Tonight, in my suffering, I find a strange type of joy. Joy even though I can’t sleep and ache and am weary. I hope sharing this with you makes a difference and helps you draw nearer to the Lord.
Here is why I’m thankful for my failing health:
#1) I’m thankful that what I lack in health, I have gained in faith and hope.
#2) I’m thankful broken health has caused me to accept the brevity of life. I am not fooled to think I could live forever here on earth. That translates to entirely trusting God with my husband and my children. And I’m thankful it causes me to pray for them with an eternal perspective. Sowing all the seeds I can, while I can.
#3) I’m thankful that I no longer take for granted any energy I do have to care for my family and others. Every ounce of energy is from the Lord.
#4) I’m thankful that, because I can’t rely on coffee, sugar, adrenaline, adequate calories or sleep, it has caused me to function, live, and depend on prayer alone. In Christ alone.
#5) I’m grateful that when I am weak, He is strong.
#6) I’m thankful failing health has forced me to move slower. Schedule less. Be home more. Embrace rest.
#7) I’m thankful for how the Lord has used my physical brokenness to break me free from striving, earning and pleasing. He’s caused me to be content to rest in Him.
#8) I’m thankful I now know what it means that “His grace is sufficient for me.”
#9) I’m thankful I now have an empathy and compassion for others who find themselves in the pit that only comes from walking (or laying flat on my face) in the pit myself.
#10) I am grateful that my health has required me to be vulnerable enough to ask for help and accept help when I need it.
#11) I’m thankful that vulnerability and reaching out to others has this beautiful ripple effect. As people care for each other, spend time together, prayer for each other, serve each other, it creates a rich soil for friendships and community and family to flourish. I guarantee your closest relationships draw it’s roots from hardships you’ve endured together. I’m thankful God designed it that way.
#12) I’m thankful that my experiences have given me a small taste of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. His dry mouth, weary bones, exhaustion, emotions of abandonment (Psalm 22). It’s a taste of His body broken and His blood poured out for me. I’m thankful it’s a closer communion with my Savior.
#13) I’m thankful I’m not tempted to think earth is my home. I don’t seek out comfort in things below. I set my heart on things above where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
#14) I’m thankful this path of suffering has allowed me to experience the “peace that is beyond understanding.” Sure, it is not pretty when hormones are beyond my control or my blood sugar lashes out or my body panics. I hate when my body revolts against me. But deep down, beyond the surface behaviors and emotions, I have this deep peace that you can’t explain. And it’s not going anywhere! The Prince of Peace makes His home in my heart. And I am thankful!
#15) I’m thankful for how my chronic illnesses have kept me closer to the Lord. There is beauty in seeking the Healer in faith to just be healed. And there is more beauty in seeking the Comforter in faith in order to just be near Him, to just to be held.
Love, Danita Jenae
When I fall down you pick me up,
When I am dry you fill my cup,
You are my all in all.”
Father, we want to pray for our dear friends who are struggling or whose children are struggling. We have so many names and faces come to my mind as we pray this and you know every one of them.
Gather us up in your strong able arms. Gather us near. Let us know the deep peace and assurance that comes from putting our hope in You. Heal us. Hold us. We thank you for your blood and righteousness. Our hope is found in nothing less.
We love you, Lord. We praise you. We bless you. We delight to sing your name, Jesus.
And in Jesus’ name, the strong Son of God we say, amen!