Epilepsy: Take Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you may go.” Joshua 1:9

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Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” 34 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.

When it comes to being on this journey of Epilepsy, I often think of this journey, that of weathering a fierce and battering storm pressing forward seeking the light at the end of it all. A lantern of hope and faith keeping me warm on the inside as I shiver cold with fear and sometimes doubt making attempts to chill me to the bone. Yet I march on. Yet I trek forward anyhow. So easily… So easy is it to just give up. Throw in the towel. Quit. Shout “Defeated!” However this is exactly what I absolutely refuse to do. I am reminded of the quote:

“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it!”

Now, I don’t believe God gave me epilepsy on purpose or anything no. But I believe God believes that I am absolutely strong enough to rise through this. I believe God believes I am absolutely capable of squashing any attempts Satan may set out for me to cause me to believe I should throw in the towel, give up or quit. I believe God believes, God believes in me and in all of us on this journey of epilepsy that we can soar above this even when times are hard, hardest and nearly impossible and find an abundance of hope and faith we never knew was capable within us.

One area of The Bible that I had recently came across that I truly feel God had led me to in my time of need is the story that I had posted above. Jesus’ Walk On The Water. What he had spoken to the disciples really had reached out and captivated my heart. These men were on a journey a long way from home. Their boat was battered by the waves. The men were terrified when they had seen Jesus thinking it was a ghost. The storm and waves had been unsettled and raging. In response, Jesus replied:

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  Matthew 14:27

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In reading that very line right there, I repeated that verse again. Then I repeated the verse a second time. Then a third time. Then tears began to stream down my cheeks. Then I could no longer hold back my emotions.  I immediately went to The Lord in prayer asking God for healing for myself and for us all living with this very condition and any condition at all.

In going a little further into the story, I had come across the section in which Jesus says:

“Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14: 31-33

Directly afterward, I asked The Lord if I should at any point had found myself in doubt or of little faith to erase all doubt and to fill me up with the faith that I need for my journey all the days of epilepsy and all the days of my life.

It amazes me that fear and doubt will try to find their ways into your life in the sneakiest most underhanded ways you could imagine. When you least expect it. When you’re caught off guard. Sometimes when you’re at your best. When you’re at your strongest.

What does one do in times like these?

  • The Word is your weapon – Get into your Bible and study it often.  Read the scriptures in the Bible that promise protection and help. Meditate on them and speak them out loud.
  • I have been reading/listening to a lot of one of my personal favorite Pastors Charles Stanley. In Touch  Devotionals and PodCasts are fantastic if you haven’t yet had a listen to those. I would highly recommend those to anyone. You will be glad you looked into it!
  • Surround yourself with ALL  things positive. Positive people, positive lifestyle. Positive life.
  • Train your mind to see the good in EVERY situation. This goes along with positivity. Even if it may seem or may even be negative to most, if you can find some silver lining in every situation, it will just make things a whole lot more amazing.
  • Pray immediately about the specific topic you want to pray on. Don’t think ‘Oh I can pray about that later’, pray there and then. The moment you pray, the tide of the battle turns.
  • When you have prayed, think to yourself ‘I have handed over that to God now, He will take care of this’.
  •  Declare that you are a victor, not a victim. He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.
  • Praise God and thank him that he is working in your life and taking care of the problem.
  • Believe that God is dealing with the situation, despite how things appear.
  • Resist the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus
  • Try to keep away from other people who worry or display fear. Remember, one drowning person cannot help another. You will only make each other worse.
  • Keep tabs on what you are putting into your mind through books, magazines, newspapers, television and the internet.
  • Focus on all the good things in your life. Think about what you do have, not what you don’t have. There is always some good to be found.
  • Count your blessings and be thankful. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
  • Do not allow fear to immobilize you, it will shrink if you face it.
  • Say out loud “I will not fear”.
  • Declare ‘No devil, you shall not kill, steal and destroy my life, Jesus came to give me an abundant life and I believe and receive it’.

Yes we indeed are on a stormy journey, all of us. However we are not alone. We are not only all in this together, we are all in this together with our families, our friends and our Heavenly Father who tells us to “Take courage! Do not be afraid!” He is with us every step of the way forward every single day along the way. He wants us to not just have little faith but a whole lot of faith. He wants us to not doubt but to believe with every fiber of our being that he will show us the way out of this storm that we are in right now. Even if it doesn’t appear that there is no way. We don’t need to see to believe. We just believe. I believe because I know God wants to give us the desires of our heart.

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