Monday, August 31, 2015

This is my soul's lament and praise...

It's moments like this where I find myself wishing it would just rain.
Just rain!
When the inward burden is so great, I yearn for an outward manifestation of my pain in hope for some sense of relief...
It frustrates me when it is this heavy. Frustrates me that I am not yet adept at just laying it down readily. I remain stymied at a sometimes seemingly constant need for a repeated turning over... wishing with all that I have I could finally lay this trouble of my heart, this mental anguish, all of it... down once and for all...
Oh, that I could just fall to the ground and lay prostrate before Him... To release this weight and not get back up until my spirit and soul has been released, entirely set free.
But then I might no longer be so closely tethered to the One whom my soul loves... If I were completely healed and never to wrestle with this torment again, I might forget my desperate need for Him in my every breath. And that... That would not be worth it.
And although hard for some to comprehend, because of these truths I give thanks even in the hardest places for this... This thorn in my flesh.
It will not always feel this way, this dark and gray... and for that I am grateful. And I am never, not ever alone in the midst of the languishing... And for that, I will never cease to offer praise.
Having written all this, I realize... this sums up what it means to me to a Christian living with bipolar disorder... Embracing while also wrestling with having been fearfully and wonderfully made...
Regarding my "thorn" - I feel much as Paul expressed in his letter to the Corinthians... I once longed for it to be removed, but I have now accepted and am even thankful for this burden I carry that keeps me undeniably tied to the One whom my soul loves. 
I know according to all human understanding that makes no logical sense... But logic has nothing to do with the ways of God.  I have come to know the truth of taking delight in my weaknesses... Even as they still cause pain within me.  I am humbly blessed God has created me by design for His greater purposes, and would not choose to be any other way if I could.  I have seen so many times over how God has used my struggles to minister through my life to the needs of others... And that in itself is a greater gift than any for which I could ever have hoped or dreamed.  

And because of the depth of my soul ache, I can all the more appreciate and celebrate the true joy that wells up from within me by the light and hope of my salvation... I also know and can testify to the power of the indisputable truth that it is God's grace - God's all sufficient grace - that sustains me... Not my own means or power in any way.
Scriptural Background:  2 Corinthians 12 (NIV)

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

© K. Michelle Payne 2015

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