I started my Christmas vacation with a cold and a fever. Perhaps this is the reason why I have had such a difficult time engaging with friends and family over the holidays. I have had this overwhelming urge to withdraw into my own world. However, this need to retreat has bad memories for me. It is an old sinful strategy for self-preservation rather than the life of selfless love that I would like to live. And since I haven’t struggled with this for a while, it discouraged me. I found my spirits sank right along with my physical state.
In my devotions I began reading Hebrews 12:
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1b)
I truly want this. I want to rid myself of old sin patterns once and for all so that I can run this race of faith well. I appreciate the Lord’s discipline, have come to rely on it. Which is the very next topic in Hebrews 12.
“…but God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness…” (Hebrews 12:10b)
So I asked the Lord to come and correct whatever was causing me to be vulnerable in this way again. I know the enemy’s arrows will bounce right off of a sanctified heart, fever or no fever. What was in me that needed correction?
He showed me an error pattern that had taken root in my heart. I have experienced a level of healing and restoration that brought me to a place where my faith was coming more naturally and easily than it ever had for me before. Lord knows that I have struggled enough with woundedness and emotional pain throughout my life to have plenty of empathy for those are encumbered with sin. But instead an arrogance had begun to form. How quickly we forget our own past and look down on others who have not yet found freedom. A few of my own judgemental remarks and sarcastic statements came to my mind and the Lord said, “You cannot afford this.”
A quick repentance restored me to the state of grace that fuels me and enables me to live the way that I want to live. I am on day seven of this nasty cold, and still don’t feel healthy, but my spirits are restored and I think I can enjoy my family more for my second week of vacation.