Summer Struggle {& Lessons From Philemon}

Friends, I have been studying Philemon this past week. One of my biggest summer struggles is – wrapped up in how my physical affliction affects my love relationship with Jesus Christ.

He still loves me.

I just get wrapped up in the defeat of my life, during those moments where I am roughed up.

The Brokenness

During these moments, I feel broken on many levels. It starts with the physical affliction (Dysautonomia and ‘friends’), but it does not end there. It continues on to affect the emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual aspects of who I am.

It is in these moments, where I am severely tested and tempted. It is in these moments, where I am at my rawest place – where I see who I could potentially become… if I don’t take care of myself physically and spiritually.

Spiritual Care

A week ago, I decided I wanted to do something about the direction I was headed. I know the summer struggles a bit too well. I wrestle not feeling well. I wrestle not getting into the Word of God. I wrestle in my prayer life, moreso than usual. I wrestle in being unloving to others I care for.

Scripture Writing Plan

So, I set up a Scripture Writing Reading Plan over on my Instagram/FB (for the blog) account. I divided up the month of May, where I can study the book of Philemon and Jude.

Social Media

Why use Instagram/FB? IG, in particular, offers me a way to be accountable. Not only am I posting each day’s assigned reading, I am also posting my journal entry for that given day. Most days, I don’t even get to it – until later in the day.

But, it keeps me accountable.

It helps me to see others thinking about joining in.

(Meaning: I am not studying all on my own. But, others are joining in.)

It helps me to feel as though a community is joining me in my current Bible study (even if I am mostly doing it alone).

It creates a space, where I can carve out Jesus time – and – be reminded of that day’s assigned reading.

It is also a way of allowing Him to use that time for me personally, and to meet others in their sore spot too.

And, He will use it for His glory!

Current Book: Philemon

But, I am thankful that I am able to stay consistent and learn from this group of men. They each faced struggle and heartache. I wasn’t thinking of that, when I considered studying this book.

I actually only chose it, because it was short. I have secretly adored this book, but haven’t given myself the time and attention to study it like I have hoped.

Until now, that is.

The Message

In the book of Philemon, Paul and Timothy wrote to their dear brother – Philemon. Paul is writing from prison, to Philemon whose slave ran away.

But as Onesimus (the slave) ran away, he ends up meeting Paul (possibly put in prison for his crime of becoming a runaway slave) and coming to know our Lord Jesus Christ!

Sometimes, our circumstances make us desire to run away.

It doesn’t mean Philemon was a horrible man… Or, unjust. All we know is Onesimus wanted to run away – and – so he did.

The Raw Truth

Can I be raw for a second? I want to run away. Friends, I want to run away badly. You may be in a similar circumstance, where running away sounds very appealing right now. I don’t know what you are facing, but I do know God is more than enough to meet us right in the middle of our hardship and great needs.

Our hearts are not too much for our Lord Jesus to bear. In fact, He wants us to come boldly to His throne. He wants us to welcome Him into our midst, so He can be our great Provider and Lover of our souls.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Heb. 4:16).”

Jesus loves us. He wants to meet us in the middle of our hardships with great grace that will cover over every single thing we are facing right now.