I am so blessed in the midst of this whole thing to be in good company! There are many of you out there who have had similar experiences and have given words of encouragement and wisdom. I am forever grateful! It seems this Anxiety/depression phenomenon is more widespread than I realized. A few years back this fabulous preacher in Texas, Tommy Nelson, went through the same thing. He was later interviewed by Family Life Canada about the whole ordeal. It has been great to hear such a wise man (that Will and I often listen to online), share the same struggles and thoughts that I have had in the past few months. Interestingly, in older times this imbalance of brain chemistry was referred to as Melancholy. Obviously they didn’t know it was brain chemistry at the time, but they were aware that it was more than simply a negative mood or inadequate coping behaviors… they knew there was something medically wrong. And again I find myself in good company with the likes of Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, Lord Tennyson, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charlotte Bronte.
Why do I share all this today? Well, I was feeling very thankful this morning as I dropped Caleb off at preschool and headed to Starbucks by myself to read. This is one of my favorite past times and I have not done it since 2009. That’s right; nearly 3.5 months of not doing one of your favorite things… and today I got to do it. It shows how far I have come since January. I thought to myself, “There have been so many who have gone before me in disorder, and they have survived and paved the way, I will do the same!”
My reading today brought me to 2 Corinthians 12, a very fitting chapter for sure! Paul has been given what he calls a “Thorn in his side”. He begs the Lord to take it away, and here is the response… vs. 9-10 (This is in the amplified so it is a bit wordy)
“But He said to me, ‘My Grace (My favor and loving-kindness, and mercy) is enough for you (Sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully); for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and complete) and show themselves most effective in your weakness.’
Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
So for the sake of Christ, I am pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak (in human strength) then I am truly strong (able, powerful in divine strength).”
How incredible is that?
Here is what A.B. Simpson wrote about it:
“Here is the secret of divine all-sufficiency, to come to the end of everything in ourselves and in our circumstances. When we reach this place, we will stop asking for sympathy because of our hard situation or bad treatment, for we will recognize these things as the very conditions of our blessing, and we will turn from them to God and find in them a claim upon Him.”
So where are you dear reader? I know where I am! I have nothing left to give or to manipulate in my circumstance. My hands are off and are instead turned heavenward in praise and supplication. What a place to be! Having a “thorn” in your side is not fun, in fact it is often painful, but I can honestly call it a blessing. How about you? Is there a trial, a suffering, a circumstance, a pain, a “thorn” in your life? Are you ready to take pleasure in it as Paul did or call it a blessing as Simpson has? Thoughts to ponder. Love u -T