Recently, in a Facebook group for women with disabilities, one of our rank was discussing how she was just really struggling with her disability. She said her injury had happened many years before and she really didn’t know where this was all suddenly coming from. I love this group, because immediately, we were all over that with love and encouragement and a very long thread how all of us have seasons dealing with the exact same thing.
Fast forward to another Facebook group I belong too for Pastor’s Wives only. Guess what? A pastor’s wife was greatly struggling because some people in her church had been very ugly to her family and told them they were not welcome at a certain church function. It broke her heart. Once again, Pastor’s wives across Facebook flocked to share love to her hurting heart.
I was at a Bible study the other night and there were 3 mothers sharing their broken hearts over their grown children. My heart wept with them as they were desiring to trust God to help in these situations.
A dear friend called me today with a very serious health problem. Her husband had an accident last year, her daughter faced a serious health crisis and now this friend is facing a life-changing surgery, and they are terrified they are going to lose their home. She was so weary and my heart broke for her as we talked and I tried my best to love on her and encourage her across our many miles. I wish I was a millionaire and could at least take one burden off of her.
Do you see a theme here? Life is a battle. So many people are facing battles that we know nothing of. The silent wife who dreads her husband’s angry outbursts. The child who will be abused by selfish parents. The parent who mourns the addictions their grown child is bound in. The pastor whose people misunderstand him. The student who will face the bully again tomorrow. The employee who will be made fun of again for his beliefs. It is real and these things happen every single day.
One of these is enough to weary you in the battle. Let alone two or more going on simultaneously! When we are in the midst of this, it is a battle to keep a smile on your face, a song on your lips and joy in your heart. You want to show the world that you are strong, but inside you feel like you are about to crumble in a thousand pieces. You want everyone to think you are brave, but inside you tremble and weep. You do not want anyone feel sorry for you, but you long for someone to understand what you are going through.
The battle is hard. It can be very lonely. It can be terrifying. It can be soul-searching as you try to figure out if it is really even worth your effort to fight anymore. Lester Roloff once said, “When you are in the valley, farm it.” It sounds wonderful but so far, in my valleys, I have been too weak to farm. Maybe crawl, but not farm. The battle is raging and many times, we are ready to go AWOL. What can we do? How do we find strength in our battles? How do we go on?
- Remember Who I fight for.
I am reminded of II Timothy 2:3 that says, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” To read this is one thing. To live it is another. I want to endure hardness as a good soldier. I know I am a soldier of Jesus and so I have to remember that this battle is for His glory. I may be the flag bearer that goes down in the battle, but keeps the flag flying! I am a soldier of Jesus! My Commander fought the greatest battle for me on Calvary and with that victory, He gained my salvation. He was afraid. He was in pain. He went through tortures that we can never imagine. But He stayed and fought and won. Scriptures even say that He could have called 10,000 angels to come rescue Him, but He did not. Death lost that day and if my Commander can die for me, then I can follow Him and live for Him even when it is hard and scary and I am weary.
- Remember my orders.
In Deuteronomy 31:6, we are told to, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” That is a tall command! “Be strong! Be courageous! Don’t be afraid!” Really? That is NOT how I feel when I am weary! It is more like, “Hide! Curl up in a ball and scream! Panic!! Panic again! Cry! Run everyone off so I can be alone!” But no, that is not our orders. We are told what to do and then reminded how. Because HE will not fail me or forsake me. Everything and everyone else may, but my Captain will not. He is in the trenches with me. He is fighting for me. He will not run AWOL on me – even if I want to on Him!
We must conquer the head battle before we ever engage in the physical battles. If an enemy can get in your head and start playing with you, he has already won part of the battle. We must keep our focus on our commander and on our orders.
- Remember how to get help.
You do not fight without strength. I am afraid that many times we get weary because we have stopped giving ourselves the basics – like rest and food and water! Every soldier must eat his rations or he will get weak. He must, at some point, get some rest or he will sloppy and ineffective. He must stay hydrated so every cell in his body will work properly and be in a prepared state. How do we get strength when we are weary?
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31. Oh how I love this verse! I have quoted it to myself so many times!
I remember my first year of paralysis when I was in therapy and they wanted me to get up on long leg braces and try to walk. It was SO exhausting. It would take so long to go so little. It would take every single cell in my body and muscles from my neck down to where there were no working muscles to just try to get my shoulders to swing my leg 4 inches. I would finish, dripping in sweat, absolutely exhausted. I would sleep all the way home from therapy!
Therapy was trying to help teach my body to get stronger. There were trying to renew my strength in muscles that no longer worked. They were trying to help me get strong by working me hard! God isn’t like that. He does things differently than we humans do. Remember, His ways are not our ways. God says to get strong we must simply wait.
I have felt this way so many times spiritually and emotionally. Every step you try to take forward is met with such opposition! Our minds and hearts scream in pain to what we are battling. But God doesn’t say to keep working harder. He doesn’t say to keep trying. He doesn’t say to fake it till you make it. He doesn’t say to do more and more. He says wait. Just wait.
To keep in context, that verse starts with the word, “But”, which is a conjunction so we must go back and see what we are joined with. Did I say I love this passage?
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, theLord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
That is our Commander up there in verse 28. The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator! He doesn’t faint. Ever. He doesn’t get weary. Ever.
Because of that, He will give us power. He will increase our strength when we have none left. He will mount us up and once again, we will run and not be weary. We will walk and not faint. It may not be the journey that we planned, but it will be the journey that He has planned.
Weary soldier, I do not know where you are but I assure you I have been there. I do not know your battle but I have certainly had my own. I know this. I am still fighting. And so will you.
Keep you eyes on your Commander, keep your orders in your heart and wait on the Lord who will give you just what you need to face each day!