I've read this verse numerous times over the last few months and although I felt like I understood it (in simple terms, give up my will for God's will), I still struggled with what this meant as a practical matter. I'm a black and white kind of girl so I struggle with a lot of the biblical metaphors and how to actually apply them. I had a migraine yesterday which kept me in bed most of the day and a little dizzy too. In the 10+ hours I was in the bed, this verse began to make more sense to me.
I picture it like a 3-frame cartoon (I wish I could actually draw this, but I can't):
- Frame 1 - I'm a stick figure standing there holding everything that is "mine" - my time, my family, my priorities, my agenda, my dreams, my schedule, my money, my resources.
- Frame 2 - I'm a stick figure standing there with arms open wide with all of those things of mine laying at my feet, scattered on the ground.
- Frame 3 - I'm a stick figure standing there, holding up a cross, which is covered in the words "love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control".
This all sounds great, but as I pray for God's help in these areas I get hung up on and have to ask for extra help because I tend to be a little sarcastic and very much have OCD, which tends to interfere with me living a more godly life! While I'm praying through this I just picture God standing there with a comical look on his face saying to me, "Yes, I know you need extra help in these areas; I made you, flaws and all, remember?" And I find comfort in that. God has no expectation that I'll be perfect in carrying my cross, only that I set out to do it - daily! I just have to put a little yellow caution tape around my quick-wit and OCD to make sure I pay extra attention in those areas.
You know what else? You would think carrying a heavy, wooden, awkwardly-shaped, blood-stained cross would be really cumbersome. But I find on the days that I'm diligent about carrying it, I feel much less burdened, more peaceful and much more rested. It's a paradox. Something that would seemingly act like an anchor brings great freedom and relief.
Surrendering my will daily isn't what I want to do, but I know that I have to do it. It's the only way to a life that pleases God and therefore brings joy. (Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ---Psalm 37:4)
Thank you for continued prayers for my Meniere's disease. I still firmly believe I am in remission but am still fighting through some lingering dizziness and some new issues (like all this sinus trouble I've been having causing bad headaches). I am SO blessed to have come so far and I really do feel almost guilty asking for more prayer, but I am such a firm believer in it's power I will never stop asking for it. One very specific request over the next few weeks: I am trying to wean off of the medication I've been taking for months. It's very addictive medicine. I've been on a really low dose but I still am asking for prayer that my body will easily adjust and I can break this bondage to this medicine that I feel (I am thankful for the medicine but at the same time I despise it). Thank you, thank you, thank you - I will keep you posted on how this goes!