Ah…long-suffering. It’s a little used word that packs a punch right into the heart of my neatly organized theology. It’s so interesting how these archaic words suddenly become so relevant at different junctures of your life journey. Suddenly “patience” and “endurance” don’t quite describe what you are experiencing…but this King James relic sums it up perfectly. We have been suffering and it has been a long time.
This week started off like any other….until my husband mentioned something in passing and I felt my heart sink. Our circumstances have been hard, painful and unchanging for almost two years now…and words spoken in passing sometime serve as barbed reminders that nothing is going to change anytime soon. I knew then that this week was going to be a fight.
When you have been suffering for a long time, everything turns into a fight. It’s a fight for joy, a fight for gratitude, a fight for peace…and ultimately a fight for the belief that HE hasn’t left us.
In the thick of painful circumstances, when there hasn’t been any change or relief, I have to choose to believe that He is still next to me. Because in the fog of the fight the only thing I can see are the incoming arrows of hopelessness, despair and defeat. I’m just not sure if God is still with me in this battle…
I pray fiercely. I meditate on scripture. I furiously practice thanksgiving. But my resilience is waning and I’m weary. Its so easy to buy into disbelief when the sword of truth feels heavy in my hand. I’m not sure I have fight left in me. And the arrows keep coming.
There’s something about long-suffering that takes me right back to basics. My theology has taken a beating and I just need to know “where is God?”
I’m clinging to Isaiah 41:10 right now. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I with strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
This is a promise. I may not see Him because of the fog of the fight, but He is there. I may not feel His presence, but He is holding fast to me. My circumstances may not change soon, but He is giving me strength.
My grip tightens around the sword. He is with me.