thankfully, God is the God of second chances. He is helping me be filled daily with the truth of who I am in Christ. I hope and pray you will choose to do the same.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-3 (New Living Translation)
(c) April 4, 2012