Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Just over three years ago, I wrote this. It shakes me to read it now, and I am challenged to have the same faith I had then. Once again I find myself needing to be "strengthened by His grace."
In July it will be four years since I developed fibromyalgia as a result of PTSD after a harrowing experience in Africa. And though I suffered through aches and pains for that long, it was just two weeks ago that a fourth doctor gave me a name for it, a diagnosis.
A new διάκοντος. Something else to press me into my Lord. Grace in yet another form that will forever form me.
I don't pray for healing. I didn't three years ago, and I don't now. Am I wrong?
But there are enough others to pray for healing. The Lord hears them too. I just pray for eyes to see ever-present grace. To wake up each morning with praise on my lips, even as moans frequently escape when my aching body's feet hit the floor. To praise even on the days when I don't make it out of bed because I'm just. too. tired.
And with enough audacity on certain days, when some sweet voice tells me I'm beautiful, I ask for the privilege of living a full life. I ask for even enough strength to make beds and wash dishes and wipe the runny noses of a quiver of God's gifted arrows. Will I get there? Only one day at a time will tell.
And with enough daring on certain days, when some stunned and softened voice tells me how much my quiet perseverance has encouraged them, I ask for even enough energy to serve those yet weaker than myself and to love the least and the lost. Will I get there? Only one day at a time will tell.
Prayers for grace are requests I know cannot be denied, for Grace is the air I live and breathe and with my dying breath I will see His face most clearly.
Healing may or may not be granted. Grace can never be denied, for all is grace. "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you" (1 Peter 5:10).
All is of grace; all is sourced in grace. Τὰ πάντα ἐκ χάριτος.
And the butterfly, the symbol of fibro, is my new symbol of grace. The grace of my persecutor, day by day transforming this mortal flesh into the image of God's immortal Son.