There is no way for me to end the challenges myself, but something has to give here. My old idols that God has been working to free me from (vaguely referenced here a few months ago) are beckoning loudly telling me to come to them for comfort. And I've worn a permanent groove in the couch where I lay there for most of the day whenever Elias is napping. I'm a disappointment to myself and to those who care about me and depend on me, and it has to stop.
But I don't know how. I just don't have the ability to pull myself up by my bootstraps - I feel like somebody has just ripped off my bootstraps so there's nothing to even try to pull up on. My only hope is to throw myself at God's mercy and believe that He'll catch me there. But I've realized over the past couple days that I'm MAD at Him. For allowing all this crap into my life one thing after another, for making me so weak and foolish to not be able to bear these burdens that when I look at them rationally are SO LIGHT compared to anything else that anybody else suffers. Why can I not handle this?
So then this week in Bible study (Beth Moore's Daniel), she talked about selflessly enduring suffering for God's glory. The Lord used that to speak to my heart that I haven't even considered that He might be wanting to use this particular suffering for His glory. I just don't see how He could or would. I mean, if He asked me to move my family overseas and live a cross-cultural life for His glory, that would be hard, but I'd gladly go because I can obviously see how His glory could shine by my faithfully enduring that challenge. However, when He asks me to endure chronic back pain for His glory, that doesn't make sense to me. How can He be glorified by that? It, in fact, prevents me from being able to do things that according to my reason would much better glorify Him. The word He spoke to me on that regard is pretty much that He isn't asking me to apply my reason here - what He wants is my faith.
In my thinking about this, of course the Scriptures that God has brought to my mind are from Job. All that he endured didn't make a lick of sense, but God was glorified in his response.
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. ~ Job 2:7-10That definitely doesn't make any sense, but it's the kind of response that God is pleased with and so I need to take a lesson from it.
"Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him." ~ Job 13:15
So I guess I'm posting all this to ask for your prayers - not necessarily that God will bring me physical healing or even understanding about my challenges, but more that I'll find spiritual healing and renewed communion with the Lord. Instead of drowning in self-pity and my own skewed sense of personal injustice, I need greater faith in His sovereignty over my physical state and greater trust in His goodness that all suffering is given for a reason, even if I don't get it.
And I would love to hear any thoughts or comments, especially from any of you that may have walked this road before and can share personal experiences. I want to pass this test of my faith, and I want God to be glorified through it.