I don't know the exact reference, but I know that is part of a verse in the Bible. I know it to be a command from the Lord and for a good reason!
Over the past few years I've been battling intestinal issues along with fatigue and anxiety. I've tried all sorts of different diets and combos of diets and exercise routines. I've given up foods that I love. I more recently had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and cat-scan to rule out any numbers of diseases. Everything came out "normal," so the diagnosis I'm stuck with is IBS. To be honest, I was a little disappointed... not that I don't have some terrible disease, I just wanted answers. IBS seems so ambiguous and then there's the question of fatigue. Where is that from? Blood tests show everything in the "normal" range. I know I have three kids and a somewhat busy life, but so do a lot of other people and they do a lot more than me and don't seem tired....
This has been my thought process and frustration as I continue to be diligent in eating the "right" foods, getting enough sleep and trying to exercise on a regular basis. But to no avail... I feel as tired waking up as I did when I fell into bed the night before. Why Lord??? I'm trying, doing everything that I can think of, researching the best food options, vitamins, etc., etc., etc. This has been my struggle with the Lord. There are so many things that I want to do (for Him), but I can't because I don't even have enough for my husband and family. I've been angry and frustrated with the Lord. Why wouldn't He want me to have more energy for my family and others? In the past few months I've been battling depression-mostly over this issue. I have to force myself out of bed to take care of my sweet darlings. I long to stay in bed over being with them. Then I feel the guilt and shame over those feelings. I love them so much, why would I desire to sleep over being with them?
The Lord has been so faithful and patient during this time. He's held me, His daughter, as I sit in His lap throwing these tantrums, wanting things my way, fair. Much like I've held my children in the same way, whispering, "I love you. That's why I can't let you do ______." Why can't I believe that God loves me and He knows what's happening and why. He has it all under control. He longs for me to rest in His loving arms, under the Shelter of His Wing. But how? How can I do this? It's simple...
You can try as hard as possible to think positively, to change your attitude, to have more energy, but you will eventually burn out. I know because I'm there. I can't do it. If I'm completely honest with myself, God's gift to me is this fatigue and IBS. It's in this place of struggle that I have the choice to make: will I give thanks for my situation, which is trusting in God's love and purpose for me or will I choose to keep my focus on myself and go down the road of self pity, victimization and eventually despair. I prefer the latter road sometimes because it's known and comfortable-my old self. Giving thanks is trusting in God's sovereignty, not my own! It's a risk. But when I take the focus off of myself and look for things to be thankful for I have space to step back and see His faithfulness and His incredible love for me!
Try giving thanks today! For the long cashier line at Target or Walmart, for the dirty diaper that smeared everywhere, for the difficult teacher, for the toddler tantrums, for the cranky boss, for the meal you have to think up, for the strange neighbor, for the sickness you're battling.....If Christ can give thanks before experiencing the most excruciating death and separation from His Father, than He can equip us to give thanks in all things! Hebrews 13:15 "through Christ then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name."