Monday, August 5, 2013

Heal, help or home

Summers are always so full. I think we cram a year's worth of shared meals, conversations, visits and events with people in the two months Beve is out of school. This last weekend we went down to Portland, OR. for the wedding of a woman we've known since she was three months old. E was only three weeks old at the time, so these two woman were each other's first precious friend.  E was a bridesmaid in this wedding, and we're close enough friends with the POB (parents of the bride) that we stayed in their home (SHE invited us--I wouldn't have presumed otherwise.)  It was a lovely wedding in a glamorous setting. And this family throws such legendary parties that a full 50 people showed up who hadn't RSVP'd.

But, as usual, the long traveling is always complicated for me my body.  It takes a toll, that's all there is to it. Because of traffic, the drives were longer than usual both ways. And in between, there was a whole lot of standing and walking around, stretching, bending, lifting and just generally using limbs that rebel at such expectations.

So the other night I was lying in bed quite overcome by this rebellious pain. I don't get there too often, but when I do, it's hard to concentrate on anything. I hate that about pain, hate that creates a box which closes so tightly that it's hard to see out. Everything else is seen through the lens of that pain: what I expect of myself and what I expect of those around me. I become a completely self-involved, selfish "grumpy old lady." That night, when no earthly position helped, my unguarded, imperfect self was like a megaphone of whine and complaint to God.  "Please God, make it stop."

You might not believe me, but I've honestly never prayed such a prayer before. Never asked for cessation of pain. Only for endurance and the spirit to learn what HE wants to teach through it. But I'm holding on my my fingertips right now, so there's my naked longing flung before Him. "Please God, I've had enough."

Then squarely between my eyes, came a power ball of revelation. There are only three answers to such a naked prayer. God will heal me, take me home or give me strength to live with this. Those are the ONLY answers. And, if I really have the mind of Christ, I know (I knew in that moment) that each is a positive answer. I truly have nothing to fear if God can/will/intends to answer my pain with any of these three 'solutions.' Healing, strength or heaven itself.  What is wrong with any of them?

Therefore, it was a simple thing to say, "Your will be done." Yes, His will be done in my body in one of these three ways. Restored health, strength to live with ill health, or a home-going where all my pain will be gone. The truth is, my body--my VERY body--is God's problem. I don't have to live only in my mind because my body has betrayed me. HE is in my body, every bit as much as He's in a completely whole, healthy, running-perfectly one. Not only my spiritual life but my nerves belong to Him.

And then I began to chuckle, because these answers are the same for everyone, no matter what the situation. Trouble at work? God will either heal it, give us strength to endure it, or remove us from it (metaphorically taking us home, if not physically). We participate with Him in what He does for us, but make no mistake, such difficulties are GOD's problem. Heal, help or home: that's what He intends. When we cry from the deep well of our hurts, it's for for those things we are crying.

My pain hasn't abated. Not today. I'd go so far as to say, I'm barely vertical, though I've been up for hours. But there's a spring in my step, or at least in my heart. I don't have to do anything about this pain. It's HIS to solve and resolve.

And I trust Him.
In what way are you most hurting? Do you get--deep in your core--that whatever that hurt is is God's problem? Trust Him, He's in it. He knows about it, and 'won't allow you to suffer beyond your power of endurance."

Now excuse me, I have to go lie down.

1 comment:

Recovering Church Lady said...

Thank you for this. perfectly timed and well, just right!