The memes and the quips scrolled by me faster than I could keep up. It seemed that everyone had something to say about self-isolation, quarantine, lock-down and the restrictions that were suddenly, with very little warning, thrust upon us.
And I hit the “like” button more times than I could count … Finally the rest of the world would understand what many of us had been feeling for years. … Finally the rest of the world would feel the isolation that many of us in the never-never land of chronic illness had already been coping with … or not.
I hoped that the rest of the world would soon learn compassion. I hoped that the rest of the church would see that all of the new online benefits could remain in place for those of us who have been in lock-down for more days than we would care to count.
But while I was wish-fully hoping, I felt a nudging in my heart being stirred.
I recognized the nudging. It was the kind that would lead to conviction, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it.
Couldn’t I just stay in this place of “I told you so,” a little longer? My finger pointing was rapidly losing its appeal, as I felt the compassion of Jesus flooding over me.
For you see, it was the Easter Season, Lent had been upon us for many weeks, and we were all focused on the suffering of what our Lord had carried for our sake, before the pandemic shifted our gaze to what WE were suffering.
And if you are anything like me, MY suffering soon ramps up into a place of bitterness that can run with the best of the world’s angry chatters. . . .
Give us our rights!
Give us back our positions!
Give us back our lives!
And the Spirit is weeping over our hearts, as we are weeping over our rights.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.Romans 8:16-18
He came to bring us back to the heart of our Father, to see ourselves as His children. We have inherited ETERNAL LIFE with Him, and we are grudging our shortages and the restrictions placed upon us.
We have forgotten the privilege of suffering that has come along with the joy of sharing in His glory. He has called us to join with Him, to bear the sufferings of this age, so that we could more fully know the glory of son-ship.
And my heart was broken.
He has already poured His compassion upon me in this place where I have felt isolated. He has already given me glimpses and moments and hours of intimate fellowship with Him as I was pulled back from the rush of mainstream busy.
Shouldn’t the memes and the graphics that I long for carry a different tune?
I remembered His invitation to me, early in my journey of slow:
“Come with ME. I am not ashamed by your weakness. Your weakness is what draws me to you. I am already inside, the Kingdom of God is within you, and I am not offended by your pain.”
And I knew where the conviction would fall in my heart. He had given me HIS comfort, so that I could return that same comfort to those who were joining this rank of isolation. For however long it might last, however temporary this fellowship of suffering might endure, while we are on this path, I have been given a gift to share.
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.Isaiah 40:1
Would you join me once again, over at the Chronic Joy Website? The conviction that the Lord poured over me was such a sweet gift for those of us in the Chronic Illness Community. And yet, we all are being affected as this wave of Covid-19 Illness is sweeping the world. Click here to read the remainder of the thoughts and prayer that the Lord poured over me, as I surrendered my own ways to His ways.