This post first appeared on Seriously Write.
I’m at a crossroad. My latest novel just published. I’m working on my first non-fiction project. My husband is newly retired. We’re praying for discernment of God’s purpose in retirement. And, just as a pandemic threatens the world, I feel and see symptoms of my autoimmune disease worsening. These are the tests that refine us.
We’re scanning the horizon, searching for the Lord’s direction. We wait to see how he will lead us, because my illness factors into every consideration, altering and complicating our plans.
Many authors have chronic illnesses. These are widespread throughout the writing community. When we meet, we swap medical stories. None of us wanted to have this in common, but we do. Only God knows why, and he has a purpose. We can merely surmise the reasons and apply truths inherent in this experience. No matter what, in every scenario, our lives are in God’s hands.Many authors have chronic illnesses. These are widespread throughout the #writingcommunity. None of us wanted to have this in common, but we do. Only God knows why. Click To Tweet
God uses our words to encourage a suffering world. Lessons learned during suffering apply to anyone who goes through hardship. Crafting uplifting and strengthening words allows us to minister to readers who suffer. The Lord opens the door.God uses our words to encourage a suffering world. Lessons learned during suffering apply to anyone who goes through hardship. Crafting uplifting words allows us to minister to readers who suffer. #WritingCommunity Click To Tweet
We can impress upon others the necessity of selfcare—a basic human need—as we tend to our immune systems, so important in this pandemic. Writers spend enormous amounts of time bent over laptops in positions that stress our bodies. When the flow of the words and the plot of the story take over, we forget to notice our posture, to stand and stretch, and to take frequent drinks of water. These are common omissions that weaken our bodies, contributing to illnesses.
Chronic illness requires us to care for our bodies, so we can keep them functional. We must wait upon Jesus for the strength to do our work each day. We must cry out to him for guidance about what he would have us to do, now that this daily difficulty has come to pass. Our path is muddied and our way uncertain. We can easily lose sight of our purpose. Our eyes must remain fixed on Jesus in every situation, now as always.
Isaiah begins: “Do you not know? Have you not heard?” Surely, you’re aware of this incredibly significant information, he implies. God, the everlasting God, the One who reigns forever, the Creator, well, he never grows tired and weary. Unlike us, he’s always on the job, carrying us along, moving us forward, orchestrating everything for our good.
His understanding is above our comprehension. All of us, no matter our health, must trust the Lord, hoping in and waiting on him, regardless of the situation. It’s essential. God empowers the weak. He gives strength to the weary. He helps those who falter. We need his help.
Will we trust him?
The Creator causes us to soar on wings like eagles, to rise above our physical constraints, to run and not grow weary. Only the Lord can empower us not to grow faint or discouraged, no matter the crisis. We rely on him alone, no matter what, even during a pandemic and a bad season of influenza.
Will we hope in and wait on him?
Whether sick or well, all human beings, writers or not, find ourselves facing times of questions and times of difficulties. What will we do? Will we run wildly off without God’s guidance? Or will we wait, pausing in trust?All human beings find ourselves facing times of questions and times of difficulties. What will we do? Will we run wildly off without God's guidance? Or will we wait, pausing in trust? #WritingCommunity Click To Tweet
The knowledge that the Lord gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak is like finding an oasis in the desert. Weariness, pain, and malaise are my daily companions. And yet, for God’s work done in God’s way, he has always given the necessary strength. If he has work for me to do, he will strengthen me for it, even if it’s written from bed.
My only certainty is in my God. I wait upon him to renew my strength, to give me energy for his project, whatever it is, no matter how long the recovery time afterward and no matter the current crisis.
Will I listen to his guidance? Will you?