I had a rough February. Actually, the entire winter has been difficult. Case in point, Sunday was near 80 degrees and yesterday, I drove to bible study with snow flurries. Crazy!! These extreme weather changes have caused my rheumatoid arthritis to flare. I spent a good portion of February laying on the sofa dealing with flares and with stubborn hip bursitis in both hips. My viewpoint for most of February was this angle.
I did learn a few lessons I’d like to share from my February viewpoint.
- Ice packs are your friend.
- Receiving physical therapy is not wimping out. Don’t grin and bare it. Get treatment.
- Being cooped up in the house makes raking the yard sound like fun.
- Renovation really seems to creep along when you’re staring at it e-v-e-r-y day. I’d equate it to watching a pot boil.
- I need to dust more often.
- Ask for more prayer when you need it.
- I need interaction with people so I don’t verbal vomit on the first humans I finally see.
- When I hurt physically, it’s really hard to read and think. I know this, but it’s still something worth remembering.
- A meal given, even when it’s not a devastating physical illness, shows true friendship.
- Be patient in affliction
The last lesson was one I know but hadn’t ever given considerable thought. The lesson came from a bible verse I was memorizing.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
I was fighting and struggling against the constant pain and the up and down fatigue caused by my rheumatoid arthritis, the lack of a good night’s sleep, and the domino effect that is created when one area hurts, then another is affected and begins to hurt, and the cycle goes round and round. This little verse really struck a chord with me. God used it to teach me and I wanted to share what I learned about it with you.
Patient was the word that caught my eye and grabbed my attention in the verse. I did a little detective work into the original language to discover what word choices Paul used when writing this verse. He chose to use a verb tense that indicates the action is to be done continuously. Meaning, I’m to continually be patient in affliction.
The Greek word for patient means; to remain under, to endure, to sustain a load of miseries, adversities, persecution, or provocation in faith and patience. I was surprised to discover that the word does not refer to patience towards others. A different word is used for that meaning. Therefore, Paul was not talking about the problems I have with others when they cause me misery or frustration. This patience needed is to be applied toward another source.
The root of the Greek word for affliction means to break, to crush, to press. Symbolically, the word means grievous affliction or distress, pressure or burden on the spirit and is related to narrowness and the idea of confined spaces. I can attest that affliction feels exactly like this definition. The visual imagery of confined spaces for me was powerful when associated with affliction.
Restructuring that phrase into my own words, I recognize that I need to remain under God’s loving care when a crushing load of misery is pressing on me in order to sustain continuously in faith and patience. I can redirect my energies and struggles to Him. I can continue to honor God in the manner in which I endure. As I was studying this verse, another one from Matthew 11:28-30 also came to mind.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I can continually sustain through my difficulty because He is there with me to help carry the burden of it. I need only be patient in affliction.