PNE | Suffering’s Spiritual Side

Originally PUBLISHED ON 

(Updated 2.15.17) – It’s been almost 4.5 years since I originally posted on this topic.  We have learned lots about the condition and the diagnosis is a bit different that you read about below.    I am, thankfully back to work and about 95% better.  That 5% is still problematic and I think I now know how Paul The Apostle might have felt.  When the what I call #10 pain (which is the worst pain a person can have) hits me, it’s excruciating and all I can do is cry.   I have asked The Lord over and over “how long oh Lord, how long must I suffer”?  God is silent.  I call what have my “thorn in the flesh”.  There are still days when I can do nothing but rest.  I never know when those days will occur but I do not borrow trouble from tomorrow.  I just do the best I can each day.  Perhaps this nerve entrapment will never go away, but God, in his wisdom has allowed it in my life.  Why?  I don’t know. Someday I’ll know on the other side, but for now, “his grace is sufficient for me” and my life is manageable, full and good.

train_assemblySPIRITUAL TRANSPARENCY.   To be sure I have [and am still] contending with the sufferings of Interstitial Cystitis and how it has changed my life.    Before IC …. I “felt” secure in my faith … I believed that Jesus knew me, and I “felt” that I had an intimate relationship with my Savior, the lover of my soul.  (Update on How I Feel now)

But walking this pilgrim path these last few months has shown me yet again that we have a powerful adversary, namely, Satan, also known as Lucifer, the evil one.  What in the world is Satan doing?  Lucifer, The one whom many think was once the minister of music in Heaven was (because of  pride) thrown out of Heaven.  Why did God create Satan to begin with?  I don’t know, and I’ll never know this side of Heaven, but I believe God is always good and he has a reason for everything.  And so now these last many months contending with IC, I realize that my struggle is not really against IC, it is against the one who hates me, namely Satan.  He hates that I love God, hates that I want to be well enough to serve God, hates that I talk about God, hates that I stand firm in the fact that Jesus is the only one true mediator between God and man and the only one true way to Heaven.

My search for a cure has taken me full circle, it’s taken me back to the place where I started … that place is dependence and surrender.  This is a disease which is a mystery to mankind, and a disease (like many) that, according to most, has no cure.   Some days I will feel almost normal and the next day, I can do nothing but STOP everything and rest.  My research has left me feeling impotent, disillusioned and confused.  The key word there is confusion.    I have been reminded afresh today that Satan knows if he can plant a seed of doubt and confusion in my heart and/or mind about the infallibility of the Word of God, his unconditional love for me, and my eternal security, chances are that I may stray, or at the very least become confused and ineffective for the Kingdom of God.

How has Satan attacked me?  By trying to convince me that my ministry is [was] finished, that I will never be a music minister again, that I will always be sick, that God doesn’t love me and that I will never heal from Interstitial Cystitis aka IC.   He has even tried to convince me that I never really knew God and that I am not going to Heaven when I die.    In short, I no longer “felt saved”.  A pastor (whom God used greatly in the early years of my salvation) told me long ago that my salvation didn’t rely on my “feeling” of being saved.

train_assembly

The reality is that my faith is not based on feeling saved, it is based on the FACT that Jesus died on the cross for my sin and the sin of the world.  It is my “resting” in the finished work that Jesus did on the cross that allows me the security of peaceful feelings, nothing less.

Jesus is the only person who has ever taken the sin of the world on himself and resurrected as Savior.  Yes it was thousands of years ago, yes it “seems like an ancient fairy tale” but I believe.    I agree with the lyric in that famous and much beloved Hymn “The Solid Rock” which reads: my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Blood and [his] Righteousness!  And so now I realize once again that I have a serious adversary, but I have a more powerful Savior.  When I am weak, he is strong.  When I can’t fight he will fight for me.  Sometimes he does that through family, friends or the extended family of The Body of Christ through their prayers and perhaps even their physical help.  But I know that I must also STAND FIRM and put on the full armor of God and rely not on my feelings but on God’s word as given to me in (1 Peter 5:7-9; and Ephesians 6:10-13).
UnknownYears ago I gave my heart and life to Jesus to do with it whatever he deemed best.  As the scriptures teach, I am bought with a price.  If he wants me healed, he will heal me, and if his grand design is that he could use me more powerfully with the pain of IC resident in my body, then His Grace Will Be Sufficient For Me!  Do I want to be healed?  Yes, yes yes and yes!  Am I willing to remain just as I am and trust God for the outcome?  By his grace my answer is humbly “yes”.  Be it unto me according to your will oh God.

I am more certain than ever of my reliance on “THE ONE” true and living God, namely His Son, Jesus The Christ in whom I live and move and have my being (Acts 17:28).  I am in His hands and I need him every hour.   As the scriptures teach, we are all like wayward sheep, in need of the shepherd, who continually go astray and “without Him, I can do NOTHING”!  Without Him, I will not and can not heal!

And yes, he really knows who I am.  He heard my confusion crying out.  He saw my little bit of faith, and yet still has love for me.  He heard me calling, he heard me asking what are you trying to show me?  I was losing my way, like a lost one, it was me.  God’s consolation is not a fairy tale.   Like the song below says, it leads me to the “living well”.  He heard me telling him I love him.  He answered my cry because He loves me.  He loves YOU!

He really is a gracious good shepherd and he answered when I called his name.

And his name … is JESUS.

GRACIOUS GOOD SHEPHERD | Vanessa Williams

Gracious Good Shepherd Do you really know who I am?
Gracious Good Shepherd Will you answer when I call your name?
Gracious Good Shepherd You can hear confusion crying out
Gracious Good Shepherd What little faith I have I am ashamed

I visualize an angel All freezing and bitter cold
I cannot believe the love there What heavenly sacrifice

Gracious Good Shepherd If you hear me now, I love you so
Gracious Good Shepherd Why for me?
Gracious Good Shepherd You say you love the lost born
Gracious Good Shepherd I believe that one is me

Some tell me the virgin birth is A beautiful ancient tale
But you tell me God’s consolation Led all to the living well

Gracious Good Shepherd If you hear me now, I love you so
Gracious Good Shepherd Why, why for me?
Gracious Good Shepherd Do you really know who I am?
Gracious Good Shepherd Will you answer when I call your name?
Gracious Good Shepherd These are different times, I’m sure you see
Gracious Good Shepherd We need, you now

How to Get to Heaven – The Four Spiritual Laws

 

Judy Rentz