Doesn’t it just figure? A little more than two months ago, I felt led to start a blog to write down what God was teaching me, the insights that I was receiving especially during my morning walks when my mind was clear and the blood was vigorously pumping through my brain. Since I am now aging at a seemingly very high rate of speed, my mind is often foggy. Walking, for me, is like a whole new world opens up to me… Remember the movie, “Limitless”? When the main character is given a new test drug, he can instantly see and wisely act upon situations which come up in life with so much clarity and insight, learning at incredible speeds, understanding depths of what he never could have possibly fathomed before. It changed his life as long as he kept taking the drug.
However, since the week AFTER I published my first two-part blog, the ability to get out and walk was ripped away. In fact, my ability to get out of the house and get off the couch was ripped away. So, as I stare at that “write a new blog” icon on my desktop every morning from my ‘prison’ on this couch, I am so frustrated that I am soooo lost for ANYTHING to say. My world has been turned upside down and what little tiny victories I may have begun to experience in a 12 year season of incredible emotional and often physical torment, my mind, my will, my emotions are slogging through mire and muck that has left me devoid of knowing what the heck God is trying to teach me during this season in which the physical pain and emotional discouragement have been ramped up ten-fold.
So, I’m not here to share anything profound today. I’m simply here to say, “I’m feeling lost.” What little speck of the peace of God that He had graciously given me (well, let’s say what he allowed me to accept and surrender to as I began to see God’s hand in things) has now been taken away, too. Trial upon trial, sadness upon sadness, ongoing helplessness, but instead of allowing it to ease up, God has sovereignly added all the more. And I just don’t understand it. So, I’m still here but I’m not sure what I can say right now. I’m waiting to see a glimmer of insight that God might be willing to shed on my situation so that I know in what context I should seek to find out what God wants to teach me and show me about Himself. And, to be truthful, I guess I’m a little afraid that if I blog out any answers, insights or little victories, the next day will prove how naive I was and how weak I really am.
But today as I have finished reading through the book of Psalms (this past month), I’m reminded of the quote that while you are in the hallway of God’s will for you (waiting for doors to open and close), “praise Him in the hallway”. That one I get. One does not have to read the psalms for more than a few minutes to find the psalmists’ cries for help in the midst of dire circumstances and yet they finalize their psalm with “God is still good. God is still faithful. God knows us and loves us. Therefore, I will still sing to Him and still praise Him.” They don’t put stipulations on that praise; they just choose to praise Him regardless! Period! I’ve tried to exercise that power of choice during this period.
Because of the last twelve years of God’s classroom for me, I have wrestled through similar times of trying to figure out what God wants me to learn. I have learned and now even counsel others, “what good could possibly come from fighting with the Lord, from resisting Him, from becoming angry with Him, from trying to retake back your former life which He has taken away?” We, my friends, are NOT in control down here on earth, no matter what you may otherwise convince yourself of. “Resistance is futile.”
So what have I counseled in the past, then? Fall back into the torrential river of God’s sovereign will for you. Stop floundering and grasping for every twig and log and life-preserver and any other potential lifesaving object that you think you could save YOURSELF with. If God has willed it, you will never escape it if He has divinely determined that it will happen this way. Oh sure, you may feel like you are accomplishing something, that you are “doing your part,” that you are doing spiritual warfare even and taking the bull by the horns and shouting cursings at Satan for attacking your life. But I ask you, as in the case of Job, if Satan is restricted by God Himself, then to whom are you really shouting cursings? What I am really struggling to discern is, at what point does that human/divine cooperation become a fist in the face of a loving, sovereign God who has purposely pushed you so far over the bank of that mighty rushing river that you could not possibly stand or even rescue yourself?
The only thing I have learned in the last 12 years is to choose to surrender to God’s hand. That is something I am struggling to do right now though because I’m not sure what it is I am surrendering to this time. 😦 Frankly, as I have become accustomed to practicing this in one arena of my life (after many years of resisting-at times kicking and screaming), this particular situation has left me bewildered, not really knowing what surrender looks like in this situation.
My challenge to others has become: Do the trust exercise so many group team-building programs do: back up to the Lord Who stands behind, before, beside, above and below you, and fall backwards in an act of trust and surrender. He WILL CATCH YOU, one way or another! What that looks like is not for you to know. Surrender to the rushing torrential river! He is God! If He carries you downstream and leaves you terribly bruised and scarred, He is God. It is His right. If He snatches you right out of danger, He is all-powerful God. It is His right. If He puts you in the safety of a raft and let’s you ride it out down the frightening river but safe from all harm, it is His prerogative. He is God.
But to stand on the banks and argue and wrestle with God?!?!?! That, my friends, is foolishness. I believe the greatest act of worship is SURRENDER to Almighty God! Win, lose or fail? It’s not under our control, but in the hands of the One who holds us in His hands. Yep, we may be the one who has to suffer the repercussions of surrender but no less than the one who chooses to not surrender. So, why fight and argue with Him? It is arrogant and self-reliant. It is useless.
So, where does that leave me today as I continue to suffer with a medical condition that leaves me anxious, fearful, not knowing what the cost will be this time…? I don’t know! 😦 Do I pray more? Do I plead for His mercy? Do I ask in faith for His healing? For twelve years I have sought the Lord to remove from me my “thorn in the flesh” (the pre-existing one) and He has chosen to NOT remove it (I’ve stopped asking knowing that God knows my heart for healing but my spirit tells me to choose to echo, “My grace is sufficient for you.”) It has taken a long time to accept this thorn and weave it into my daily life allowing it to be turned around for the glory of the Lord. Do I dare ask Him to take this one away? Is my lesson, to always accept the Lord’s thorns in the flesh? Is my lesson, this time, to ask Him in faith for healing as He really does want to heal me this time? Is this lesson, it isn’t about me, it is about God’s glory? Is this lesson, it really is about God’s glory and He wants to heal Me but wants me to ask Him to? Is it about joining my Christian brothers and sisters together around me to exercise theirs and my faith in our Healing God, woven into the body of Christ, submitting myself to their intercession on my behalf because that is the way God designed the church to work? Is this a lesson about patience and waiting in the dark? Is it about “being still” when humanly I want to struggle free?
I don’t know the purpose of this trial right now. And each morning and all through the day, I anxiously try to discern and submit to the hand of God, yet also asking for wisdom to wisely decide which decisions and paths to choose. Talk about win, lose or draw… My emotions wildly throw me into a tornado of thoughts and choices and outcomes all day long. At any given moment, I may be at peace or in panic? I may be decisive or feel lost in choices that I am completely unqualified to make. I may be surrendered or I may be clawing for the shore. I may trust that God is the Greatest Physician or I may be fearful of all the physicians out there “practicing medicine and screwing up people’s lives and bodies.” I may be asking for God to take away excruciating pain or simply be asking the Lord to comfort me in all my afflictions.
Do you see why I feel like I have nothing to say? I feel lost!!! I want to do what God wants me to do! I want to trust that no matter what happens to me God will have accomplished His perfect will! I want to be found faithful in my trials and tribulations! I want the Lord to be able to say, “well done my good and faithful servant, enter into my peace.” I want to be faithful in bringing my requests before Him with thanksgiving and leaving them at the foot of the Master, no matter the outcome. Yet, I’m a poor example of that when I can’t stay in one frame of mind for more than 15 minutes sometimes. I confess, I’m just lost right now.
There! That is my blog entry! A big honest mess of questions and inner struggles. May the God of all comfort and peace grant me the courage and perseverance to stay the course and wait on Him to deliver or not. I challenge myself today, “Be still and wait in on the Lord.”