“How are you?”
“Fine,” or “Oh, you know, I’m ok,” or “I guess I’m a little up, down, and all over the place.”
These answers aren’t untrue, but they’re just vague enough to mask what’s truly going on. So let’s try this again.
“How are you?”
“I feel the ache of waiting. It’s this expansive hollowness, a vortex that gathers my contentment, and joy, and sense of purpose into this swirling mass of confusion and pain.”
What do you do when your body starts to fail you, and God responds by asking you to pray for your own healing?
Pray for healing? That feels like such a loaded request! Because what if I pray and nothing happens? Or I pray and God responds, but I can’t even tell if I’m healed because I don’t understand what’s wrong with me in the first place? Does God want to heal me of all my ailments, or just some of them? Will this healing be instantaneous, or take place over the course of the coming months or even years? Why would God heal me and not other people I love who face physical ailments far more limiting than than mine?
And then I realize that deep down I don’t question God’s sovereignty and power – I know that God is fully capable of healing me. My questions are rooted in doubting in God’s goodness.
I know God is able, but is God willing?
Then there’s the lofty promises God made me over a year ago. Yeah, there’s been growth, sure, there’s been change, but where’s the fulfillment?
There’s a song by Elevation Worship that says, “Walking around these walls/ I thought by now they’d fall,” and that’s precisely how I feel! But maybe my entitlement is showing. Because if I held up my end of the bargain then shouldn’t I get to insert fulfillment here?
But I don’t get to choose when the seasons change.
Just like the winter has kept its grip on Oregon far longer than any of us want it to, for the time being, winter continues to maintain its hold on my life as well. Which presents me with a choice: rage against the rain or accept it. We all know which will have the better effect on my mental, emotional, and even physical health.
So why do I choose the raging? Because it’s easier. Raging is a quick fix, a bandaid I can slap on to hide an ugly, long-term problem. It makes me feel better, but in a cheap way that doesn’t last.
I just started reading a book my roommate recommended called Hinds Feet on High Places, and in the preface the author says, “But the High Places of victory and union with Christ cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin, or by seeking to devise some way or discipline by which the will can be crucified. The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as it is presented to us in the form of the people with whom we have to live and work, and in the things which happen to us. Every acceptance of his will becomes an altar of sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places to which he desires to bring every child of his while they are still living on earth.” Wow.
Not my will, but yours be done. Can I choose it, knowing that the choosing won’t be a one and done, but that I will have to repeatedly lay down my good yet hopelessly flawed desires and plans in order to accept the unexpected and yet wildly beautiful will of the Father?
With the encouragement of God’s faithful presence in the choosing, my answer is slowly becoming yes and amen.
Further up and further in!