It is my custom on the last day of the year to look back and take stock. So far, I have always found more blessings and provisions of safety or recovery or answered prayer than anything else. Yes, I am losing ground, my pain level varies from day to day, and I am losing my hearing. But I have been provided with everything I need and then some, provided with parking places by the door when I'm having a bad day, medications that help, family that is near, and friends who have come through bouts of cancer and depression and still say firmly that God is enough.
And I heartily agree. He is more than enough. He is everything.
"...we also glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:3-5 KNJV
Have you ever gloried in your illness?
I sure haven't!
But reading this verse today, the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks.
Perseverance, character, and hope. 3 things obviously valued by our God. And tribulation is the key to developing them.
Because being CI means that we are turning to Him more often, seeing His interventions in our lives, more clearly - because AB's are often distracted by their world and the demands made upon them, while CIS are, simply, watching for proof of His hand in our lives. We are actually hoping in His power to keep us and provide for us.
And we are learning lessons about His trustworthiness that can be learned no other way.
To glory in pain and weakness is counter intuitive to most of us - but in the reality of God, it is a proven method of training, a time when His presence and power are sought and released in forceful and deeply felt pleas, a time of closeness and dependence. Should He ever choose to return us to AB status, these lessons will be so ingrained in us, God willing, that our first response to difficulty or tribulation will always and ever be prayer. To glory in weakness is simply rejoicing in being in a position where His power and goodness will come into play on our behalf, vividly, in glorious abundance. And the by-product will be virtues He values becoming a deep integral part of our spirits.
Surely a reason for praise - and glory.
Soooo our CI is earning glory for us as we endure, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" Romans 8:18