Mom, this one’s for you (you’re welcome :P). Read this on days when you find it extra challenging to get out of bed, due to insomnia the night-or several nights-before. Glance it over when you’re struggling to see what purpose God could possibly have in allowing you to have a progressively debilitating disease (because He does have a purpose! In all things!). Re-read it when your physical pain begins to wear on you mentally and emotionally. And DON’T FORGET these things, but instead be encouraged and take heart. For those who don’t know, my mom was diagnosed 9 years ago with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. It’s not fun, but I have seen God supply my mom with His joy despite the pain.
I’ve compiled a list for you, Mom, a list of truths for you to cling to and meditate on when you are struggling, be it physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Since you pretty much know the entire Bible already (insert memory of all those mornings when I would wake up and find you reading the Bible and praising the Lord in song), I’m sure none of these truths are “new” to you. But, just remember ’em, okay, Mom? Just remember…
- You are LOVED. Most of all, by God (the One who created everything, yep!). Don’t forget Romans 8:38, 39, which says that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that can separate you from God’s love. Not life or death, or angels or rulers, not any amount of distance, and certainly not Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can separate you from His love. Rest in that. And rest in the fact that you are surrounded by family and friends who also love you! We are here to support you, laugh with you, cry with you, and help you. So, remember that.
- He, the Creator and Sustainer of life, rejoices over you, Mom. You are one of His treasured ones, and no one can snatch you out of His hands (John 10:28-30). I love the scripture found in Zephaniah 3, verse 17, which says: “the Lord your God is in your midst; a Mighty One who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Incredible, huh? And you can claim it, because you are His.
- Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is, in fact, God. He has chosen to dwell INSIDE you, Mom, because you have believed in the saving work of Jesus, His Son. God wants you to not forget that “you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you (1 Cor. 3:16).”
- Although your body is wasting away outwardly, yet inwardly your spirit is being renewed daily by God (through the sanctifying work of His Spirit). And what are these afflictions producing for you? God tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:16 and 17-eternal glory. Awesome (and surely a thing worthy of being remembered!).
- When you are weak, THEN you are strong. Why? Because God’s power in you is made perfect in your weakness. Be like Paul, who knew this fact and thus said, “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).”
- He, the Beginning and the End, is ALWAYS with you (I mean, duh, right?!? His Spirit is living inside you, so of course He’s always with you!). And He is the Great Comforter. Plus, an added bonus, what you are facing might allow you opportunities to minister to those going through similar hardships! (Talk about purpose!) 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 reminds us of God’s comfort in our lives, and of the truth that we are then able to comfort others with the comfort we receive from Him. In Hebrews 13:5 we are reminded that God is always with us. Always, always.
- You are being changed into the image of Christ. Parkinson’s can’t stop that, or anything else! I really love 2 Corinthians 3:18, because God reminds us that ” all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (NLT).”
- God will supply all your needs (Phil.4:19). Not some. All. Not only is this encouraging, but you know you can trust Him to do it because He has the power to do what He says He will do! And He always sticks to His promises. Hebrews 10:23 tells us that “he who promised is faithful.” Cling to His promises and rejoice in His faithfulness!
What wonderful hope we have, Mom! What a bright future we have to look forward to-HEAVEN (the very place where Jesus is!!)! The glory stored up for us there significantly outweighs any and all struggles we face while in this world. So, don’t forget. Remember the purpose God has for you here, in the midst of your pain- He wants to display His power through you! To show others that He is God, and that He is the One who accomplishes great things through you.
And remember also, Mom, you can always call me. I will come be with you and help take care of you. Don’t worry, I know exactly what to do. I had a pretty great example growing up. 😉