I was 27 years old when I was diagnosed with what the doctor referred to as an incurable disease. I remember sharing that with a co-worker and they told me “ulcerative proctitis isn’t that bad!” Little did I know that I was about to encounter pain and drastic changes in a way I would have never imagined, especially in my 20s. I lost 40 pounds in one month, was in the emergency room three times in that same month, and was going to the bathroom 10 or more times a day.
I don’t want to gross you out, but I do want to let you know that life really is not even close to being as bad as what our Savior had to encounter on the cross. I didn’t have this mindset at the beginning of this struggle. I wish I did. Allow me to help you find God’s perspective so you can be empowered to operate in a way that honors the Lord.
I must be honest. When I received the diagnosis I asked God, “Why me?” Have you ever questioned the sovereignty of God? Why do you think we do that? I’ll tell you why. It’s because we live in a culture that’s all about “positive vibes only,” and “living your best life now.”
Are you seeing what I’m seeing? We are living in a world that’s so intensely self-consumed that many think it’s the Godly way of living. It’s not. Living with self at the center of importance is sinful. We can pray and ask God to change our situation and make life easier when in actuality God put us in these situations to change us.
So, the next question is how do we properly navigate these issues? It’s not as easy as we would like it to be. It is hard work, but if you commit yourself to prayer and push through the self-centered inclinations of your flesh, you can and will have His peace regardless of your external circumstances.
Joshua 1:8 says to meditate on God’s Word day and night. Find key verses that you will meditate on and continue to do just that until the Lord illuminates your mind with it. To meditate means to ponder, to chew, and to repeat over and over again. I have meditated on many verses but one in particular is 2 Timothy 1:7. It tells me that God did not give me a spirit of timidity, cowardice, or fear, but He did give me a spirit of love, power, sound judgment, and personal discipline. These abilities result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control.
I want to encourage and motivate you to create a habit; a habit of, instead of seeing a trial from the perspective of “why me?”, viewing it in a way that says “God, what is it that you’re aiming to teach and grow in me?” This is the perspective I’ve recently have begun to implement and it’s rocking my world. I still have this disease, but I trust God and I have much more joy. And it’s because this disease has enabled me to lean and depend on my savior. Become a lover of His word and a devoted person of prayer and watch how God changes you more into the image of His son (2 Corinthians 3:18).