In my last blog I shared the following resources for those wanting to learn more about the experience of Lyme Disease and the journey to healing:
— The movie: Under Our Skin and
— The video story of Christa and Justin’s experience with Lyme Disease.
Links to these two are in the References Section of the Categories in the right-hand column. In this blog I’d like to go one step further. In my humble opinion, the most important journey regardless of whether we are sick or well, however, has nothing to do with an illness. The big, “It” in life to me is not determined merely by our attitude, our fitness, our success, our offspring, the work we do, the things we create. I submit to you that what “it” is about in this life is where you land on the path to meaningfulness.
Research shows that on one’s deathbed many people ask: was what I did, what I said, what I thought, whom or what I loved, what I experienced worth anything in the end? King Solomon tells us many times in the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes that the stuff of this life in the end is all “meaningless, like chasing after the wind.” Well if that’s coming from the wisest man that ever lived (next to Jesus Christ), putting our faith in the stuff of this life won’t get us anywhere! So translated to my current life experience: even if I recover from Lyme Disease and the associated illnesses, what does it matter if I have not wrestled with the larger questions of life? And if this is true, why do I spend so much time and energy on the earthly things? The answer is probably because I am weak and distracted from my Lord and Savior too much of the time.
I was reminded today by another blogger (The Busy Mom) that I would be wise to spend more time focusing on what the apostle Paul teaches in the New Testament Book of Philippians:
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (4:8)
Sounds good. These thoughts surely will create a positive effect on my healing from the inside out. And further, the words of Sarah Young in her book Jesus Calling suggested that a spirit of thankfulness awakens my awareness to a multitude of blessings, cushioning the impact of the trials of life (p. 215). She pointed to scripture that teaches we are to:
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18)
Therefore if I were to dabble more in these words of scripture I would simply fill my thoughts as noted above. Yeah but I still couldn’t do it in my own strength when the noxious symptoms and tasks of recovering from illness distract me from everything else, even God’s Word. When I am so weak that I cannot lift my head off of the pillow, I submit to you that to fulfill these commands are impossible without the power, grace and love that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit of the Triune God must speak them into my heart. It is only with God, James also teaches us in the New Testament, that we can:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
And the rewards of following the Lord are worth it. I won’t be lost in the rumination of my mind going over and over my sorry lot in life when I meditate on these words. I will no longer be distracted by pain, my list of “have nots,” and my unfulfilled wish list for this stage in my life. Exasperation will give way to peace. And most importantly for me, the journey will not be wasted. The journey will be rich with meaning, with discovery, with wonder. The earthly emotions of emptiness, guilt, discouragement, despair, and so on will fade away. Joy will come in the morning and in the night as well.
Those gentle readers who have died to self and trusted in the hope, promise, and saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, know what I am talking about. We can turn to His Word that He gave us for countless reminders of how He loves us, sees us exactly as we are in the circumstances and circus of our lives. We will never be alone whether in the midst of others or weary on our sick beds (Psalm 41:3). The benefits outweigh the risks of letting go and letting the God of Creation enter into our hearts: the One Who will come again in glory, restoring us to glory. We will dwell in a heavenly realm with him forevermore and that is a time far beyond our wildest imaginations. Forever with the Lord will be a time rich with meaningfulness!
Yes. I have Lyme Disease and a whole host of things wrong with me and my life. Yes. I am a child of the King Who goes before me, leads me, holds me, knows me, and is coming again for me and for you too. I pray that you will join me in looking beyond your circumstances for a NEW HOPE BEYOND LYME. It’s worth it!