The Prone Position

The following devotional is taken from the devotional book Comfort in the Storm: Devotions for the Chemically Sensitive by Janine Ridings. (Comfort in the Storm contains a total of 94 devotionals)

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness (2 Corinthians 11:30).

In 1993, I started realizing that being exposed to certain chemicals caused me to experience various symptoms. At that point, I had never heard of MCS, and I didn’t know anyone else who reacted adversely to chemicals. It wasn’t until 1996 that I started learning more about what was happening to me through attending a seminar sponsored by a local physician who specializes in environmental illness. After the seminar, the speaker recommended I join a support group for people with MCS. I took her advice, and, through the group, I met some special people who have become good friends of mine.

Meeting people with similar health problems was such a relief to me. For years, I had been struggling alone as I battled chronic fatigue and the beginning stages of MCS. Before I met anyone else with chronic fatigue, I experienced so much guilt and shame over all the time I spent in bed. I felt like such a failure as I lay in bed day after day, wishing I could be active and enjoying life. I felt so inferior to other people who were out “producing” and “accomplishing” so much. I’ll never forget the day when I talked to my friend, Mary, from the support group. When she admitted spending many long hours in bed like me, it was like a huge burden lifted off my shoulders to know that I was not alone! When I call Mary on the phone now, she often chuckles and will tell me she is in her prone position, laying down and resting. This has become a joke between us as we both often assume this position as we chat on the phone.

It took me years to appreciate the value of the prone position, but I have now come to realize there can be benefits to the times of forced solitude many of us experience. In his book Intimacy with the Almighty, Chuck Swindoll talks about various disciplines that will help us achieve intimacy with God. Two of these disciplines are silence and solitude. If you think about it, those of us with chronic fatigue are blessed in the sense that we are often given an opportunity to be still before God. So many people are so busy hurrying and scurrying around that they don’t take the time to sit before the Lord in silence, reading His Word and listening to His voice. Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still and know that I am God.”  There are times when we may be laying in bed but are too sick to read the Word of God or pray. That’s okay, but during the times when we are able to do so, it is a very valuable way to spend that time.

Jesus encouraged his disciples to take time for solitude. In Mark 6:31-32, He says:

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

During times of solitude, God has a chance to do the necessary pruning in our lives if we let Him. It’s a time when God can reveal those areas of our lives that we need to have transformed if we are to become more like Christ. Silence and solitude are not very popular disciplines in our society. Let’s take a radical approach, however, and learn to embrace our times of solitude as periods when we can become intimate with the Almighty. There’s not a lot more in life that is more important than that!

 

Categories Comfort In the Storm Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 13, 2011

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