Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rest Ministries says Happy New Year!

It is January 1st and many of are already weary of people asking us our resolutions or saying HAPPY new year! You may be suffering beyond comprehension, lonely, or sick on top of being ill. Some of us here at Rest Ministries are coping with cancer or cancer of a loved one.

Perhaps your resolution is to just survive through the year, much less make and reach goals.

I have posted a video in the Sunroom from the Christian film, "Facing the Giants." As it is "football day" in many homes today, it may even be something to share with others.

The direct link to the video is also here:

In the Sunroom, Sherry recently poured her heart out sharing, "What real difference am I making here at the Sunroom specifically --or in this life in general? I do try, whenever my disease permits. I just don't want to be 'collecting dust' on this earth. If I can't count for eternity... I see no sense in my existence."

Sherry, you are making a difference and so are each one of you. At times it seems like we are not doing anything. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 from The Message says, "But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses."

Like in the video, God tells us to fight the good fight in scripture. All He really wants, like the coach, is for us to give Him our "best." For those of us with chronic illness, "our best" changes each day, but we know if we are moving toward God or away from Him, right?

Each of our "fights" may vary or overlap, but it's distinctly between us and God. Some days that means simply being steadfast and showing up at the doctors appointments we'd rather call and cancel. Other times, it means encouraging a stranger in the line at the pharmacy, even though we feel so ineloquent.
A couple weeks ago I told a teacher at my son's school "I wanted you to know I appreciate you. I see you every day in so much pain, yet you still encourage those (special ed) students as you walk them to the bus." She was stunned and said, "I never knew anyone was watching. . ." Sometimes we just have to show up! God is encouraging people around us we are not even aware of.

Fighting is hard. At times it burns, it feels impossible to win, and all the time, we are in the dark, feeling blindfolded, separated from what God wants us to do and where He is. But watch the video and imagine God beside you saying, "Keep going. Just keep going. Give me your best! You can! Don't quit! Don't quit on me! You can do it. I've got your back!"

And in the end, when God takes off the blindfold, you will find yourself in a place in life you never imagined you would be. You may have thought all that time you were hurting, burning in pain, lonely, or feeling your life was wasted, was never wasted a bit. God knew all along that you would win that race and then He could use you in an entirely new astonishing way you never dreamed of.

As someone with a chronic illness, I encourage you NOT to set resolutions like the rest of the world. God doesn't need more promises of our good intentions. Instead, search for Him. Listen for Him. Rest in Him. And pray that when it feels like He is sticking that blindfold on you and saying, "follow me" you will follow Him, regardless of how hard it feels or how off kilter it seems from your original plans.

This is my goal for myself for this year. I invite you to join me and I look forward to hearing your stories of God's faithfulness in a few months.

Blessings, Lisa
Rest Ministries, PO Box 502928, San Diego, California 92150, United States

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