Tuesday, March 15, 2016

An Attitude of Grattitude

Don't you just hate it when it seems like everyone lacks sympathy for the rotten stuff you're going through?  It's isolating, hurtful.  No one understands; they've never had to deal with what you're dealing with.

Don't you think, "Okay, God, precisely why is it that I'm suffering?  If you're there, you could stop this!"  If even God seems uncaring, what is left?  What meaning is there?

I've met people who told me that my disability was due to my being "not right" with God. 

Not right?  On, no!  What was I doing wrong?  I was praying.  I had asked forgiveness.  I begged for healing.  And the answer, time after time, was a big fat resounding "NO."  If the people who were telling me to "get right with God" were correct, I was in huge trouble but I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.

I was hurt.  Hurt by being ill.  Hurt by not being able to recover.  Hurt by the words of thoughtless people who should have been handling their own issues instead of intruding into mine.  Hurt by people who rejected and reviled me, who misjudged me and called me lazy when I was truly in physical pain.  Hurt because I deeply and dreadfully worried that somehow I had offended God.

In a fit of weariness and despair, I finally reached as far down as I could go and I prayed, literally from the bottom of my heart, "Please, God, if I can't be well, make the best of me as a sick person because I want what you have for me."  From that very moment, I began to change and God made a new creature out of me--not a well person but a stronger one, more understanding.  He opened new doors for me and I finally realized that it was up to me to keep my eyes open to see those doors so that I could walk through.

God, in his wisdom, could use me better because I was broken.  Illness was both an obstacle and an opportunity--it's something to push against so that I can gain spiritual muscle.  A caring God knew that I needed this.

I sympathize with those who thought their advice was helpful.  They meant well.  But there's something their experiences had not taught them:  when God chooses not to heal an impairment, it is because he is already giving healing in another aspect, and usually that is in our relationship with him.  Every opportunity has the power to become a blessing.  He blesses us so that we can bless others.  He is with us always and in all things.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.  We have to remember to thank him for all the things that we face.  With thankfulness, change begins.

Never worry about anything. 
Instead, in every situation
let your petitions be made known to God
through prayers and requests
with thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

It is because I am right with God that my spirit is healed and that I am refreshed daily from the springs of living water that he offers us.  My life is fine, just the way he made it, and my health is in his hands.  And he is still at work in my life, helping to make things whole in his own way and in his own time.  I trust him for this and for all things.

God is so good.  And I am truly grateful for the gift of this day.

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