Weakness is something we would all rather ignore, hoping it’s a temporary state, a passing phase we can press through, fuelled by extra food, supplements or caffeine, perhaps. Because who among us would choose to be seen as weak, never mind feel like it?
But what if it doesn’t leave us? What if weakness comes to take up permanent residence (accompanied by its familiar friends: weariness and pain), what then? How do we manage a life where we always feel weak and unwell? A life constrained by chronic illness, with constant reminders of our frail human state?
Only by grace. Only by resting instead of resisting. Only by honestly admitting how hard it is and how much we need God’s healing touch, His all-encompassing compassion and endless love. Then we can start to have a change of heart. Then we can begin to accept how we are situated and live as well as possible within our limitations. And seek the help and support we need.
I don’t like yielding to these symptoms again
I don’t like not being able to do what I’ve planned
I don’t like missing out on a bright sunny day
I don’t like having zero energy to engage
I don’t like piercing pain, hurting all over
I don’t like feeling exhausted, weak as water
There’s a resentment inside, a sense of defeat as my
body becomes invaded again and I have to retreat from
everything, give in to this and hope it’s not long-lasting
As I lay curled up in my bed, with sharp stabs of pain
accompanied by a sinking spirit, I begin to slowly unwind
and sense the sweet invitation of your gentle presence
It helps to still my anxious thoughts and gives me hope that
this particular episode of weakness will eventually pass, and
I will hurt a bit less than today when I become stronger again
Although my bedroom is necessarily dim, quiet and dark
I still carry your love-light in my heart, and the soft whisper
of your persistent voice rises above my own inner noise
I begin to sense calm peacefulness flooding my soul
as I listen and slow, getting ready to let go now and
receive your restoration and healing, renewed strength
For those who think that the state of being weak, broken, hidden and small are words they don’t want said about them, God has news for you.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4:10 (NIV)
We don’t always realise it to start with, but there is beauty in brokenness. Humility grows in small, lowly places. Hiddenness remains very much seen by God. Stillness is where spiritual listening dwells and excels, as our souls grow accustomed to slowing down.
Our ashes become God’s success stories. Our brokenness is where God’s grace and strength are manifest best. Instead of being something to dread or reject, our weakness is a surprising pathway to spiritual surrender and growth.
Our fragility is a conduit for the comfort, peace and love only God can give to our hurting hearts. It is also a gift throwing us in greater dependence on God’s mercy and grace.
I wrote the prayer/poem above when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by the deep bone weariness, fatigue and pain of M.E. I’m sharing it today in support of M.E Awareness Day and Week. Now I see the lines like a red warning sign reminding me to rest myself in the Lord more than before. Maybe you need a reminder too, my friend?
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness..”
Yes, so much yes to these beautiful words you have shared here. Especially these today: “Only by grace. Only by resting instead of resisting. Only by honestly admitting how hard it is and how much we need God’s healing touch, His all-encompassing compassion and endless love.” This is so much what He has been speaking to me this last month, to stop minimizing the pain and to be honest about how hard it is. Because there is when His grace flows so freely, and His miraculous touch upon my heart and life is most clearly seen. Thank you dear sister for expressing so beautifully the way that the Lord calls and woos us in, to bless us in the very humblest of places. Much love and gentle hugs to you my dear friend. May He bring you His refreshing today. xoxo
Oh, Bettie, you know this weakness all too well and also just how much we are dependent on God for help, grace and strength each day. I’m honoured these words are a confirmation to you of things God has been speaking to your heart during the last month. Our honesty definitely paves the way for His grace to flood in, just as you say. I see the way God touches your heart and life and it is beautiful to behold. He is taking those ashes and the despair we all feel inside when chronic illness steals our hopes and dreams, and He is bringing forth beauty that is visible to others and a testimony of His presence within. It’s in “the very humblest of places” that God meets with us best. When we’re at the end of our own resources is where His unlimited supply begins to come to our aid. Much love and gentle hugs returned to you, dear friend! May you be enabled to rest well in the Lord during this season of extra demands for you and your beloved husband. He will meet your every need. xoxo 💜
Dear Joy, Your words really spoke to my heart. It’s so important to be honest in our prayers as you have shown in your poem. We can bring all of our hurts before God and He lovingly gathers us in His arms and shows compassion. I have shared your post with my son who is pretty much bound to a wheelchair because of his MD. I pray it will encourage him, too. May God give you time for rest and strengthen you, dear friend. Blessings, love and hugs to you my sister/poet/friend! xoxo
Dear Gayl, honesty with ourselves, as well as with God, is what helps us to move forward. Putting on a front will not fool anyone and will ultimately harm us over time. There’s a danger with social media to want to always present ourselves and our lives in the best possible light. I edit my photos to make them more appealing but I don’t tend to edit out my living reality in other ways. Because, as you so rightly say, we can bring all of our hurts and insecurities before God and be reassured of His immense love for us, His compassion and willingness to help us clear up our mess. I’m grateful if these words have spoken to you and would love you to share them with your son if you think they would encourage him too. Most of just long to know we’re not alone with our hurt and pain. Rest is pretty hard for me to get at the moment but I know I will have that once I am able to take a proper break! Thank you so much for your kind concern and prayers. I value them and you more than you can know. Blessings, love and hugs to you, my friend! xoxo
Your words are such a sweet balm to my aching soul. Thank you so much again for sharing your thoughts out of your pain. You are such an inspiration in writing and most importantly as a fellow sister in Christ who suffers. God bless you xx
Hello Tanya, it’s a joy to see you here, my friend! I’m not very active online these days and am rarely able to engage with groups either. But I am always happy to see and connect with my friends, especially those who have M.E and chronic illness,though it’s mostly through the pages of this blog. It’s a gift of grace to have some thoughts to share on days when we feel clean out of inspiration or energy, isn’t it? Thank you for your kind encouragement, my friend. It’s often hard to understand how we might impact the lives of others with our words, blog posts or books, but God knows just who will see, read and be helped by them. God bless you too, dear sister in suffering, who is also a huge encourager to many. Sending love and gentle hugs! xo ❤
Thank you for your beautiful, encouraging words. 2 Cor 12:9 is amongst my favourite verses and I love it in the Message paraphrase.
Hi Vicki, I’m so glad this spoke to you. I also love that Bible verse, especially in the Message paraphrase. It hits home with fresh impetus. Thank you for letting me know and for sharing this post! Blessings on the rest of your week, my friend. 😊💜