January 05, 2012
Endure vs. Enjoy
We've settled into somewhat of a routine. We have night nursing (approved through the end of this month) from 11pm until 7am. Since I'm the early riser in our house, I go to bed around 10 so I can be up early enough to have my quiet time in the morning before anyone else gets up. I walk Kelsey to the bus stop at 6:30, then take over when the nurse leaves at 7. Nancy stays up until 11pm when the nurse gets there. She helps Kelsey get up and ready for school, then lays down for another hour or so. It's working.
There are so many things we'd change right now if we could. That's the case for all of us, I'm sure. We all have those things in our lives that could be "better." We'd all love to make little (or big) adjustments and get our lives back to the way we had planned. But that's just not the way it works.
We're tired. So are you I'm sure. Pressing on is wearisome. Finishing a race is hard. It starts out great - you're fresh, you're excited to run well, to finish strong. But at some point you begin to question why you're even out there. I can think of a lot of things I'd rather be doing, like sleeping in on Saturdays...
But we must press on. We do what we have to do to get through. We endure as best we can.
Andrew Murray, in his book "Humility," wrote about the apostle Paul. Paul said "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the strength of Christ may rest upon me. Wherefore I take pleasure in weakness: for when I am weak then am I strong" (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
Murray writes: "Instead of simply enduring it, [Paul] most gladly gloried in it; instead of asking for deliverance, he took pleasure in it."
This is a humbling thought. When I am faced with difficult circumstances, I don't really feel like rejoicing. I don't really want to be happy or joyful about it. I want to get through it, be done with it, and move on. But true joy, true happiness, is not found in quickly finishing the trial! I must, as Paul, learn to be content in every circumstance and situation. But it's more than just being content, I must rejoice, glory in the circumstance in which God has placed me! I must become less so that He can become more. I must accept my weakness, for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Yesterday afternoon I dropped a car off at the shop for repairs. Yesterday evening Nancy called to inform me that she had been in an accident with the van. We are thankful that no one was hurt. It wasn't anything too serious, although the van is out of commission until it can be repaired. We sat in my office last night and looked at each other and said "It's just one thing after another!" And it is. We are not in control. God is. We just have to learn to enjoy, rather than endure, the trials and circumstances He is leading us through.
"Jesus, help us to rejoice, to take pleasure in these trials. As much as I want to be through it, help me to trust You and Your timing in all of this. We continue to pray for Garren to be able to swallow. Help us to be strong in Your strength as we learn to enjoy, rather than endure. Amen."