Thankful for BOTH.

A dear friend has been suffering physically for several months. After surgery, which helped resolve many of the issues, she became ill with the flu. From the outside looking in, it appeared that salt was being rubbed into her proverbial wound. And yet, when I asked how I could pray for her specifically, she replied, "The Lord is using this time to show me my sin. He is pulling out sin I was not even aware of, and it is not attractive. Pray that I will not flinch or flee, but respond in obedience and learn what I need to learn while He holds a mirror to my heart." What a response! A biblical, mature, godly response.

After the awe of her godly perspective subsided, I asked, "What sin could you possibly be committing while trapped in a horizontal position?" She never answered. But the Lord did.
During the past three days of physical affliction, He has used the long, quiet hours to focus my attention on areas of sin that were obscured by the clatter of daily living. Specifically, areas of sin that have sprouted unnoticed, but have roots that will twist themselves deeper if not ripped out immediately. Dealing with sin you battle with daily is one thing, but being forced to face sin you didn't even know existed is humbling indeed. How many blind spots we possess! Making the cry of David all the more fitting when he says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me ... ” Psalm 139:23, 24

These past few days of physical pain were unwanted.
The spiritual incisions were unpleasant.
But like my friend, I am thankful for both. 
And I pray that I too will respond in obedience, choosing to turn away from the sin that ensnares me so I might run unfettered, with passion and joy, in this race called "life" until the Lord pulls me across the glorious finish line, and I will know - I am HOME.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1,2

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