Tired of the Battle
Everything I’ve been thinking or feeling the last couple of weeks has been leading to one word. Battle.
I hate it. I get tired. Some days I’m tired of battling my body, going to battle for other people, but mostly, battling myself. Battling my own thoughts and my own emotions. Right now my body is betraying me in the regular ways of pain and not being able to feel half of my face, but also in roller coaster emotions and periods of dark depression.
And I don’t want to battle. What I want to do is curl up in bed. I don’t want to think about my diet and exercise and “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. Its just too much work for summer break, right? I’m supposed to be writing and studying for next years teaching and painting and getting caught up on all the things with a little bit of rest time in there, but I’m having a hard time making it all happen. I’m tired.
Yesterday I read a post by one of my new favourite bloggers, and she said that we often say that we “struggle” with something, when really we should be going to battle against it. “Even the definitions of the words “struggle” and “fight” are contrasted. To struggle with something indicates there is a restraint we are desperately trying to get free from. To fight against something means we are free to actively exchange blows with our opponent, usually through the use of weapons.” Christine Chappell
But what about when the struggle is to even want to fight? What about when you’re just plain tired? What about when you wake up not feeling your face and you’re tired of not feeling your face?
I went to sleep with these thoughts plaguing me last night. There’s a particular thought that I’m fighting against and it won’t let me go. I woke up at midnight from a nightmare, the edges of which are getting fuzzy now, but with the feeling that I was scared back into the battle. The images of a dark hallway and a war reminding me that I was in a battle and not treating it with the seriousness that I should. I had to pray myself back to peace at that midnight hour. And in the light of morning, after that meeting with God, I’m reminded of something.
Its not my own strength that wins battles. I forget this all. the. time. I honestly believe its one reason God has allowed this physical affliction in my life. As a reminder that I’m not nearly as strong as I believe myself to be. This morning I’m walking with a limp and avoiding using my left arm, and it causes me to remember that my insides are the same. That my emotional and spiritual strength is just as half useless. That when I depend on myself, I end up limping around and having nightmares at midnight.
But because of extravagant grace, my strength is not the only strength I have access to. “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;” Ephesians 3:12-16
Our tribulations actually become our glory, because its then that we are reminded of God’s strength in us. That our inner man becomes strengthened by his Spirit. Its when I forget this and battle on my own that I get tired.
So today, I’m reminding myself. That yes, I have to battle. Every single day. And its hard and tiring and important. But that I never have to battle alone. That it’s God’s strength that wins the battles, not my own. And because of His grace, I have full access to that strength, at all times. And that strength is the battle winning kind.