Lies Women Believe…about Circumstances!
Boy, did this one hit me hard! I am struggling this month. Hormones are raging, tempers flaring, and communication hindered because of both of those! You think I would have learned after Chapter 8 about my response to my emotions, right??? Well…welcome to the first trimester of pregnancy. Yep! almost 11 weeks pregnant today! And really struggling with controlling my blood sugar levels….
…and frustrated that I have to wait a little bit longer to go back on my insulin pump…
…and frustrated with the lack of communication from doctors and nurses…
And yet, it is a 3-day weekend where we are supposed to be remembering our fallen soldiers and thanking those who have fought for our freedoms. I need a perspective shift.
Since reading Chapter 9, I have been a teary mess! Thinking about my brothers, cousins, uncles, and grandfather who have been in and out of the military, facing battle, or just keeping the peace…I am honored that they have risen to the call of our nation, and grateful for their acts of service.
So, with this new perspective shift, let’s dive into the lies and truth found in Chapter 9 of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book.
Lie #36: If my circumstances were different, I would be different.
Truth #36: Man, I have thought about this one A LOT over the years! If only I weren’t diabetic… If only my sister had waited one more day for me to come home… If only I had not gone on that missions trip… If only…
The vicious What If cycle can eat you alive!
A lot of these “if only’s” and “what if’s” I have dwelt upon over the years have to do with my sister’s death by suicide. I blamed myself for a very long time, and was trapped in depression because of it.
Then, one day, I heard my former Youth Leader speak a message at church about “What if’s.” He blew my perspective out of the water! I had been dwelling on the negative “what if’s!”
What if…God has a plan for my life through this pain?
What if…God is glorified through this disease He has allowed me to have?
What if…it is not about my feelings and emotions?
What if…God really does make beauty from ashes?
What if…my circumstances have strengthened me, built my faith, and allowed me to draw closer to my creator, my shelter, my fortress, and my God?
In that moment, I began to realize that if my circumstances, I really would be different…but NOT for the better. My faith would not be what it is, and I would not be who I am. And who I am is a beautiful daughter of the King of kings, who seeks to honor and glorify Him to the best of my ability, who frequently falls into His arms seeking forgiveness and wisdom, who stumbles and grows ever closer to Him.
God has allowed me these circumstances to teach me, to comfort me, to be my strength in the midst of my weaknesses. This is all over scripture! Take a look at these passages:
Job 1:8-12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Romans 8 in its entirety speaks to this truth. Verses 37-38 bring me the most comfort: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
God KNOWS. He KNEW all these things would happen to me. And yet, nothing can separate me from Him. He knows, and He is there, and He LOVES me through my circumstances! We have a God who has experienced pain and suffering, even death and grief. He knows my pain, past, present, and future. I have found much peace in that.
Lie #37: I shouldn’t have to suffer.
Truth #37: So why does God allow me these circumstances of suffering? Another question is, “Why not allow these circumstances?”
Scripture never once promises us a life free from suffering. In fact, Christ and the disciples often write about suffering! My Savior suffered the deepest pain and humiliation known to man when he was whipped, beaten, despised, ridiculed, crucified, and taunted while he died. Three days later, He ROSE from the grave and CONQUERED death! But if my own Savior willingly suffered for ME, why would I think myself above suffering? Am I willing to suffer for HIS sake? Even then, suffering in America is an easy life compared to suffering in other countries. I am not facing death because of my beliefs. I have a chronic illness that is treatable with insulin and glucose monitoring. Easy compared to stoning, rejection, and death because of faith in Jesus. Perspective is everything.
Passages of Scripture about suffering:
Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
1 Peter 4 says A LOT about suffering. Verses 12 and 13 really speak to the heart of what it means to suffer though: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you.
Lie #38: My circumstances will never change–This will go on FOREVER (as I visualize the face of one of the boys from The Sandlot…)
Truth #38: I cling to the truth that God’s timing is perfect. I will not always understand why suffering endures as long as it does, or why illnesses last as long as they do. But I know my God is sovereign. In comparison to Eternity, these fleeting moments of pain and trial are just that: fleeting. Temporary. A blip on the timeline. This does not make the immediate moment easier. However, that truth allows my perspective to adapt.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Do not lose heart! This momentary affliction will pass away.
Lie #39: I just can’t take it anymore!
Truth #39: Raise your hand if you have ever said this! I just raised BOTH my hands. Yep, we frequently find this phrase slipping from our mouths, right?
In these moments, I am reminded of my weakness. I can’t do this…on my own. But with the Grace of God, I can endure with HIS strength.
Take a look at some more passages from 2 Corinthians:
But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
The man who wrote this passage is a man who once persecuted and killed people who claimed to be Christians. And here, he has endured HOW much for the sake of Christ? And I throw my hands up when my son cries for two hours! I am so weak…
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 is a passage I have referred to often in my blog. Read it once again:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 130 is another great description of waiting through the suffering, of enduring and trusting in the Lord.
Lie #40: It’s all about ME.
Truth #40: It’s all about GOD. Who am I, to think myself greater than the creator of the universe??? Who am I, to think that my issues require more attention than another person? For we are all equals in the eyes of God, and we are all subject to His authority. Nothing exists apart from what God allows.
Colossians 1:15-23 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
This truth really put my frustration with my doctors into perspective. God gives me peace, words, and wisdom. I will trust in Him and in His timing for this.