As Victor Meldrew used to say, “I don’t belieeeeeve it!”! I had a plan – a ‘framework’ type of plan for these 3 weeks, yes, but beyond that I had a plan for blogging about it. Well, I had such a great flow of ideas/revelation in the first days back from holiday that I made notes on about 7 topics waiting to be tackled in black and white – good stuff, precious stuff, worth tussling with, worth sharing!
Fabricating a framework was my idea of how to start off that series – give some background for what comes next. I have to admit it was quite a struggle to write – perhaps that comes through in reading it too? Martin just said, ‘What’s the point of this post?’! Then yesterday I found I couldn’t get into the writing at all – couldn’t find a starting point… ah, I realise now what I’ve done: I was using my head instead of my heart!
Minds and thinking have a place – trying to be logical and all that – but my mode of operation is declared to be ‘out of the fulness of the heart’. For me it has to be that way – an act of creation coming from a spiritual place. As someone said, there are times when he can actually see that I am just yielding to the words as they come out of me – it’s like I hit a ‘scarlet streak’; those are the best times, the inspired, ‘out of the heart’ times, when I am in a flow. Of course I have to stop and think about it, make sense of it, put it in order, choose the best words to use, find the references to nail my argument or whatever… but I am no academic and this is no dry discussion of ideas. Without what some of us call ‘anointing’ I am lost; without the heart connection, the ‘opening of a vein’ there is no point to it… Hello, writer’s block.
That is not the Oh. No. If it were I wouldn’t be writing now. I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies – it was a terrible night thinking I was going to be silenced! But it was a bad night for another reason too…
The fatigue has come back 😦 Since a too-busy afternoon on Friday I have been experiencing all the old symptoms – aches and pains all over, headaches, just feeling really tired and needing to lie down… not all the time, thank the Lord, but in the mornings and evenings and being uncomfortable all night.
I am gutted. I clearly and deliberately said I didn’t believe it was happening again – though if you read that first Jacob post you’ll know it was a question mark while we were on holiday – but it seems I may have to eat my words. I’m not sure I know how to handle that, ‘what I feared has come upon me’ thing (Job 3v25)… Gosh, that’s a reminder of a historic post from the archives!
Back to Job in a minute. Talking of eating my words, one of the topics I wanted to blog on is ‘I repent’, because I have had to repent of a few things I have said lately – like not singing those old worship songs again (‘faded, sickly ballads’ I called them… sorry!) I have actually been picking up my guitar to sing on a few days over the past week ad finding some old songs still have life in them – and I was woken up to pray at 5am one morning! That hasn’t happened for a very, very long time – I thought those days were (thankfully?) over for me! – but it seems it is still in the Lord’s arsenal and the Holy Spirit still knows how to do that (Romans 8v26-27 = best way of praying!) if I will allow it. So, I guess, never say ‘never’ to God! I repent.
Anyway – this fatigue… bummer. Perhaps what I thought was faith (‘That will never happen to YOU!’) was presumption?! How often do we make Peter’s mistake?! But – oh dear! – I get so frightened by this – and not a little angry! I lie awake for hours at night unable to sleep, when sleep is what I crave… oh where did I put those sleeping tablets? I guess it’s ‘post viral’ cos we’ve had colds forever… the pain in my hip’s still there too, but that’s probably muscular. And so the mind whirls round and round… but always my biggest fear is that it is never going to go away!
I wonder if physical pain isn’t perhaps the worst kind of suffering people face…? I know emotional journeys can be as deep – tell me about it – but when you can’t think straight, can’t get away from feeling ill and awful, can’t forget it for one second – it can take over everything. And my pain is not even constant or very severe – it’s just a ‘sick discomfort’ in my legs, shoulders and stomach. It may not even last very long – please God!– especially if I get the ‘submitting and resisting’ balance right quickly – like I did eventually last time? Hmmm, that doesn’t even sound very convincing to me!
In the story of poor suffering Job, after destroying his possessions and family in chapter 1, satan came back to God for another angelic council. God continues to boast over his righteous servant, whose response to the disaster has been, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord’ Job 1v21. ‘He still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason’, says God (Job 2v3). That is when satan says, ‘Skin for skin’ and is given permission to make Job physically suffer, ‘A man will give all he has for his own life’ (Job 2v4)… I suppose Jesus is the One who finally proved that wrong!
What do we make of it all – spiritually, I mean? Of course I can pray, ‘please Lord, make me well again, restore my strength’ (and I was doing SO well! grrrrr). But is there more going on here? It has struck me lately that healing is by definition a process… when we pray for instant healing that would be better defined as a miracle… and also by definition we don’t see very many of those!
So is there a process here for me to engage with? The obvious answer comes immediately ‘Wait for the Lord and you will renew your strength’ (Isaiah 40v31): surely it is a matter of timing? Meanwhile, rest – and live one day at a time – and don’t be afraid, for ‘I AM with you’. I certainly do need faith, not fear – and to keep my heart soft towards the Lord; it is so easy to get resentful and bitter against One who surely has the power to protect us from such things…! That is always the test of faith: will I, like Job, keep my integrity or curse God for letting something ‘bad’ come into my wonderful life?!