Recently, I was once again beating myself up for not doing something 'good enough'. Don't worry, God has been working mightily on this in me these past few weeks and I am confident we will get to the bottom of this and healing and restoration will take the place of condemnation.
This time it was over not suffering or enduring this affliction 'good enough'. I know, it sounds a bit crazy to me too, now. My heart is to 'patiently endure'. I want to be able to praise Him and thank Him in ALL things. I want to say with Job, "The Lord giveth the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord" (and mean it ;-) I want to be like the saints of old who went to the stake praising Him. And most of all, I want to be like Jesus, 'who for the joy set before Him endured the cross" . . . and who said, "not My will but Yours be done".
I had this picture in my mind that when I suffered I would be smiling and joyful, almost laughing at the affliction. I would be happy, even on the outside.
One day when I was lamenting about this to God He showed me two verses that brought perspective and peace.
". . .the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak"
My spirit was indeed praising Him, enduring joyfully and loving Him through all of this, it was my flesh that was in a heap on the shower floor weeping. It is my flesh that questions and cries out for answers. It is my flesh that is depressed. (with actual physical reasons) I had never thought of this verse in this way before.
"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful. . ."
The light bulb went off! Discipline is grievous and painful! It doesn't seem to bring joy. I was looking on the outside for some sort of joy. It is not supposed to 'feel' good!
I, of course, cried and cried. (That's just what I do right now ;-) I share this with you in the hope that if you are struggling with life and on top of that, struggling with yourself, that you might see what I saw.
We are so hard on ourselves; expect so much. Brian keeps telling me that I am the only one on my back. Nobody else is thinking these things, certainly not my Father. He loves me, accepts me, knows that I am but dust, is not surprised by my weaknesses and my flesh does not scare Him a bit! He sees my heart, He knows me, really, really knows me, and loves me just the same.
It's the same with you. Do you believe me? He loves you, accepts you and thinks you are so great. He is pleased with you, not because of what you do or how well you do it, but because of Jesus.