It’s been a challenging fall this year. Diagnosed with pneumonia in mid-September, I had no idea of the recovery journey ahead of me. Naively thinking the antibiotic, inhaler, and short rest would help me bounce back, I found myself still struggling in mid-November.
Additionally, working a full-time job hasn’t provided the extra rest needed for a speedy recovery, along with some aftermath of pneumonia dogging me with on-going pain. And living at over 7,000 feet elevation has certainly not been my friend in mending, either.
Strength in Weakness
Yet, some days are better than others and just when I’m thinking that I’m finally over the hump, another painful day appears.
In growing weary of not feeling well, my prayers have become much shorter and more to the point than in the past. And in my weakness, 1 Corinthians 1:26 has come to mind where Scripture describes, “God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong … so that no one can boast in ourselves but rather in God, whose weakness is stronger than man’s strength.”
Amid a culture that admires and rewards personal strength, God says that weakness has a divine purpose in this world.
My New Fixation
Thinking of how in the New Testament the presence of Jesus brought freedom and restored health to the afflicted, my prayers for the past few weeks have been very simple and direct. Lately, I’ve basically been praying and asking Jesus to come to my weakened state. And, I’ve been contemplating Hebrews 12:2 that encourages me to “fix” my eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith.”
Looking up “fix,” the dictionary defines it as “to direct one’s attention or efforts.” Consequently, because of feeling physically weak, I’ve found that my thoughts have become very “fixed” on Jesus. I’ve become pretty much consumed with Him 24/7. Dealing with the the discomfort day-after-day has caused me to be dependent on His constant presence in my life just to make it through each day.
Since I have been “fixed” on Him, I’m realizing a change in my heart attitude, words, and desires.
For example, my first thoughts are turning more often to the needs of others rather than analytical thoughts rushing to mind, with compassion filling my mind and my asking myself, “What can I do to help in this situation?”
I’ve also noticed that others in our household are thinking, talking, and focusing more on Jesus, too. So inviting Him more into my life seems to also be influencing those around me.
And it’s not like I’ve been ignoring the needs of others all along but my focus on life situations has been transforming in a deeper, loving, empathetic sort of way.
What’s funny, too, is it seemed so natural that at first, I didn’t even comprehend the differences occurring until one day it just sort of hit me.
Jesus “really” is coming and being present in my weaknesses, influencing my heart and desires for the better.
Give Me Jesus
So this Christmas season, it’s hard for me to think about anything else but Jesus. Pneumonia’s aftereffects isn’t from God but by allowing it in my life, I’m confident He is working it together for my good.
In Jesus daily walking me through it, I’m experiencing His presence in beautiful new ways.
This time of recovery has given me an opportunity to turn my heart, thoughts, and efforts from the numerous distractions in life to Jesus.
As we celebrate His coming into the world this year, I’m realizing more than ever before that Jesus truly is the gift that keeps on giving. A Savior who is near to the faint, weary, and broken, and as Psalm 147:3 states, brings healing to our wounds.
Welcome to Ungrind!
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Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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