Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Physical Pain for the Wife & Mother

“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11:4

This is a topic that’s been on my heart quite a bit lately. Due to my own health issues, I’ve come to identify with the struggle of our sisters who deal with chronic pain and disease on a regular basis, and how difficult it is, particularly as a wife and mother. My own battles with chronic pain began almost two years ago, and the symptoms I face get stronger and more challenging to deal with day by day. I am, as of yet, still undiagnosed and currently awaiting testing at a hospital known for superior diagnostics, so praying to get some answers there.

The calling of wife and mother is no easy one, even for the healthy-bodied woman. On any given day there is laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, meeting the needs of the children, meeting the needs of the husband, schooling, ministry and anything else that may come up. There is hospitality, discipleship and ministering to the lost. Then there are those of us who also need to make an income. Some women work outside the home, and others (like myself) work from the home so that I can home-educate my daughter. Let’s face it ladies, our plates are overflowing with activities, tasks and projects. The truth is, we don’t have time to be sick.

We don’t have time to be sick; not even with the flu. At least with the flu you can safely assume a few days of down time and then a recovery. This is not the case with chronic disease and pain. A woman with painful medical conditions, such as Fibromyalgia or Lyme Disease, can almost count on waking up each morning in pain. While there are generally good days and bad days, there is no expectation of complete recovery, except for through miraculous healing from Jesus. While we pray for healing, we also accept God’s will, and sometimes His plan involves allowing us to experience pain and sickness for His glory to be revealed.

In the verse above, Jesus is talking about his friend Lazarus who is very ill. Jesus says this illness is not going to lead to death, but to the end result of revealing the glory of God. His disciples are quite perplexed indeed when Lazarus does die, but our Lord Jesus Christ knew that the death was but a mirage. He would raise Lazarus from the dead. Even knowing that, Jesus wept for His beloved friend.

To my beloved sisters who share in my struggles with pain, let us be encouraged. Sometimes we may wonder by God isn’t healing us now or why He allows us, His daughters, to suffer. My heart has posed these questions as well. We see that sometimes God allows sickness, suffering and pain because somehow in the big picture it brings about a good result. Sometimes it draws attention to God’s glory. Perhaps when people see us persevering through pain to serve our families and minister to the lost, they see God’s mighty hand carrying us through. God gets the glory. Be further encouraged to know, sisters, that Jesus’ words are true for us too. This sickness is not to death. Even though this life is a constant struggle and there is much pain, we are promised an eternity with our God in new bodies that will be untouched by pain. We are alive forevermore with Him who gave His life for us. The pain is for a short while, but our life eternal with Christ is what follows. We have to press on as best we can and trust the Lord to lift our weary arms and hold us together.

As I write this blog, tears fill my eyes because I know there is hope. I’ve definitely felt hopeless at times. I’ve felt defeated when I didn’t have the strength to finish my housework, or when I couldn’t chase my daughter in the park. I’ve cried out to my Lord, begging Him for answers. We will have those days of inner conflict, but we must admonish ourselves to remember Jesus’ words. This sickness is not to death. We have victory in Jesus and He will help us through every hard day, hold us when we are week and weary, and mend our hearts when they are broken. I pray sisters that today you know that your sickness is not to death. If you know Jesus and He knows you, you will one day be pain free. Hallelujah!

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I am Tired and Heavy-Laden

“‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.'” Matthew 11:28-30

Are you tired and heavy-laden? Burdened down by the weight of trials and tribulations in your homes, community, church and family? If you are feeling heavy-laden, you are not alone. We live in a world full of burdens indeed and so often we feel that we have too much to bear on our shoulders, yet we know God only gives us what we can handle. In the scripture above the word for “labor” is to “grow weary, tired and exhausted from toiling; to labor with wearisome effort.” The word “heavy-laden” is one that can also be translated as “loaded down by a burden”. We get a picture of a person who is struggling to carry on under the gross weight of a burden too heavy for any person to carry alone. Yes, too heavy to bear alone. That’s why Jesus finished so mercifully with an invitation to take upon ourselves His yoke.

This yoke has a double meaning. A yoke was a bondage that was placed around the necks of cattle to keep them working together as a team, pulling a cart or farming equipment. The yoke kept the cattle moving the same direction. Two cattle pulling a heavy load together evenly distributes the weight so that the burden is lighter. Jesus offers his yoke to us. His burden is light because He is a mighty, powerful God! We are never alone in our burdens when Jesus is carrying them with us! We can trust Him!

The yoke is also a reference to the difference between the Law and God’s new covenant. The Law put a heavy burden upon the people that they could not bear or fulfill. It was a bondage of chains that brought condemnation and defeat. Then the grace of God came and melted those chains with the blood of a pure and spotless Lamb. His yoke is easy and light because all we have to do to receive salvation is give Him our hearts and follow. We are not bound by the heavy Law but free in Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. We still strive to please Him in our lives, but we do that because of our love for Him and gratitude of changed hearts.

Tonight as I write this I am heavy-laden and burdened. Burdens are pressing down and all around I see people suffering. I see my own failures and repent of my sins. I am burdened for the lost and dying—for those who don’t know the love of Christ. I am tired of the struggle, the trials and the tears. Yet, as I read His Word and dwell on His goodness, my strength is renewed. My heart is refreshed and my burdens lighten. I feel Him place His yoke on me and bid me to come His way. I hear Him comfort me with Words so sweet and gentle and I know He will make goodness of all of the badness in this world. He will make beauty from ashes.

So I thank the Lord that this heavy-laden woman is not left to carry the burden alone. When I can’t walk anymore He will carry me. When I don’t have the Words to speak, the Spirit will intercede for me. When I am troubled by the trials, He will comfort my broken heart. Praising Jesus tonight, for His yoke is easy!

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

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