If you had told me what 2012 had in store for us, I would have laughed right at you! Upon questioning your sanity. But then you would have been shockingly, horribly right…
In early 2012, my healthy 26-year-old husband was suddenly diagnosed with an unusually severe case of Crohn’s Disease. Collectively we’ve logged a solid month of hospital stays, 7 surgeries, hundreds of doctor’s visits, and lived months of the unknown.
The question that continues to tug at my heart, “Lord how do we glorify you in this?? In the pain and broken; in a season of fear and unknown?”
God gently brought Joseph to mind. He was one legit man found in Genesis 37-50. No doubt he was persevering, a disciple of God, and so desperately faithful. This dude was the epitome of being kicked when he was down. Loathed by family members, sold into slavery by brothers, accused of rape, unfairly placed behind bars, and forgotten in a pit for years-he knew suffering, he lived suffering.
If I’m honest, there are secret pieces of me believing those circumstances warranted Joseph to live out of his flesh-to forfeit the Kingdom and take control. Galatians 5 describes fruit of the flesh as, “strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and envy”. I’ve displayed distrust in God by living these in suffering. Clasping the fist of my heart so tight that impenetrable walls forge and I forgo the faithfulness of Joseph for the familiarity of my control.
But that question echoes…”“Lord how do we glorify you in this??”
A wildly gracious nudge points me back to Scripture and God whispers, “Release…”
There are hundreds of you suffering. Perhaps like my husband from a painful disease, one that steals away your life and hope. You suffer as Joseph-one broken moment after another, days engulfed with fury and despair. But to God’s Glory, and for His Kingdom’s fame you are living the story He has spoken over you.
So I repeat that whispered comfort spoken into Joseph and that remains for us…”Release”. Desire wild grace and radical love to fill your suffering and walk by the powerful authority of the Holy Spirit. Uncurl your clenched fist of self-reliance. Let’s together submit our suffering, our stories, our sickness, and our lives to Jesus… asking for Him to take the rightful control.
A closer look at Joseph’s story of suffering clearly evidences that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. Joseph grew to be a man of the Lord. He beheld God, and displayed the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All credited to God’s control and his release.
Allow these humble questions to spur you on today in the suffering you face:
*Because of suffering are you learning to rely on the Holy Spirit? Cling to Galatians
* As Joseph refused resignation, as he continued to hope, do you continue also?
* Joseph unceasingly realigned to God’s purposes and promises. What about you?
Your afflictions are not unnoticed by the Father who offers Release. The dangerous, rebel Lover of your soul has written this season and your story. Armed for battle, equipped for this walk, you are called to glorify God in this suffering. To release your grasp and very life; to walk intimately with the King.
Carly is a husband-swooning, health-inspired, simplicity-loving, Jesus-follower. She and her hunky husband Ryan adventure wherever the Lord takes them and most recently that has been into the often scary world of chronic illness. She also writes on her personal blog and at Reaching For Fringe, a resource for chronic illness and marriage. Very nice to meet you!
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