This post of Ann's, Don't Give Up - it is so good.
But in embracing the gospel we find ourselves also drafted into a war—a war to keep believing the gospel and a war to spread it to others. In this age we “strive to enter that [complete] rest” of the age to come. (Hebrews 4:11)
And wars are exhausting—especially long ones. That’s why you are often tired. Most soldiers who experience the fierceness of combat want to get out of it. That’s why you feel urges to escape or surrender. That’s why there are times you’re tempted to give up. (A Holy Experience, bold emphasis mine.)
I'm constantly fighting weariness these days. (I feel like I say that every other post these days.) The joy of my faith is shaky and sometimes I'm hanging on so tightly my knuckles are white. Yet, if I've learned anything about the character of God, it's that those white-knuckled moments are some of His favorites.
Not that God enjoys seeing us worn out and desperate any more than Jesus delighted in seeing Mary and Martha's pain over the death of their beloved brother Lazarus. Our God values those moments because He knows we are more open to the whisper of His voice; less hesitant to ask for and accept His deep love and true help. This story in the book of John is so profound. Jesus knew something larger than life was going to come from Lazarus's death, and yet He wept with the sorrow of those who mourned. He wept!
If the battle is sometimes simply to believe, then my battle right now is to believe God hears me, weeps with me, and that His hand is working where I cannot see. Jesus knew he could heal Lazarus and spare his family the pain of losing him, but He did not. I truly believed God could heal my friend's cancer, but He did not.
"If Jesus allows a delay, then it is because He has some eternal reason. Our call in the waiting is to cling to Him." Meet Jesus, A Quench Bible Study*And since He did not, where does that leave me? If big, audacious belief is the hallmark of a believer on fire for Jesus, then my dare-to-believe dream is healing. Nowhere in the Bible do we find Jesus leaving a believer with a broken heart. He heals. My wide, crazy, resolute belief is that my broken heart will heal, that the hearts of Stacey's husband and children and family will grow whole again. That we will all manage to put one foot in front of the other until we can run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31). That the vise of pain that grips them (and me) is not meaningless and not forever.
Just turning my mind firmly toward that belief makes me lighter. Jesus heals.
He loves us with a perfect love and He heals our sin and our pain with His death on the cross. The battle is to believe, because everything in this broken world fights against hope.
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