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."


Anonymous said...

I can do all things through christ who stregthens me... You can do this. Life is hard but you and your family will prevail with prayers and trust. My prayer group will lift your family up.

David Gales said...

Sometimes when the pit in the stomach cannot be explained with words...we don't relish the little bandaids well meaning others offer...maybe it is presence that means the most. The presence of a mate going through it too...the presence of little treads of hope that steal into the mind again...the intuit whisper of the Holy Spirit deep down within...just presence! Just trying to understand the felt shoes you see God has put on you.
Thanks for opening up your journey. It does impact us-- Love...Pastor David & Phyllis Gales

EJ Abood said...

Geoffrey and Nancy, We are praying. Love, Teresa, EJ and family

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How thankful we are for the evidence of God's hand in your lives, all five of you. Mommy and Daddy Janes (Happy Bear and Grumpy Bear)

Anonymous said...

We continue to call Garren's name everyday in prayer on our way to school. We thank God for his continuing to heal Garren completely! We love you guys!
The Tripps

goPACK said...

Dear Geoffrey,
I am friends with your mom (and dad). I have been keeping up with Garren through your blog. I'm sure there are many others like me who do the same. And, like me, you don't know us. Your family's testimony gives inspiration to so many. I pray for Garren as well as your devoted family everyday. Your post today was particularly awesome. I plan to copy it and keep it in my Bible for those times when I think I'm having a trial.

Dear Lord, Please keep this family strong. May their love for You and for Garren help them through each day. Please Father, bless each one of them in a special way today; we cry out to You and ask that You give them the desires of their hearts and heal Garren.
In Jesus Most Precious Name,
Jill Coward

Sara G said...

Praying for you all. Praying for Garren's throat to heal and God's glory shine. I stand with you on enduring especially the healing process. We are not to let our circumstances bring us down but to look to God and know the comforter that Jesus sent. In the 2 years since my own stroke, I have been learning to trust Him in all things. No matter how fast we want things done (I want my right side to heal), God is in control and there is a reason. Thank you for sharing with us. Love, Sara

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your always thought provoking, "put life in perspective" blogs. We continue to pray for Garren's healing.

The McMahans

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

It's in the long haul where the struggle purifies. So wish you could be released from burdens and see Garren completely physically restored now. But meanwhile, in the long haul, your family inspires all of us. All of us here still pray believing each day will be the say of restoration!

Anonymous said...

Sigh...if you and Nancy ever want to go out for the evening, I shall gladly offer my time to stay with your tribe...I know that they are capable under your oldest daughter's care, but, just in case...and in the meantime, sit down and cry...hug each other again, and know, really know that so many people are with you, even though it may not seem that way, and so many are praying and that God, our wonderful good amazing God has this all under His good plan...He really really does....love, Sandy & Russ