This verse has been in mind for many days. If you’re unsure of what it means to be poor in spirit, reference a different translation where the first sentence of this verse reads: “Blessed are those who are at the end of their rope…”. Basically, this verse is telling us that we are blessed when we have no other options, are destitute, having nothing left to lose.
I took the time to read through a few of my previous posts and I found one where I talked about having nothing left to lose. I made this blog post at a time when I had just lost custody of my children but before I received the news that I had breast cancer. When you wrap your entire life around your children, their friends, their education, their health, and their every day to day tasks, life becomes very silent and destitute when they are no longer there everyday. I remember the pain as I read what I wrote back in January. But what I didn’t know at that time was the pain that was coming with my breast cancer diagnosis. There’s nothing like a deeper crisis to make a prior deep crisis seem not so bad.
If I am honest, the cancer diagnosis did not break me. Losing my children was losing everything, that broke me on a level nothing else has or ever will. The cancer made me just want to fight harder. I recall when I was in the room preparing for the biopsy surgery and the nurse asked me if I was nervous. I was iron as I said “No! Bring it on!” I have never felt so much determination and so much complete nothing to lose as I did at that moment. I was almost certain of what was coming, after all I had studied the book of Job. At the time I received the cancer diagnosis I truly was at the end of my rope! While I have faced this with greater strength than I ever thought possible, there are days that I am deeply saddened, frustrated, and annoyed that I have to put the focus and energy into something other than just my children. (I must interject a note here to point out that I did not say “greater strength than I ever thought I had”. In a prior post, I spoke of the strength of God coming through me because I know no human with the strength I have met this with and it’s truly not from me. I note this for anyone reading who is in need of strength. Ask Him and it will be granted on to you!)
There is a song that I have deeply come to love – Oh My Soul by Casting Crowns. This is also a must add to the playlist! One line from the chorus goes “Let him show you how you can lay this down“. This has become my life’s challenge. I have hired many attorneys, I have represented myself, and I have research and studied and filed complaints and motions and appeals. I have taken the reins of this legal battle and I have lost to this point. The fight is still active because as the law states “a reasonable person would conclude an error has been made”. So, I have contemplated what it is the author of the song is trying to tell me where it states “Let Him show you how you can lay his down”. And I asked myself, if I lay this down to God, who is going to fight for my children? How can His will be for me to just give up and lay down? That’s where I came face to face with my lack of Faith and it was devastating. Did I really just question God’s ability to conquer this fight without me? I’m not going to be self righteous and tell you that I could lay it down entirely and I’m not going to tell you that I have completely laid it down either. I can tell you I have tried, I am trying. It’s a little bit of “accept it for what it is today” and continue to pray and sometimes cry out to God in desperation (much like a child who didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas). It was not that long ago that I experienced the true meaning of the term wailing in contrast to weeping. (I have read a verse in the Bible in which it talks about prayer and fasting as we wait for God to tell us what to do – I will cover this story tomorrow as it’s so important and I have grown to love his story. )
What my illness has forced me to do is lay it down before God, not half heartedly but fully as there are days I do not have the opportunity to do anything but to pray and to fast. Whether it be from incapacitation from surgeries and medications or from complete exhaustion as my body heals, I must lay this down and leave this at His feet. If I can be thankful for anything, it is how marvelous God is in his plan to show us how we can come to fully depend on Him. I’m not being smug when I say that and I can imagine your thoughts as you read that – “how marvelous that God allowed you to have cancer to show you how to give your problems to Him?” Yep, that’s what I said. I know that I could never fully disengage from my fight otherwise and I know I have never laid it down at His feet completely before this illness. How can God accomplish His will when I am continually in His way, playing defense, undoing His works, or worse – halting it completely? I am hopeful and faithful that this is my blessing in this whole mess that has brought me to the very end of myself, to the very end of my rope.