I'm on my way to the ferry to meet Grampie, bring him back here and entertain him for the day. Tomorrow Beve and I drive him across the state for Beve's nephew's graduation from pharmacy school. I doubt I'll have a moment to blog for the next five days. So I'm posting again from the bowels of my journals, still related to those early days of suffering (this is what happens to me when I start teaching about a subject--I'm all in, all the time! But I promise that one of these days I'll write about something other than suffering...maybe)
June 16, 2003
Physical pain is the least of it. There is no one hurting me. Pain comes because we lived in a diseased world. I never expected otherwise. And the Holy Spirit reminds me in my bleakest moments that He is working for good in every situation. No matter what I'm going through--even if it's a hell of my own making, amazingly enough--He is working for good. That comforts as nothing else can. Along with: "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it."
I am intensely aware of His presence in my circumstances. Wow, it just occured to me that I can say with Paul, because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, "I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether lving in plenty or in want." Philippians 4:12
The secret of being content--not my circumstance, but His presence in my circumstance.
I don't want to sound like Pollyanna. I am not a 'put a smile on your face, be happy and think happy thoughts, PMA' kind of person. Happiness is not even something I aspire to. In fact, I'm not even sure I aspire to joy, in and of itself. What I want, what I am thirsty for is not His joy, but Himself. I want Christ. I want to know Him, to be swallowed up in love for Him to the point that I don't have to ask what He wills for me because I only want His will.
There's just so much of me left to die. If it takes physical pain to help me die to myself, should I mock or reject that? From the same nail-scarred hands that saved me come all things meant to draw me to Him. I haven't ever complained when life was good, easy, full of abundance, so why should I start complaining when it takes suffering to make me His?
Does this mean that I'm a martyr? Oh God, You know I'm not. I get plenty terrified of what You may allow in order to complete me. It isn't that I think You'll do anything harder than I can bear--You promise You won't. But I have a hunch You think I can bear a whole lot more than I think I can. But, even at this scary thought, I trust you. Your goal is my salvation, You motive love beyond my comprehension. Your means? Anything that springs up. Even the harsh things of life on a fallen planet, things the enemy means for ill, You use for my good. So while the immature child in me wants to bargain with You to stop hurting me (or allowing pain to be the instrument of growth) I don't make that plea. It hovers at the corners of my prayers, but I trust you. So saintly in suffering? Ha, You and I know better. All I am is a person in whom Christ dwells...come to think of it, there's nothing I'd rather be.