“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father…”
The first time I faced this, I was completely thrown. All I could see was a debilitating, life-consuming sickness that disrupted our plans and caused cracks in my faith. The nausea left the day I delivered my baby. But it took an entire year to recover my footing.
Now I see that every day I am sick is a battle for my heart – a choice to say “yet I will trust you” or to allow discouragement and unbelief to take root. Every difficulty I will ever face offers that same choice. And I have learned that I cannot afford to make the wrong one.
Hardship is an opportunity to build endurance – to wait with confidence, pushing through the discomfort for a little bit longer than ever before. Or, if we are driven by the wrong expectations, it will become the hurdle we collapse over. God’s Word has never glossed over what kind of race this is. May he shore up our hearts to run (or in my case crawl) with endurance.
Oh Lord Almighty,
You can do no wrong. Help me to prepare my mind for this ongoing battle. Teach me to strip away the entangling attitude that demands comfort and lives for my own desires. Give me a mind to suffer hardship in a way that honors your name. Shape my expectations by your Word so that I am strengthened to endure what is difficult, and I am content with where you have placed me and how you have provided for me. Help me to cling to the truth that you are trustworthy and good, whatever becomes of me.
I have pleaded with you for a different kind of pregnancy. Now I ask that you would make me different through this pregnancy.
Please help my heart to find you near and believe you sufficient. Transform the way I think about ministry and service. When I feel I have so little to offer, make my heart humble to see all you are capable of. When I struggle to see the big picture, make me willing to trust you and stay the course. Give my heart courage for the task, and use every hardship and discomfort as a precise tool in your hand to hone and shape me.
Carve away the pieces of me that resist you, that exalt myself, and that stand in the way of people seeing Christ alone. Me, the frail container, and He, the only one with the strength to strengthen me; the only source of all the endurance and patience I need.