Friday, May 8, 2009

A different purpose

Another journal post:
July 19, 2003
I want desperately for my words to God about surrender, relinquishment, abandonment of self to surge from the marrow of my being.  I want my desire fo Him and His will to be strongest when I'm hidden, when I'm out of the public eye, but so embedded in me that it spills over into every conversation, every encounter, every decision.  I know, of course, the slothfulness of my human heart.  I know that I can't sustain faithfulness on my own.  I grow complacent, then distracted, then consumed with selfish concerns.  I must be changed from the inside out, and changed daily.  This salvation stuff, this glory-to-glory stuff, is not a one time only proposition.  And it takes suffering to do what my complacency won't do on its own. 

He uses whatever is available.  That means if I'm suffering from unrelenting pain, as Job puts it, that He will meet me in that pain to draw me closer.  And the great thing about pain is that it wakes me up to my need of Him.  When life runs smoothly, it's easier to believe I'm in control of my own world, master of my own domain.  And I take too much for granted--walking, standing, sitting--that in this hellacious pain, I cannot.

Do I believe that I have sinned and am being disciplined for it?  That there a one to one ratio of pain to sin?  No more than I believe I'm so Joblike good that I've been picked out by Satan for special testing.  Though each of these things are possible, what is also true is that bodies are part of the fallen-ness of a world corrupted by sin.  Bodies fail and break down, just as souls do--but for His redemption.  Can bodies be redeemed/saved as souls are? Yes...but only temporarily.  Saved from one disease, even by obvious supernatural intervention does not mean physical death will never occur.  All those people Jesus saved when He walked the dusty roads of Palestine: Lazarus, Jairus's daughter, Peter's mother-in-law, and the woman who touched His cloack?  They all eventually died. Their earthly lives were lengthened by Jesus' healing, but not eternally lengthened.  All as short as a whisper of time was their chronos, just as mine is.

So there is clearly a different purpose in physical healing than just quantity of days.  It is not time that has any value.  What He's after is a quality to my days: His glory--revealed in my body, whether by life or by death.  Which circumstance--pain or no pain--will help Him be most glorified in my life?  Whichever it is--and I actually think pain has a better chance of doing the job--that is what I want.  So let me open up and embrace it.  See it as the great glory adventure it is.

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