2 Corinthians 4:8, 9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
I have suffered from an undiagnosed illness for the past 20 years. This illness presents itself like I’m having a strokelike event. It’s very frightening and in the earlier years I would have one about 3 or 4 times a day. I have many symptoms including memory issues, difficulty speaking, right side weakness and the most frightening, difficulty breathing. My Everyday life is very difficult to function in and one day about 8 years ago when nobody was home I had a really bad episode. I sat in my kitchen in a chair and I really thought this is the day I am going to die. I thought my family would come home and find me dead in that kitchen chair. I leaned back in the chair barely able to breath and waited.
I didn’t call 911 because they had already been to my house many times because of this and I knew there was no diagnosis so I just laid there. The episodes at that time lasted about 15 minutes. After it was over I cried so hard. I had been having the episodes for 12 year at that point and I was pushed to my limit. I had cried and prayed to God MANY MANY times before and I know He said He would not put more on you than you can handle but this day was it for me. I screamed at God and cried, I told Him I could not take any more of this trial at this level of intensity. I told Him if He was trying to squeeze me out like a sponge that there was not one drop of water left. I told Him that I could not take any more.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
From that day I only had tiny episodes everyday and big ones about 4 times a year. You might say well why didn’t He heal you all the way? I don’t know. I believe this is my thorn in the flesh and only God knows why He’s allowing this and for what purpose. We all get squeezed every day. God is testing us, refining us, so we will be as pure gold.
I don’t like this hard testing, but I do count it all joy because I can feel many things God has and is accomplishing in my spiritual life. I am weak like a baby and I totally depend on God to sustain my life every minute of every day. I get wet and God squeezes me over and over again. He is working something in my life, perfecting me for His purposes in this life and the next. He makes me weak and then I’m strong in His power and strength.
This squeezing has many benefits. You probably are saying what in Pete’s name could be the benefits of squeezing/suffering? Well that’s a whole other blog topic, but I can quickly tell you my ministry to other people is intense because as they say….been there done that. My music ministry is intense because I sing about what I’ve been through and I believe people identify with me. I pray a lot because I need God a lot. I’m in touch with Him all day and even the night. I’m up at night every night. I know God will reward me for my endurance through the squeezing/suffering.
So am I happy about the squeezing? Well no because it hurts….and yes because it has benefits that FAR out weight the negatives. The benefits are seeing grace delivered in its highest form to me. God’s amazing grace comes as a promise in squeezing/suffering.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Do you feel like you are being squeezed?
“Dearest and Most Holy Heavenly Father,
One of my brothers or sisters is out there and they are being squeezed so much and they are really hurting. Some of their family and friends are being squeezed too. They need your help today. I ask you to remove the thorn, to heal them, to supply their need, to heal their children, heal that friend or loved one, to take away that sting of death, to provide that job, to befriend the lonely and depressed, and to give your amazing grace to all who need more of it today. Send a host of your angels out and surround them with protection and help. Thank you for the testimonies that I’m going to hear about. Thank you for the victory. I know you are a healer and a comforter. I know how much you love your children…..even when we are mad at you. Thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for our lives. Thank you for your living word. Thank you for sending your Son and for eternal life. I ask all these request in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen”
2 Corintians 4: 16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Message for today: The squeezing?………….It’s to make you weak to make you strong. Praise the Lord!!