Living an “Upside Down” Life

Related imageIt was one of those rare summer days. The sky was clear blue with a few clouds. There was low humidity, with a nice breeze. A perfect day to be outside!

But I missed most of it. I didn’t wake up till almost 2 p.m. due to a night of tossing and turning, then reading, then praying, then deep breathing, even a cup of tea to try to sleep. All due to side effects from a new medication. So frustrating!

Image result for sleepless nightHow many times are you awake in the middle of the night wondering why you can’t sleep? How many times have you taken a new medication that throws your schedule and life completely out of whack? In your chronic illness, how many times have you had a really “good” day, done too much, and paid the price the next day….or next few days? Or perhaps due to chronic fatigue, you sleep very late, and it’s difficult to get your day in sync with your family or other people.

If you have a chronic illness, your answer to the above questions is probably the same as mine, “countless times.” Many people without illness sometimes have trouble sleeping, but for those with chronic illness, it happens way too frequently.

Related imageIt makes for what I call an “upside down” life.

When Jesus walked this earth, he turned life upside down too.

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16)
“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

“The Pharisees asked the disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick….I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'” (Matthew 9: 11-12)

Ultimately, Jesus was crucified on a cross, but rose to life three days later. “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’” (Matthew 27:63) “The angel spoke to the women: ‘There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said.'”(Matthew 28-5-6)

Living an “upside down” life often makes me feel like a person who was called an “outcast” in Jesus’ day…someone who is last, who is losing their life, who often needs a doctor, who is unable to do what I desire or could once do because of illness.

Jesus not only turned life “upside down,” he endured one of the most troubled lives ever lived. During his ministry years, he had no home and no place to lay his head. He was questioned, misunderstood, persecuted, abandoned, hated, arrested, beaten, flogged, and crucified. He understands human suffering because he experienced it.

We can go to him with our sleepless nights, our discouragement, our loneliness, our tears, our frustrations, our disappointments, and our pain. He wants to hear when we feel lost, misunderstood, or out of sync with the world.

“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

So go to him and give him your struggles. He may not take them away, but he will give you the strength and peace to walk through them. And he might just give you a little joy!

That glorious summer day that I missed? God gave me the strength late afternoon to take a walk, and get dinner and ice cream with my husband while sitting outside. As I enjoyed the warmth on my face and the breeze blowing through my hair, I silently said, “Thanks God for this special treat!”

This is Jackie…#livingwithhopethroughchronicillness

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