Well, it has been a long while since I sat down to type a blog post. Crazy, how time just flies right by, isn’t it? I finish my first semester of grad school this week, and I’m in the editing stage of writing my book. It won’t be long now until I get it published!
So, the other day, on my instagram account, I confessed that I wasn’t the best at reading my Bible. There’s definitely a truth in that, but I decided to make it a goal to read something every day. That may seem like an obvious Christian thing to do, but I’m certainly no perfect Christian. There’s always going to be something that I can improve on. Anyway, to my point…
I was reading in Job for the past couple of days, and I was just amazed at Job’s faithfulness to God’s plan, no matter what happened to him. But, what really stood out to me was chapter 2, about Job’s second life test. I just found it fascinating that when Satan went to God and said (in Job 2:4),
“‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.'”
So, Job became seriously, physically ill, by Satan’s hand. However, God told Satan that he could not take Job’s life. Yet, Job still held on to his faith. [side note…] I just find it funny that Satan is limited by conditions even when he’s trying to spoil God’s ultimate plan. He needed permission to even attack a man of God. That is somehow very encouraging.
In Job 2:9-10, it says “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, “You are talking as a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”
You know why that hit me? I’ve read that all before, but it hit me in a new way. I was honestly convicted right there. Well shoot, I seriously paled in comparison to Job when I was struck with disease. It hit me, because now, I know my struggle with my health does not come from God. It comes from Satan, who tries to pull me away from my faith. It’s so easy to blame God when things go wrong. Job was being tested, but God knew the strength of Job’s faith and encouraged him to lean on the word of God. It struck me how blind I really was to Satan’s evil tactics in the years following my MS diagnosis. I talk about this a little bit in my book, so I won’t really go into detail here, but I totally lost it when my health was suffering. I wanted nothing to do with my faith. Looking back, I can just see Satan whispering to me that I had every right to be angry, every right to forsake my faith because God was making me struggle. I can see him encouraging my fear to take root and keep me occupied from what I should have been doing – drawing closer to God.
You know, I don’t even know what God was protecting me from during this whole period of despair. I probably won’t ever know. But Job, even with encouragement from his wife to give up his faith, he said that he wouldn’t forsake it. It’s important to mention that Job wasn’t happy with everything going on, but he held onto his belief. There’s where I was convicted. Should we not accept the good and the bad that Jesus uses to further His good purpose? My faith faltered so easily with an attack on my health, it seemed. Satan knew where I was vulnerable. It took me long enough, but I did finally return to faith. I can only thank Jesus for His compassion, mercy, and tolerance for when I was weak.
I’m hoping, as the completion of my book draws near, I’ll be able to encourage people going through similar things with solidarity. We can’t all be like Job, although we should try. You can read all about this transformation and my “God moment” in my book where He rescued me. I’ll keep everyone updated, obviously, when my book finally is complete. I’ve played around with so many titles, but I have finally settled on one. It seems so simple, but encompasses a host of meanings in my life. In light of the daily fight of chronic disease, in light of the struggle against hopelessness/fear, and in light of the struggle to keep my faith, I’m calling my book:
P.S: If you want to read some eye-opening books (fiction) about spiritual warfare, and the power of prayer, I highly recommend these two books by Frank Peretti: This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”