Hope for the Battle Weary

Most mornings I really look forward to writing this blog, but today is not one of those days. I’ve lived with severe pain for almost eight and a half years now, and some mornings I wake up feeling tired, worn out, and weary of the battle. Was there really a time in my life when I hopped out of bed and felt no pain in my feet, or sat down without the red-hot knives stabbing my back? When my mind starts spinning on the “what if’s” of the future my old companions anxiety and fear are never far behind. At one point on my morning walk I just started crying out to God - my life felt like such a jumbled, out of control mess!

Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries knows what I’m talking about, because she’s been there too, and talks about it in her devotional “Hope for the Battle Weary.” Courageously she gives us a window into devastating collapse of her marriage, and how she felt during that terrible season. Her introduction could have come out of my own mouth:

Do you ever worry that all of your hard times and suffering will be for nothing? That all of this pain you keep trying to press through is completely and utterly pointless? I deeply understand that kind of fear and fatigue. What it’s like to pray the same prayers over and over, with little to no change, all while the disappointments linger on and on.

Lysa looked to the story of Joseph for strength and comfort; if anyone had reason for fear and worry, it was Joseph! Imagine being betrayed by your own brothers, sold into slavery in a foreign land, then thrown into prison for a crime you didn’t commit! Thankfully Joseph wasn’t destroyed by his trials; instead he remained faithful to the Lord, and years later was able to stand before his brothers in Egypt and make this amazing statement from Genesis 50:20:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

My struggles with chronic pain aren’t over yet, but I’m already able to see a Genesis 50:20 perspective on my sufferings - that this thing the enemy tried to use to destroy me has instead been used for good by my heavenly Father. When I lose sight of that life feels unbearable and my peace vanishes, but when I cry out to God he helps calm my soul and replace fear with hope.

Are you in the middle of a battle that never seems to end? Or maybe the battle is over and it feels as though you’ve lost? Take a moment to remember the life of Joseph, then grab hold of hope and don’t let go! As Lysa writes her in conclusion - “The journey might not look anything like you planned, but I’m believing with you that God is working things out in ways you cannot yet see."