From the beginning of this year, I have been fighting sickness on a weekly basis.
On Valentine’s day in February, I was sitting at our dinner table when suddenly I felt my body grow weak. I couldn’t move. Pain surged through me from top to bottom. Having been sick for weeks leading up to this moment - not to mention 20 weeks pregnant at the time and short of patience - it was all I could do to stop dinner and cry out to God for relief. I mean, I got fired UP
y’all. I was over it. Prior to that point in sickness, I had been spending most of my days spinning out in pity. Amongst sickness and life in itself, I was weary. My body was weak. I was, and am, a very real kind of pregnant (ha!). You get the point. I was done.
If I was going to sit at my dinner table with the flu, I was going to sit at my dinner table with the flu waiting for Kingdom come over my body.
As we began to pray, I heard the Lord speak Psalm 46:
“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas...God is within her; she will not fall...Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice...He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; He burns up the chariots. He says, “Be Still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. Yahweh of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”
I laid in bed over the next few days as verse 5-9 of Psalm 46 rang over and over in my head. “God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at the break of day…He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces. He burns up the chariots.”
I had read this Psalm before, but old grounds shifted in me that time around. Although the sickness in my body felt like irony in light of those words, God allowed my desperation of being at a dead end to be repurposed in allowing Him to move more freely in authority. I literally couldn’t do anything but lay there as He restored me back to health.
Psalm 46 became my prayer. After weeks of sickness and feeling just plain beat down, God woke me up in a single second. My prayers gradually shifted from “God, can you?” to “God, you will.” I began to war in a new way. As we exchange our authority for His, so we exchange our ways of battle for His. By the grace of a simple bible verse, “(9) He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces. He burns up the chariots.”
He allows us to see through His light; not our own. His authority is an everlasting work.
New grounds are tilled when we are undone. By my being emptied, I was reminded of the one thing we are most often left to start over with: the strength and authority of God. When we are weary and have nothing in us left, old soil is given a chance in our lives to be repurposed for new life. The beauty of having nothing left to stand up straight is that our God is ever present with us. When we just can’t anymore, He still can. He has bridged the gap so that when we fall first, we may fall at His feet.
Self sustained strength only goes as far as a day’s worth. When the day is over, we have to go to sleep so we can wake up and do it all again. God’s strength does not cease. His Kingdom does not end. If you are in a season where you are running dry, if you feel overlooked or emptied out, I pray that you would be encouraged knowing God is two steps ahead of your needs. He has covered you from beginning to end and has seen it all. He has the power to change your circumstance and burn up your enemies in their path. May He remind you that He is in your midst.
“My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
Anna Lise (Newton) Lillard, Co-Visionary of Exhale Women, calls Austin, Texas home with her husband and they are expecting their first baby in July. Her passion is to help her generation connect with the generations ahead and the ones behind, as well as cross lines of impossibilities with others through the power of prayer and HIS presence. She desires to help women connect to the heart of God. You can connect with her on Instagram @annaliselillard