We all know what it is like to live with turmoil in life, which seeks to rob us of our peace. It stirs up chaotic, uncontrollable feelings inside. We try to deal with it ourselves, maybe talk about it, rationalise it, question it, and understand it. It is just there, and we live with it, often trying to ignore it or control it.
However, for some it is not just an inner battle. During the stress of the pandemic, it became apparent that, for our children, these inner pressures outworked physically through chronic health issues that seem to be medically unfixable and which are worsened through stress.
I will admit it was a huge battle for me to come to terms with this. Of course, I prayed for healing. Of course, I prayed for God to fix them. But that was not His way. I cried lots. I had words with God. I blamed myself frequently, and I talked with family and friends. I prayed, and prayed and prayed, until there were no words left, just an aching heart. But they remain ‘unfixed’.
But, in all of this, the Lord has led me on a journey of understanding. And now I am starting to see the blessing of our situation. Whilst most of us can get away with bottling things up, pushing them down, or denying them, my children can’t, because they know what will happen if they do, and they don’t want it to happen. They have the enormous blessing of a warning bell which says, “You are holding something in that is causing you distress.” And they can’t ignore it in the way most of us can.
I am learning the simplicity of having a thorn in our flesh, as Paul is referring to in this scripture. What we see as a problem, He sees as a blessing to us. It causes us to rely more on Him, to lean on Him, to see and do things His way.
For now, my prayers have changed. I want the Lord to ensure my children will go to Him with all their inner stresses and, when they have learned that lesson fully and wholeheartedly, the physical warning bell will no longer be needed, and He can remove it from their lives. As for now, they are blessed to have something most of us don’t, and I thank God for His ways, which far exceed our understanding.
Prayer: Dear God, I don’t know or understand Your ways. I don’t want to feel bad, suffer or struggle, but I also know that sometimes You provide us with warning bells that say I am in need of dealing with my inner stresses with You, and not to ignore them. Please help me run to You and not rely on my own ways of dealing with the struggles of life. Amen.
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