Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


Living with Less

Today is my doctor appointment. It's nothing major, just a prescription refill, and my three month update point. He wants to keep an eye on my situation and record changes in pain and symptoms. I appreciate his professional care so much.

However, yesterday I felt a little blue. You see, sometimes I can pretend that I don't have a chronic illness, that my pain is the same as everyone else's and that I have to see my doctor just as a routine. But as I prepare my list of things to tell him, I am faced with my own reality that I do in fact have an illness that requires daily management. As many of you know, chronic conditions tend to blur from day to day and because there is no sharp beginning and end, "normal" is hard to define. 

Last night I asked my husband to pray for me. He prayed that God would heal me, straight up, right then and there. But then he also prayed tenderly that God would strengthen my ability to handle this disease, that He would encourage me and give me hope, that God would comfort me with His presence and remind me that nothing satisfies except for God. He prayed for God's blessings to pour down on my life and give me purpose within the pain. 

He was right. There is no better prayer than that one. It reminded me what I've been reading in Matthew this week...

Jesus said... "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You're blessed when you're content with just who you are–no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought. You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat." Matthew 5:1-6 (The Message)

Jesus is saying that to be at the end of my rope, living with less, living with loss, being content with who I am and allowing God to be the One who brings satisfaction....is the best place to be. A blessed place!

So, as you and I face our own realities today...as we see what is lacking and what seems less than it should be, as we feel our hunger and our longing for satisfaction...may we turn to the One who can truly satisfy and bring deep peace to our souls. May we find courage to live well and for purposes beyond what we can see. May God expand our faith to believe that He is up to something good in our circumstances and that the story is not finished yet. May we trust God's love to be enough for our deepest longings and celebrate as He brings comfort and encouragement to our lives.

Have a great week!