I’ve heard that as Christians, our life can be best described like a rose: at the end is something beautiful, but along the way it can be full of thorns. This last week for me has been a considerable thorn as I fought a severe infection and am just now beginning to regain my strength. Being sick for this amount of time really got me thinking about rising up and overcoming adversity. For many of us, we are stuck in a state that God did not intend for us to stay in, one in which we never move forward. We may be one step from victory, but we are paralyzed by our diagnosis.
We have all received news of what we have or what’s wrong with us coupled with instructions on what to do and not to do, but getting our diagnosis is just the first step. As a believer in Christ, there is something in us that is so much bigger than us, but many of us can’t understand why we do the things we do. It’s like the apostle Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” As a follower of Christ, our ultimate diagnosis comes from Him alone. He is Jehovah Rophe, our divine healer and it was through His suffering that He purchased for us the Spirit and showed us an ultimate expression of His love. Christ was the atonement for our sins; He was pierced through our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, and by the stripes that were laid across His back we are healed.
It is only when Christ remains the focal point of our life that when we receive news that crushes us or when we have been besieged from all sides and are completely worn down that we still know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will neither leave nor forsake us and that He is with us always. Despite our diagnosis and through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we can rise above any oppression. If there is a mountain in our way, He will either move that mountain or He will give us wings to soar high above it. It is all a matter of His will and this is an important reality check. That mountain might be exactly where it is supposed to be in order to change us and that mountain might have to be moved one boulder at a time. This might be a hard pill to swallow for many, but Jesus never told us life was going to be easy; in fact, He told us it was going to be hard and it is by walking through life’s challenges and trials that we are transformed into His image.
What we must do in the midst of whatever is going on is have faith in His plan and wait upon the Lord, because when we do, He will give us new strength. Bad things happen to good people, but when the Lord is by our side, when we run, we will not get tired, and when we walk with Him, we will not grow weary. The more the world and life rise up against us and the more our adversity seems to weigh us down and burden us, the more God will renew us and give us a new song of praise to sing as He pours out new life and hope into us. Trust takes time, but when we can look beyond our circumstance and put our faith in God, He will give us wings to soar like the eagles. To God be the glory!