This has been not a very good year for me and my health. I haven't felt my best all year. I knew something was wrong but didn't know what was going on. I was dealing with some awesome fatigue, weight gain and swelling. I am not sure how many times I had been to the doctor and he kept saying that nothing was wrong. He did all kinds of blood work but nothing showed up. My thyroid numbers were the best they had been in years, if ever. However, I was feeling horrible. Then in August I had surgery and found out I had cancer. I went through radiation and ending the year recovering.
I personally haven't lost anyone this year, but I know several people that have lost a loved one. There is a family that lost their daughter in a car crash as she was headed back to college. And other families that have lost a loved one in 2016. I pray for these families - that God will give them comfort and strength.
In my daily devotion reading this morning, it was really good as I reflect on this year. It was spot on. I am currently reading "A Woman's Journey to the Heart of God" by Cynthia Heald. It is so good. Recommend it for anyone!! Today's chapter was called, "Willingness to Endure." I wish I could tell you every word from it, but I will share some high lights.
Jeremiah chose endurance because he knew the destination was worth it. Endurance is that capacity to stay under the load, to remain in the circumstances, without fleeing or seeking the easy way out. Perseverance is a quality we must exercise on a daily basis.
God had applied pressure in Paul's life to keep him from being prideful, but along with the affliction God supplied Paul with the grace to endure. "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." We need to let things happen. Stop focusing on the handicap and begin appreciating the gift. When God places us in a difficult situation and declines to eliminate the pressure, it is comforting to remember that His grace enables us to keep going when the road is rough. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
I endure because I get up each day to walk with God. I endure because I love God and I want my life to please Him. I know that every trial in which I stand firm will add to my maturity. I know that it will deepen my ability to accept and handle whatever I encounter in life. His Word sustains me; He stand beside me; His grace is sufficient; He gives perseverance and encouragement. I want the whole tour; I don't want to miss out on anything the Lord wants to see or do. It is the only journey in which we do not have to endure alone.
When through fiery trials they pathway shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be they supply; The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and they gold to refine.
In reading this chapter this morning, I realized that I am stronger than I thought. I have endured this year and I have come out stronger on the other side. I know that God did not leave me alone. He was with me each step of the way. I know that through His grace I can handle anything that comes my way. I want people to see God through me and my trials.
So if you are going through a trial or some tough times, please know that God is working in you. He will NOT leave you alone. Don't give up!!! Just keep clinging to God and His promises.
I am not sure what 2017 has in store for me or my family. I pray that whatever it may be that God will give me His grace to get me through it. I love this journey that I am on and I don't want to miss one thing God has in store for me.