James 4:13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
I have been thinking about this passage over the past few days, and how it applies to living with severe chronic illness.
After my Johns Hopkins visits and new medication regimen, I had a little more energy. I was hopeful. I was grateful. I began to do more.
Three months have passed, and I am having to re-evaluate. Again. The heart (and now brain) symptoms that occur on exertion . . .still occur on exertion. I tested the limits with the renewed energy and the new medication. My condition has not improved. But the medication does help me to feel better when I don’t push the limits.
It wasn’t wrong to test the limits. The “wrong” is to now know what the limits are, and to refuse to accept God’s “no” answer. That is arrogance. That is knowing the right thing to do, and failing to do it.
So it is time to put away boasting and arrogance, and submit to God, saying, “Your will be done.” I will be restricting (again) my face-to-face group teaching/discussion time, in favor of more computer and online time. I will spend more time quiet, with my feet up and semi-reclined, and let my fingers and my keypad be my voice. I will continue to break up the tasks I must do into small “bites” throughout the day. I will refute the lie that I am “benched” or that God is displeased with me. He is not. He has work for me to do. But how and what is His choice, not mine.
I do appreciate those who pray for me. Continue to pray that I will be faithful. Continue to pray that I will do “all things without grumbling and disputing. . .” (Philippians 2). Continue to pray that I will be discerning as I find another new normal.