Living In A Diminished Capacity?

Are you living with a Chronic Illness or a Diminished Capacity? Were you at one time a fully functioning individual with great muscle tone, great reflexes, a clear and sharp mind? Could you endure significant pain for brief periods of time (during exercise, sports, or even injury), and emotions that were rarely pushed to the brink?

Perhaps those days are behind you, for now. Today maybe your entire being is challenged with whole body chronic pain; fatigue that makes you feel like the weight of a thousand pounds is on your shoulders; your mind is foggy leaving you with the concentration, intellectual processing, and memory recall capacity of a simple light switch; your emotions are bouncing around like a super ball even before you get out of bed in the morning.

Maybe depression [due to a complication in your brain and body chemistry, or due to incredibly difficult circumstances) has darkened your mind and your outlook on every situation in your life. The darkness of depression swallows up any light of hope that might glimmer for just a moment, depression maintaining its occupation of the kingdom of your mind.

I know what it is like, because the above describes my journey. Some days are better than others, but on average these are my battles in this war.

There is something that I have discovered as I have journeyed through this terrain with God’s “ever present help in time of need.” There is one thing that we – the diminished capacity group – can do that is mighty and powerful. It makes the enemy of our souls rage with anger and frustration, and makes the angels of Heaven sing praises unto the Lord for His mighty work in us and through us:

We can be Brave and Determined!

While we are curled up in pain and suffering from the darkness of depression, and our eyes are bloodshot from crying our tear ducts dry, and we are feeling the sting of not having been able to live up to other people’s standards and expectations of daily performance in the most important of life’s responsibilities, there is one thing we CAN do.

If others will look deep into our eyes, past the bloodshot portions, past the colored iris, they will see a raging fire of determination to not only live, not only to survive, but to thrive in Christ! This fire is not of ourselves, it is a holy fire that has been sent from Heaven to burn upon our altar of sacrifice. It is the very altar where we put to death every day, several times each day, the world-inspiring scream of accusation, “Why me, God?!!”

No, the same God Who could instantly and miraculously send to us healing from Heaven has instead – for now – sent a holy fire to burn within us, demonstrating to everyone around us that God is not just a healer, but is also the one Who empowers the weak, encourages the hopeless, gives bravery to the fearful, and infuses supernatural determination into those who will ask.

What is your condition today? Do you struggle with all of the negative aspects that I have listed, but you have not experienced any of the positive things from God? Do you look deep within your soul and not see any fire of determination and bravery? You can, my friend, you can.

God and His fire of determination and bravery is accessed through prayer:

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

~ Hebrews 4:16

“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”

~ 2 Chronicles 7:1

As you reach out to God today, may you too experience the fire of Heaven that will burn strong within you. We as Diminished Capacity-ers have a tremendous opportunity to be used by God during these brief days that we suffer, to be used by Him to demonstrate what real Bravery and Determination look like when God is the source! Our bodies may fail us, our tears may flow, but our determination and bravery wages war in the spirit realm that destroys the enemy’s soul-works in others.

#PastorsTip #Brave #Determined #FireOnTheAltar #DiminishedCapacity #Disability #Depression #Darkness #BrainFog #Memory

Lazy Complainers vs Diligent Pursuers

I’m overweight. Yep, I’m overweight by about 45-50 pounds, and I’m not happy about it. While I do battle a few chronic illnesses that keep me in bed, and I take a medication that is known to add about 10 pounds to a patient, I truly cannot look myself in the eye in the mirror and see a single excuse for my being overweight. Sure, there are several reasons, but no excuses.

The question I pose to myself today is this: am I going to be a Lazy Complainer or a Diligent Pursuer of slimming down my body? As far as I know, I do not have a genetic condition that makes losing weight almost impossible or requires major medical intervention (which some people DO have, and my heart empathizes for them).

If I am going to change from being a Lazy Complainer into a Diligent Pursuer, there are some specific things that I need to purposefully and passionately do:

FIRST: To begin, I’m going to engage in PRAYER, asking for God’s help.

“You desire but do not have… You do not have because you do not ask God.”

