The Battle Is Not Yours.
I remember seeing this quote a few days ago that reminded me to be gentle with others. The words were simple, and the message was clear.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
It really resonated with me that day because I was spending some time reading the Book of Job. On one day in particular, the devil had attacked Job’s body. His physical pain was excruciating, and the emotional pain he suffered from his servants and those who loved him was just as debilitating, causing him to feel hopeless.
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. ~ Job 2:7
I have no peace, no quietness;I have no rest, but only turmoil.” ~Job 3:26
If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas. ~Job 6:2-3
My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering. ~Job 7:5
I have become a laughingstock to my friends. ~Job 12:4
Though my story pales in comparison to Job’s, I realize that we all fight battles daily — whether physical, emotional, or both — we fight them. For many years, I have tried to hide my chronic illness — ashamed of this cross and afraid of being pitied. Thankfully, with wisdom and grace, I have come to understand that God The Potter has given me this cross to help shape me, to remind me to surrender everything to him, and to trust him completely. We are but clay in the potter’s hands.
When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 19 or 20, I breathed a sigh of relief. I finally knew what was going on with my body. I never quite felt normal and longed to be normal. My friends tell me that normal is overrated. I see their point now. I know that I am not the greatest sufferer. Wisdom is a great source of perspective, and Wisdom is more valuable than rubies ( Proverbs 8:11). I have had some really dark days though, and I recently shared a small portion of my testimony with trusted friends in my bible study group.
The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress, I cried out to the Lord. Yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psalms 18:5-6 NLT
Learning to trust God and to surrender everything to him has allowed me to embrace my cross and to tell my story without fear. When I reflect on all the wonderful things he has gifted me with, I can’t help but praise him for that and my flaws at the same time. Even the faithful aren’t assured of a life free from pain. Look at Job! He was good, yet God allowed that shady character to attack him with all his fiery darts.
My hope is that we will indeed be a little more gentle with ourselves and with others. Get to know your neighbors and coworkers on a deeper level — even the prickly ones. They, too, have stories worthy of being told and heard.
As always, God’s timing is perfect. His watch is never slow. He is never tardy. He never leaves early, and he stays until the end. Most important to note is that he fights our battles.