Welcome to Day 18 of Resetting the Rhythms of Life. In our quest to refocus our attention on self-care or soul-care, let us spend a little time being present to the things that truly weigh us down … the things that are chronic … the things that are too big for us to handle alone. Let’s remember that we’re not alone! The Lord is with us! He fights for us, as we still our hearts and rest in His love.
Do Not Lose Heart
For more than a decade, I have suffered with Hypothyroidism (low Thyroid). Three years ago, this turned into an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s.
At times, while enduring chronic illness, I lose heart.
Will I always suffer with this? Will it keep getting worse? What can I do to get better? How can I focus on my health without it taking over my life?
There are moments when I take my medication and supplements like clockwork, and follow my eating plan to a T.
But then I swing the other way. I grow discouraged, weary, and overwhelmed by all that I am trying to do for my health, on top of my normal mom duties and household tasks.
I cry out to God, “How can I be a good mom to my six children when I am battling fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog? Why are You allowing this? What is Your plan in this? It seems so unfair to my kids, Lord.”
One day, God responds with a verse from second Corinthians. It begins with, “Do not lose heart.” In prayer, He continues, “Yes, this is an affliction, Sarah. It is hard and burdensome. But it is a slight moment in My eternal perspective.”
As I converse with God, He shows me that I am looking at “the things that are seen.” My low energy, my weight struggle, my foggy brain, my feelings of failure, my thoughts of not being the mom my kids deserve.
But God invites me to focus on “the things that are unseen that are … eternal.” It is a lesson in perseverance, constancy, trust, and dependence on Him. It is an opportunity to be more charitable and patient with myself.
My conversation with God leads me to share my feelings of discouragement, failure, and doubt with a dear priest. And his response confirms what I heard in prayer. He reminds me that our faith is deeper than our feelings and stronger than our circumstances. Our faith tells us that when we look up at the sky and see nothing but gray clouds, the sun is still shining above them.
I continue to battle Hashimoto’s, and how I accept and surrender it is far from perfect. But with God’s grace, I continue to walk more by faith and not just by sight.
Take a few moments to quiet your heart. Breathe in and out.
Read today’s Scripture verse.
“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” —2 Corinthians 4:16-18
After reading the verse once, read it one or two more times.
What stands out to you? A word, feeling, thought …
Do you feel like you are losing heart? Is something heavy wearing you down? Illness? Financial difficulty? Family tension? Job insecurity?
I invite you to close your eyes and imagine Jesus right in front of you. In your hands, You are holding whatever it is that is burdensome. It is heavy. Your arms are tired from holding it, your back is sore. Your heart feels like it is breaking. You’ve struggled alone with this for far too long.
Jesus stretches His arms toward you. He is inviting you to give Him this particular burden. With love in His eyes, He desires you to trust Him with this. More than anything, He wants to carry the weight of this for you.
He reminds you that you are not alone in your affliction. He walks with you, sits with you, rests with you.
Are you able to surrender your burden to Him? No matter how you are feeling right now, take a few moments to converse with Jesus about this, asking for the grace to surrender, to trust, and to lean on Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for encouraging me not to lose heart. Even with this affliction that seems more permanent than temporary, I trust that You are with me in it. You will help me through it. I pray that I can learn from this burden: how to trust You more, how to love others more, how to take care of myself better. Thank You for our time together today. Thank You for the rest, peace, and hope I find only in You. Amen.