Recently I read a life-changing book entitled Inheritance, Clinging to God’s Promises in the Midst of Tragedy by Corey Russell. He made a profound statement,
“I’m grateful for books that share people’s testimonies of how they went through a horrible tragedy and came out on the other side. There even may be a sense of gratitude to the Lord for carrying them through it. But sadly I don’t hear that much on how the Word of God and specific chapters and realities, strengthened them.”
That statement stopped me dead in my tracks. If we don’t link the need for God’s Word, the Bible, to get us through hard times in life, others may never.
My hubby and I have dreamed of the day he would return to ministry. He was devastated after the death of his first wife and needed time to heal. Almost six years ago we married in the midst of our respective sons’ grieving the loss of their parent. We needed to become a solidified couple. After years of both of us healing we excitedly felt this summer would be a time of new beginnings. With anticipation we returned to his home state in June to stand before his denomination’s board to have his ministerial credentials reinstated. They unanimously agreed, expressing their hopes Gary was finally moving back to his home state. After returning to our home, we began packing and called a realtor. God even miraculously provided two people in the state government of Gary’s home state to assist us getting the necessary approvals to move our adult son with autism with us. All green lights. Until a week ago.
Just as we were needing to completely empty our home for the contractors who were coming the following Monday I became very ill. We’d been in a car accident shortly after our travels commenced in May, and both my husband and I sustained some neck pain from the rear impact to our car. Because we were in the middle of traveling I decided not to seek medical treatment as the pain wasn’t that bad.
However, upon returning home I joined the gym and began packing. With the added activity a minor ache became increasingly uncomfortable until last week I needed to seek medical care. I’ve gone to a chiropractor for years, and so made an appointment. Unfortunately I had a horrible reaction to the treatment. (In twenty years of seeing him this has never happened.) Within two days I was in excruciating pain accompanied by nausea and dizziness.
Last Saturday after a day in bed, my husband took me to the ER. Upon examination they discovered my neck was fine and just needed to heal, but my sodium levels were 15 points below normal – low enough to be life threatening. I was admitted and stayed four days, and was discharged two days ago.
Unfortunately, the contractors had to be cancelled because we weren’t ready, and a cruise to Alaska my sister and I had excitedly planned for months left the dock yesterday without me. The contractor won’t be available for another 2 weeks, and my husband is now working a job with such a long commute he’s too exhausted to work on the house. On top of it all I contracted bronchitis while in the hospital, and so now am too sick to do much. Everything has come to a screeching halt.
How the Bible has sustained me during this time:
I recently studied Galatians 2:20 (below) in a Bible study entitled, Who DO YOU THINK You Are? by Ray Leight. This verse has sustained me through pain, nausea, dizziness, sleepless nights, disappointment, bronchitis, and now stalled dreams:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
You might be thinking, “What a strange verse to bring comfort!” I know, I’d have thought the same until recently.
Until recently I understood this verse to mean, “This is what is expected of me as a believer. I’m to die to my flesh and let Christ fully live in me. A goal to attain to but unlikely to master in this lifetime.”
My study added a rich and beautiful depth of meaning which caught me off guard:
God sees me as already crucified with Christ.
It’s not a choice given me to make. The verse states emphatically, “I have been crucified with Christ…” something that has already happened and continues to happen.
But it doesn’t leave me there! Since I’m dead in Christ
- My strength and abilities aren’t even part of the equation.
- He must act on my behalf. It’s all up to Jesus!
- His abilities
- His strength
- His wisdom
- His life
As dead I must rely on His life alone, and these gifts are at my disposal!
I can’t come up with anything to offer other than to remain in Him and He in me.
I can hear it now: “Robin you say that so flippantly as though it were easy!”
Keep reading!The only way I can remotely accomplish living dead in Christ is to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. He's the power behind it all. Click To Tweet
Read Romans 8:11.
God offers us an amazing exchange, our inability for His extraordinary ability:
- Life’s struggles and trials are met with Christ’s ability to conquer and endure.
- Life’s pain is carried with Christ’s strength.
- Life’s questions are answered with Christ’s wisdom.
I’ve lived long enough to realize that I’m actually tired of trying to make life work my way, my terms. I’ve discovered I’m not powerful enough and I want something that is guaranteed to work.
God guarantees this.
The direct impact of this passage on my life this week :
I had been looking forward to my first cruise to Alaska with my sister for weeks. We’d dreamt of doing this for years! Also, she and I don’t get a lot of time together, and this was scheduled to be our annual summer vacation together, always just the two of us.
In addition, all the packing and stress of the last weeks was going to be left at the dock in Seattle as we boarded! But… now I was too sick to make my flight to Seattle one day after being discharged from the hospital.
Choosing to live dead to my own dream by the power of God’s Spirit, I trusted this for some reason was Christ’s greatest good for me.
This gave me an ability to rest in an unexplainable peace and true joy as I wished my sister an amazing trip yesterday morning. She left Seattle for Alaska without me. And I was very okay.
Only God.The power of the Bible coupled with the power of God's Spirit are very essential gifts from God to sustain us in life's trials . Click To Tweet
Any stories you’d like to share about the power of God’s Word, the Bible, to sustain you? I’d love to hear them, and possibly share them with my readers, with your permission, of course.
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