Prior to the coronavirus, the term “long hauler” described the life of a tractor-trailer driver crisscrossing the US with their freight. But in 2020, scientists reintroduced the phrase, “long-haulers” to our vocabulary, referring to people who experience chronic COVID-19 symptoms for months.
Long-haul adversity requires long faith.
Those of us in the chronic warrior community are long-haulers. Whether or not we have experienced COVID-19, we comprehend the emotional, physical, and spiritual haul required each day.
Persistent symptoms snag the hem of the chronically ill. These symptoms differ hour by hour and possess a knack for acting in defiance on special days, rendering sadness and a sense of betrayal of our own body.
Meanwhile, daily weariness weighs down the willing caregiver and extended family. They too struggle with sadness and question what to do. Often the caregiver misses special events too. While they ponder whether to stay behind or attend the function, usually they too stay behind. Sadness and isolation exist for both the chronic illness warrior and the caregiver. Therefore, long-haul adversity requires long faith.
Chronic illness life is akin to walking headlong into a storm. Thankfully, God’s Word gives us a clear depiction of what to do in a storm in Matthew 14: 23-31(NIV):
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Peter kept walking on the water as long as his eyes remained fixed on Jesus. When Peter allowed the wind to distract him, he began to sink. Pastor, Dr. Dharius Daniels said, “Walking in the wind means I need to have more than strong faith. Walking in the wind means, I need to have long faith.”
As we shuffle headlong through our personal health storm, medical costs, piles of paperwork, and waiting for test results can distract our focus from Jesus. It never fails, if one area of our life is calm, then the wind will blow in another area of our life or our kids, family, or work, tempting us to lose sight of Jesus in the storm.
7 verses for long faith during long haul adversity:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1 NIV)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26 NIV)
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NIV)
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV)
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NIV)
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)
Do you feel like you’re sinking? Hold tight, friend. Keep your eyes on Jesus. If you sink, call out to Him, for He is mighty to save.
Pressing on with you for the long haul.
© April Dawn White 2021
👀Back cover sneak peek.
Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart offers camaraderie and a beacon of hope for women who feel alone in loss, struggle, or change of circumstance. This book is not a self-help book filled with platitudes from people who think they have life figured out. Instead, Marilyn Nutter and April White link arms with the audience and encourage their readers through stories of their own hardships in widowhood and chronic illness. Readers are encouraged to see loss and hardship as part of life’s journey and are constantly reminded to turn their gaze upwards, to the Purveyor of Hope. Within the pages of Destination Hope comes a sisterhood, a bond, that can be formed only through the mutual understanding of loss and the need to find hope among hardships
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