April McGowan

Don’t You Quit

I’m noticing two reoccurring themes in my life in the past three years: serious illness and the encouraging words of others telling me not to quit, to keep on praying and trust in God’s providence.

First, it was my son, then my husband (who are both doing very well now) and this year it’s my turn. Although, all in all, I’d rather have been skipped. I’ve recently been diagnosed with an immune deficiency. I’ve had it all my life—often sick throughout childhood into adulthood—but it wasn’t until this year it really clobbered me. This is typical of genetic immune disorders. That doesn’t make me feel any better, but it adds clarity!

I have to admit there’s been many times in the past few months when I have been at the end of my rope, unable to think clearly, suffering from severe fatigue, fevers and exhaustion and feeling not only useless—but worthless. Those are lies of the enemy, but it’s hard to look up when you are feeling like that.

Every time I’ve felt like I just can’t deal with it any more, someone comes alongside me, get’s in my face (in a loving way) and tells me not to quit, not to give up and keep  praying. The timing has always been perfect—when I most need to hear it. Just recently one of my doctors really gave me the pep talk I needed. She looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re a mess, but I’m going to tell you something. Don’t give in to this, don’t give up, keep going, don’t quit—and pray!”

I believe God is sovereign, but illness and circumstances can cloud me from seeing His presence. When I remember to look for those moments, I find many throughout my life (see previous post Picket Fences). But when I’m down, I don’t remember them well.

Lately though, I feel like God is going out of His way to remind me I’m not alone. Through His Word, through friends speaking words of encouragement, through the occasional song on the radio—these reminders that I should keep going when I most want to quit are everywhere.  When I see His encouragement, I’m humbled. He’s not distant, watching me suffer—He’s right here, holding me up, giving me strength to face the day.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

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