~ James‬ ‭4:2‬

SECOND: I am going to begin a deliberate ANTICIPATION of God answering my prayer by helping me.

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

~ James‬ ‭1:6‬

THIRD: I’ll need His help with WISDOM for the “HOW-TO

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

~ James‬ ‭1:5‬

FOURTH: I’ll need His help with SELF-DISCIPLINE for the “JUST DO IT” aspect.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

~ Matthew‬ ‭26:41‬

Losing some weight is just one of several areas in my life where I want to become a Diligent Pursuer. It is going to involve prayer (asking of God), faith (anticipation that God WILL help me as I continuously pray and ask Him), and deliberate actions consistent with my goals.

What about you? Do you have some areas of your life that you find yourself being a Lazy Complainer, but you really need and want to become a Diligent Pursuer? Well, your victory at the Finish Line awaits you to run your race! “Run in such a way as to win” (1 Corinthians 9:24) Diligently take EVERY step necessary to reaching the Finish Line. The steps I outlined earlier for my own race with weight loss will be a great starting point for you.

HEALTH & MEDICAL.

Do you have a health challenge that is just waiting for you to “run the race in such a way as to win?” Regardless of how impossible it might be for a human resolution of your health issues, and regardless of how weak your self-discipline has been, cry out to God EVERYDAY! He loves to hear from His children when we have a need or desire, great or small.

Let’s remember the words of Jesus:

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’”

~ Mark‬ ‭10:27‬

MARRIAGE & RELATIONSHIP.

Do you have a marriage that you wish was emotionally intimate and supportive? Every marriage requires BOTH spouses to diligently pursue the same goal, but far too often the one who wants it the most (who is complaining the most) is not doing and being everything that is necessary for that rich relationship to become a reality. The Lazy Complainer strategy has been employed instead of their becoming the Diligent Pursuer, and their spouse is blamed for not being a Diligent Pursuer.

Sadly, some individuals will NEVER have their desired emotionally intimate marriage, not because of their spouse’s faults but because of their own actions. Their own actions are incompatible with what they say they want. God Himself is a Diligent Pursuer, He took great sacrificial steps toward us before we ever eventually responded, and we are called upon to do the same for one another:

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

~ 1 John‬ ‭4:9-11‬

The most important start to having your prayers heard and answered regarding marriage is to engage today in being considerate and respectful of your spouse, regardless if they are inconsiderate or disrespectful.

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

~ 1 Peter‬ ‭3:7‬

CAREER & WORK.

Do you have a job or career where you wish you would be promoted or assigned a special project, but it’s just not happening? The question to ask yourself is this: “Am I a Lazy Complainer or a Diligent Pursuer?” Rarely can a job be done well without great effort. Early in the book of Genesis, we are instructed that work will require “the sweat of the brow” which speaks of great, continuos effort.

My wife does mentoring of workers in various settings, and she warns them to guard against becoming “lost to mediocrity.” This wisdom is pure gold. A person who is swallowed up in the quicksand of being a mediocre employee, manager, or executive will also be a Lazy Complainer; they will become distracted during their race and they will never finish their race, much less finish their race well as a winner.

Of course, there are plenty of situations in life where we might already be Diligent Pursuers and we encounter others who are blocking the race track. However, we should avoid the blaming of others for being obstacles. Remember, God is the God of the impossible. We need to be Diligent Pursuers who pray, asking the Lord for His help with the impossible, and listening to Him for His guidance, wisdom, and insights.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS

Who knows, God may have arranged your encounter with a certain person who is an obstacle, not so you can run over them or “rebuke” them for being a Lazy Complainer or a purveyor of mediocrity, but so you can help pick them up, mentor them, and run with them for a while. Let’s not forget that God and people are far more important than the immediate achievement of our goals. We CAN finish the race while lovingly helping and mentoring others to finish their race too.

#PastorsTip #Lazy #Complain #Diligent #Pursue #Mediocrity #Mentor #Marriage #Health #Medical #SelfDiscipline #Pray #AskGod #Wisdom #Winner #Champion