The flu bug bit me, or something akin to it. I hate being sick – especially when it’s so bad that I’m unable to do anything else. It really, truly stinks. I had that behind the eye kind of headache, so I couldn’t even read! Watching television didn’t provide much distraction either. Isn’t it funny how positive one can be when momentarily inconvenienced or temporarily afflicted? During those small setbacks, it’s not all that difficult to believe that “joy will come in the morning.” But when the morning comes and it’s still dark, when you’re still desperate for comfort and tired of waiting for relief, that’s when the dark night of the soul is really tested.
This type of affliction seems to have troubled many around me lately. Some are battling long term sicknesses like cancer or auto immune diseases. Others have been worn down by family drama and instability. We know and have even practiced laying down our burdens at the feet of Jesus. Indeed, we’ve probably even experienced how unburdening ourselves brings relief and light. But sometimes the clouds are so dark, they give us amnesia and we forget what the sun looks like. Furthermore, the struggle seems more like a constant irritation – a nagging cough that keeps us up at night and ruins our rest. It's not only irritating, it’s actually causing real damage and real pain.
It feels something like that lately - like the enemy has been poking and prodding, mocking and attacking, hoping we will just give up and give in. Have you felt it? Maybe you’ve felt pelted with sorrow, unable to shake the dreariness. You’ve stayed afloat, stayed in the battle, but the pummeling still stings. It hurts and you are weary of it. I’m there too. All the wisdom and maturity has fallen flat, and I feel like a 2-year-old – wanting to throw a fit until I get my way, and everything is ok.
If this dark depressive state does sound familiar to you, hold on! I truly believe that Help is on the way. You may have been running a marathon where you’ve been sustained along the route. You’ve been fed and hydrated. You’ve had bathroom breaks. But I believe that God has prepared a real haven of rest for you. More than just getting by and surviving, He’s preparing a banquet table. How do I know this? Well, I know His promises are true and I stand on those promises because God has shown himself faithful to me time and time again. Also, the LORD, in His merciful kindness, aware of my struggles, gave me two visions.
The first picture came while praying for a woman who said she was exhausted and tired of the battle. As we prayed, I saw her in a boxing ring. She was a little beaten up, but there were many people in her corner tending to her needs. They were binding up her wounds and encouraging her to get back in the fight. She emerged from her corner with that “eye of the tiger” look about her. Refreshed, she was able to stand with renewed strength and courage, bold and confident of success.
A week or so later, God showed me another poignant scene. During early morning group prayer time, a song about healing fire was playing in the background. Yes, I agreed – bring the healing fire, Lord God! But my prayer somehow quickly morphed into a request for healing balm. In the Spirit, I then saw a healing balm from God being spread over my body, soothing every ache, mending every wound, consecrating every part of me. The balm, however, was merely preparation for another round of therapy, for next came an oil of anointing that was poured over my head. The oil ran down my body and thoroughly seeped into every inch of my being. My hair was soaked through and dripping. The oil saturated every dry part, every wrinkle, and even my clothing - consecrating my dry and weary flesh.
Under this anointing, I was able to stand and walk with a greater sense of protection. I felt more secure, more bold, more at ease. In great confidence, I then walked in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It reminded me of the message I’ve been hearing from others, and that God has been giving me personally, about walking in my anointing and helping others to recognize and walk in theirs as well. Now, I see it more clearly - what walking in the anointing and the authority we have in Jesus is supposed to look like. In this state of consecration, we can function with a new boldness, unencumbered by the cares of the world and the attacks of the enemy.
So, where do we go from here? As for me, I’m confident of this: the LORD will restore and revive me. The sinus infection won’t last forever. I will breathe freely again. The sun will shine again. This is my encouragement from the Father and a rallying cry for us all. Let us not allow the weariness to overwhelm us. Do not be afraid. There will be joy in the morning. There will be sanctification of our souls. We can do it, friends. We can hold on for the morning. We can hold on to His promises. He is enough, so we are enough. For after all, it is in Him we live and move and have our being. It may look different than what we’ve envisioned, but He will come through. He’s proven Himself faithful. He who promised will not fail.
Resources and References:
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 17:28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Psalm 145:13b The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint