See Luminosity

Weary

Weary

I love my Lord. And I trust Him completely, and truly believe that He is always working for my good.

But sometimes I’m just weary of it all.

I’m a fighter. But these past few weeks even I have wanted to just surrender.

Life is so much harder than anyone tells you, when you start out this journey. Never, as a wide-eyed, self-assured young person who grew up in a world where everyone was loving and personal success was easy, did I have any idea of just how…

unyielding

excruciating…

exhausting

this life could be.

Health problems. Damaged relationships. Depression. Marital challenges. Crushed dreams. Financial struggles.

The death of a son.

I wish I could maintain my husband’s eternal glass-half-full perspective, but I can’t. Hope is a daily struggle. Peace often eludes me. Joy…

I can write about it better than I can live it.

In spite of knowing, and experiencing first-hand, how the trials of this life bring me to Him and change me for good, it has all just felt like an interminable fight, lately. And, to be honest, I am ready to just lay down my arms.

And, when I look at the world, I’ve got it good, compared to most.

I remember, years ago, listening to a Beth Moore study in which she described her longing to get to heaven. At the time, I just couldn’t understand the sentiment. Go to heaven? Why would you want to do that, when you’ve got life here?!

Ahhhh, the innocence, the ignorance of youth.

The Cop-Out of Heaven

No matter how much I understand that these trials sanctify me, I still want the easy road. I want the pain-free choice. I want the miracle and the promise and the “more than you ask or imagine” and the reward. And now that I have grown older and wiser and quite a bit more world-worn, my longing for heaven grows daily. Why? Because I know that when I get there, the pain will be over and I’ll get everything I’ve been longing for for so long in this life.

But I know that it’s a cop-out.

 

  • “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:2-10

He made us to long for heaven. But He has also given us a job to do here.

 

  • “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 9:17

No cop-out. No get out free card. No cheap grace. Our desire to please Him must supersede our desire to be pain-free. We have been bought with a price; we have a task, a job, a purpose to fulfill. And part of that job involves pain.

 

  • “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17
  • “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Yes. Pain. Christ suffered in this life. And it is through that suffering that He fulfilled His purpose. By doing so, He secured the place of no pain forever for us.

Why do I think I should be able to accomplish His purpose in this life without pain?

Or, maybe, the better question is:

Which do I want more: To accomplish His purpose or to be pain-free?

It is there, in the answer to that question, that the truest parts of ourselves are revealed.

Pain and Glory

There is, no doubt, a divine spiritual connection between pain in this life and glory in the next.

 

  • “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory….I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:13-20
  • “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11
  • “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions…” Colossians 1:24
  • “All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering…11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him…” 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 11-12
  • “Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God…12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day…Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” 2 Timothy 1:8, 12
  • “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” 2 Timothy 2:3-6
  • “For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.” 1 Peter 2:19
  •  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:9-10
  • “Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:10-11
  • “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

Not exactly “Beam me up to heaven, Lord, ‘cause I’m done with this sucky life.”

*SIGH*

Fighting the Good Fight

I can’t lay down my arms yet. I don’t get an easy way out to glory.

 

  • “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

It is the fire of suffering that burns away the facade and reveals what is truly inside us; that defines if we are truly His. And that is why, if we suffer well – if we suffer with eyes of Christ – we eventually get the prize.

Just a little bit longer.

Oh, but I am weary.

 

  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

It’s the truth I hold on to, as I fight the war of this life. I don’t fight alone.

 

  • “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble…” Psalm 91:14-15
  • “One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised.” Joshua 23:10
  • “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17
  • “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

My Fight

The 31st looms as a seemingly invincible foe in this life fight… One year.

In spite of all the Lord has done since Dominic’s death, there has not been some magical release from the pain of this life. Even though the innermost part of me kind of thinks I’m due it, there’s been no “You’ve suffered enough; I’m going to immunize you from the crap of this life for a while.” The hits of life still keep coming. And they will, until He takes me from this world.

 

  • “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

It is hard. It galls and tears and just really, really sucks. And right now I feel bruised, battered, and just incredibly, phenomenally weary. But His purpose for me is not yet complete. So I will stand up, weapons in hand, pray for His power, and fight on.

 

  • “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power… Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17

I pray that at the end of all of this, with His strength I can say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Longing for heaven, but fighting for His purpose – with His weapons, with His power – amidst the pain while I am here.

I will, because Christ did. And because I want the victory at the end.

6 Responses to “Weary”

  1. polly says:

    This is so good that I want to print it out for my Bible study notebook. Beautiful (and, yes, painful) truths.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much, Marycatherine. Amy – this article was actually inspired by that song…there couldn’t be a more perfect anthem for my feelings right now.

    • Martha Morgan says:

      Rebecca, thank you so much for sharing, and as I am sure you know, (and I feel your pain) I feel the exact same way, and keep praying for the strength to get through the next day and sometimes the next hour. Your articles are so encouraging to me, and I thank you so much for sharing.

      • Rebecca says:

        Thank you Martha. I want you to know that almost every time I go by Dominic’s grave, I go by Lora’s too. I love her gravestone, with the photo. Pray for you guys whenever I visit…I like that they are in the same place.

  3. Amy says:

    How much do you love “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North? Sheesh. I love it when someone writes a song that is EXACTLY how I feel.

    I know I need to lift my eyes up
    But I’m too weak
    Life just won’t let up
    And I know that you can give me rest
    So I cry out with all that I have left

  4. Marycatherine Cecil says:

    You have been close to my heart & in my prayers recently. I haven’t lost a child–and cannot imagine your loss–but the anniversaries of the deaths of our family members are so painful. The Lord bless you & keep you & give you peace, Rebecca. Remember, He counts your tears.

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