Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Whose fault is it?
I suffer with pain or health issues on a daily basis. It gets very difficult to watch others live life while I feel confined to my sickbed. It often leaves me feeling very down and it's a minute by minute fight to keep my head above water and try and stay positive!
I've prayed for healing, eat right, tried all sorts of health regimens and continued to pray for more and more healing. But while I may have an occasional relief, it never lasts long and I'm back to the sickbed.
Ugh....I hate my bed, the couch and every other thing that holds me back. Sometimes I can remain strong through the weak health moments...or more accurately days or sometimes the weeks they last, but many more times I tend to wonder: When will it end?
I beg God to take me home so I no longer suffer; but while I don't want to live anymore I also don't want to die. Why? Isn't my future secure in Christ? Why then do I fear death?
It's quite simple and maybe even a little silly: I don't want to miss anything! Funny- even when I was a little girl I remember my dad and mom talking about how hard it was to pull me away from a tv show or movie we were watching to do some small task or help my mom with dinner.
It was simple... just that I HAD to see what was going to happen next! Not much has changed...sometimes I get a book or movie just because the little teaser I'll read makes me want to know what will happen. I've been given the reputation for picking boring features, but, hey....at least I know how the story ended!
It's the same reason why dying scares me. There have been a few deaths around me lately and the one thing that saddens me the most about death is that everyone else lives on. They continue to laugh, cry and live life. But the person that has died will no longer see the accomplishments their loved ones make. They will no longer hold the people they love in a tender embrace.No longer have another chance to do that one thing the never got around to doing.
They've gone on. Yes, to a better place, but the chances they had in life are no more. All the suffering they went through, no longer makes a difference to them. Their favorite foods....why should they care about food anymore? Their hopes and dreams...all gone. Never to be fulfilled, completed or enjoyed.
But heaven is so wonderful...why would those things make any difference? Shouldn't you desire to be with Jesus so much that life down here no longer matters?
Perhaps what hits me the most, of all my fears and questions, is that when you die you no longer have a chance to do anything more for Christ. What you've done is all you will ever do. Will it make a difference? When you stand before God and his judgement will all you did be enough?
I know, no matter what I do it will never be enough. I am so weak and small...sickly beyond ridiculous! I so desire to do more for Christ, but yet I so often feel stuck.
I then start to think back to when it all happened. What was the turning point for my health? When was the moment that I found myself so befuddled by my own circumstances that my daily life became a constant fight from morning through the whole night to keep my sanity while enduring the discomfort and pain.
I asked this question of my sister as she listened for perhaps the thousandth time to my wailing's. Why? Why do I suffer so? Why is it so hard for me to keep joy in my life? Why do I feel like my prayers aret just words I'm saying and not me and Jesus communing together. I have a life to live, so when and whose fault is it that I'm this way? Have I ruined my life somehow?
She then said something profound. It was so profound I didn't know how to respond. She told me how she was talking with our youngest brother about things in her life and how she was wondering why and who was to blame for it.
He responded with the story of the blind man in John 9:1-3.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Who's to blame for this man being blind? Obviously, someone did something wrong here....
I love Jesus' response. I imagine that he looked up in shock at the question and then gently shook his head as he looked at the man he was about to heal.
"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
Jesus answer basically said, "No one is to blame. There is no one at fault. This happened so God could be glorified."
As my sister shared what our brother had told her I was left breathless in awe of the wisdom that was shared.
I wanted to blame someone, something, myself even for everything that was happening in my life. True circumstances in life lead you to difficulties at times; and you can find and know the root cause if it. But sometimes there is nothing and no one to blame or be at fault. It just happens and is apart of the journey you are on.
However, what happens next is up to you. You can choose to use it for God's glory or drown yourself in the wallowing pit of despair, grief and depression.
I admit, it's not easy pulling yourself up each day to face a life you didn't ever think you'd have to live, but isn't that why God is there for us? To help us carry those burdens? Isn't that why he gives praying friends and family? To support you in prayer and give you an understanding shoulder to cry on and then help you move forward?
I don't know how some of the people I look up to, who also suffer with health afflictions, do it. They always have joy, peace and are so in love with Jesus! Perhaps it's because they are older and have been through much more of the physical challenges and now they've reached a point where their faith has grown enough for them to be at peace and just rest in the grace God has given them.
I still struggle on a daily basis, and for that I ask that you pray for me. Just because you may think I look okay and may be feeling fine doesn't mean I'm not having a rough day. I learned years ago-even before my dad died- how to smile even while in some pretty nasty pain. I suppose I always figure that if I can hide it then people won't know how broken I am! ;)
But truth be told, I am broken right now, and I'm always trying to move forward and out of it! Everyday I seek God's grace as I step into a day where I never know how it will end: in unbearable pain, pain I'm trying to to stave off from getting worse or the comfort of a good day-usually it's not the last one....yet- still working on that!
Sometimes that little understanding from others can go a long way to helping me feel encouraged enough to make in through the next hour. It's exhausting to always feel like I'm fighting all time. Never knowing if what I'm eating will cause me to feel sicker, fighting to keep my head in the game and not give up, not knowing if when I go to sleep I'll wake in the middle of the night in pain and discomfort and be miserable...so much uncertainty and most of it leading to a less than desirable outcome.
But I keep believing that God has a purpose and will use me in His timing to accomplish that purpose. I still believe that he is working on my body and making me whole again. I believe that He is going to bring about a better ending to my story than the last few chapters have led me to believe. I only hope I can do everything he has for me to do! And of course I keep reminding myself: