As I shared in this blog entry, I have been in extreme physical discomfort for weeks from systemic hives triggered by exposure to poison oak. Oh, joy!
My doctor gave me a high dose of Prednisone to help my body settle down, and I struggled with emotional side effects from the prescription. By the end of the nine-day Prednisone treatment, I’m not sure I was entirely “sane.” I was extremely emotional and felt “crazed” by weeks of endless itching compounded by feelings of hostility in reaction to the medication. Let’s just say I wasn’t much fun to live with.
My physical and emotional health came to a breaking point one night. I sobbed before God and had a bizarre spiritual experience that I still have not fully processed, and I don’t really have words for what happened. The best way I can word it is that God showed up.
When God showed up, my perspective shifted, and I have been trying to process that perspective shift ever since. Two powerful messages that hit me during this bizarre experience were remember who you are and remember WHOSE you are. I had become so fixated on my physical discomfort that I had lost touch with the bigger picture of my life.
As for remembering who I am, I am a spiritual being having a physical experience. I was created for eternity, but my physical discomfort had distracted me from that focus. I was unable to see past my physical and emotional state of being, which was keeping me focused on myself – the fast track to misery. When we can remember that we are eternal beings and that whatever we are dealing with right now is temporary, we awaken to who we are. I believe this is what Paul had in mind when he said,
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” ~ 2 Cor. 4:17
When my focus is on the temporal, then everything I deal with – from minor annoyances to long-term struggles, becomes the center of my universe. However, when I focus on the eternal, I maintain perspective – that life is about so much more than whatever is vexing me, and this … whatever “this” is … will end. I don’t have to be consumed by whatever troubles I am dealing with because they are temporary, while I am eternal.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace pointing to herself and asking, “Who Me?” Courtesy Bitmoji.]