March 16, 2015
I happened to find your letters this morning on Rapture Ready, I hadn’t seen them before. Anyway, I accepted Christ 32 years ago and I find as I age, that my body is wearing down and I don’t feel like I am accomplishing much anymore. I just feel tired and ready to go home but I know it is not time in my heart for I have two grandchildren, and plenty of people around me who need Christ and need encouragement and help.
I am finding it harder to help though not because I don’t want to. It hurts my heart so much to see people suffering but I find myself not knowing anymore if I am helping and doing what Jesus wants me to do and say to others.
Also, I haven’t been able to get myself to a church on a consistent basis anymore due to chronic pain and illness so I feel I am letting Jesus down there, too. I am just not where I used to be in my walk with Jesus. I hear Him but it is as if being in a cave where there are many different openings and Jesus is in another one than I am.
I know He is there and He is moving but I am not keeping up and hard as I try I grow tired like I am running under water to keep up, and I am not keeping up. If I can’t see Him did I separate myself somehow from the walk He has called me to?
Please say a prayer for me and thank you for the encouraging words you are giving to so many. I know I felt encouraged by reading some of the letters and my heart goes out to those who wrote in as well. I know God will and is helping each one of them as He encouraged me through them, too. God keep us strong till the end in Jesus Name, God bless you!
I am so glad to you wrote and pleased that you find the “Dear Esther” letters a blessing. Of course, you have my prayers. I pray that the Lord will comfort and reassure you that all is well. As I read your letter I immediately thought of the first passage from the book of Ecclesiastes:
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
My dear lady, I have no doubt that you have blessed more people than you know. Your godly presence alone is a blessing to your friends and family members. You are at a point in your life when you simply cannot be as demonstrative as you would like, but that does not negate your effectiveness and usefulness. Even as believers we have been conditioned that by doing, doing, doing, we are alive in Christ and purposeful. But that is somewhat of a misnomer, especially depending on the circumstances.
It is our heartfelt faithfulness to Him by our right heart attitudes that we give what we can at various stages of our lives. An older physical body cannot keep up the pace it once did. Please don’t place unrealistic pressure on yourself. As I said, your loving and godly presence alone does more for those around you than you might realize.
God’s Word tells us this:
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Betty, you know it is not by our efforts we are made righteous. It is all God’s doing. When we have the right motives and are truly born from above, then we have victory through Him even when life’s trials and tribulations say otherwise. You are feeling more distant from the Lord because you are very tired and the chronic pain and illness are enough to consume your days. That is very understandable.
The Lord knows you have a devoted heart and cannot be quite the perky witness you were earlier in your life. But He is still with you. This is when you must reassert yourself in God’s Word and by faith accept His promises. It is by filling your heart and mind with the Holy Scriptures that healing comes. Even if it is a few verses a day. Keep the Lord’s tender words close to your heart. That is how you can begin to feel a oneness with Him again.
Consider that we are living and functioning in a spiritual battlefield. The devil is constantly scheming and working to take away our victory. He will attack us in the most cunning ways with lies and fears to point out our setbacks, failures and weaknesses. But in Christ we are made whole and nothing the enemy does can take the Lord away from a true born-again believer. It is in His strength that we are made strong (even if we don’t feel it). Believe it when He says:
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 emphasis added).
To answer your question, “If I can’t see Him did I separate myself somehow from the walk He has called me to?” The answer is all tied in with what I have already stated above. It does not sound like you have deliberately separated yourself from the Lord. I would say that your chronic pain and illness are too much to bear at times making it is tough to listen, and relate to the Lord or anyone else -- the way you once did. But this is where your faith must take over.
This is the time in your life when you simply cannot be as proactive outwardly as you would like. Accepting this change is part of your healing and that is how you will have peace. And not attending church is something that cannot be held against you. Please don’t think God is disappointed with you. It is your love and faithfulness for Him that matters, not dragging yourself to a church building when you are hurting.
It is often in silence and with little interaction with others that we can regain our sense of purpose. It is often through our quiet communion with the Lord with minimal contact with others that our relationship with Him is strengthened. In fact some churches can be a distraction from having a strong walk with the Lord. You can still fellowship with others and worship the Lord in other creative ways.
You can help those whom you wish to reach for Christ with quiet and steady prayers that will resonate to His throne in heaven. Heartfelt prayer is powerful! The world may not see you being as outwardly active for God as you once were but He sees and hears you.
I will remind you now that God’s love for you is immeasurable, and that He is the hope and anchor for the soul. You can regain your sense of belonging and strengthen your relationship with Him by allowing Him to do it for you. Let Him carry you.
Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:4).
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Precious Betty, this is your time to rest in God’s peace. Your prayers for others are the best way to serve the Lord right now and will reap great benefits. The pain and illness can make physical and emotional rest difficult but with Jesus all things are possible. Cast your burdens upon Him. He is there for you.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-19).
Once again, I want to encourage you and tell you that because you have been faithful to the Lord and have walked with Him for so many years, you have been more of a blessing to others than you may realize. We all reach various stages in life and it is by accepting this fact that we can have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
You have been a faithful Christian soldier battling on the front lines for over 30 years. It is your turn to step back and let others be positioned in the front lines of this spiritual battlefield. The Lord always sends reinforcements to fill the gap. It is your turn to be a strong anchor in a position of quiet rest.
You can be just as effective for the Lord with your prayers and godly presence as you were when you were out in the world ministering for Him. Please let go and allow the Lord to be in your life in a new way. Trust that you will regain your ability to better communicate with the Him. The following passage should give you much hope:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power” (Isaiah 40:28).
And as this Scripture says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Dear Betty, trust now that all is well. (If you have some traditional hymns you can listen to, that would be a good thing for you to do.) God bless you and know that He is there with you. Please keep in touch with me and know that my prayers for you will continue. May the Lord God Almighty touch you in such a way that you will soon better sense His great Presence again in your life.
In God’s love,
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The LORD is their strength,
And He is a saving defense to His anointed” (Psalm 28:7-8).