Running into Walls

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I was sitting here on my bed debating about a title to direct this post when my cats came tearing around the corner into my bedroom and the one in the lead, Alex, hit the wall. "THUNK." Her disorientation and disgruntled batting at Katrina, who had been hot in pursuit, made me smile, and so this title came about.

Actually, there is more to this post than anecdotes about my cats. This morning I woke up feeling like I had hit a wall, and there was no way I could get through it to God. A friend of mine had up an away message about a captive beating his head through a wall, knocking himself out, and one day waking up on the other side.

I guess that's the way I've felt lately. Like there is a wall between me and God that cannot be surpassed by anything I do. I don't know--do I need Him enough? Do I worship Him enough, do I surrender enough, submit enough, pray enough, love enough? I'm really NOT trying to earn my salvation--I do not doubt that it is by grace. Yet do I truly know His grace, grace that would produce in me a thanksgiving that would cause me to lay down my entire life as an offering for Him?

This morning at church, I was smacked in the face with what a whiner I really am. A missionary from Nepal spoke of the persecution that the Nepali church faces every day, from their friends, their government, and even their families. People are killing these Christians. And I sit and whine because a few people don't agree with me? She told a story about a child who had hepatitis. The doctors sent her home with just hours to live. Her classmates--children!--came to the missionary and asked if they could fast and pray for her life, and God restored it. No fancy medical miracles, just the simple prayers of children begging God to spare a life. And I resign myself to a future without children, without a restoration to health?

In America, it seems we hit a wall when it comes to our own comfort. For my life to make an impact in America, it would appear that I ought to accept the disease that I have with such a sweet spirit that everyone is drawn to Christ in me. Well, to be flat-out honest, I am sick to DEATH of being sick. I HATE the convulsions. I HATE the pain and weakness. I HATE the impaired vision. I HATE the depression. Once, I was at a point where I thought of the disease as a gift... but the more I lose, the more I see it to be a cross upon which the death of Christ is being lived out in my body.

We like our comfort. I WANT my dreams. I WANT to pray for healing. I would LOVE to be a normal person again, instead of dealing daily with the "you're only doing this for attention; you're worthless" demons. Heh. Heh. But how willing am I to request prayer for healing?

Or here is another question. Am I too willing to accept prayer for healing without realizing that this mess I'm in is the tool God is using to refine me so that I may come forth as gold? Whether it be the relationships in my life or the issues with my health or the busyness at work, I've been really busy arranging for things to just please, please, please turn out the way I want them to for a change, instead of falling back and trusting my Father's work in my life.

I am no great spiritual mind. I'm just me, and I don't have all the answers about things.

What probably convicted me the most this morning was a prayer from one of the girls in my Sunday School class. She has a lot of special needs and a lot of abuse and trouble in her background. She's about a hundred pounds overweight, and shy, and not very well-groomed. She is one of the "have-nots." But her prayer this morning showed me something that she has that I do not have. A willingness to be content. She began by thanking God for me and for the friend who teaches the class, and then, through her tears, she quietly thanked God for her. Everything that He had made her to be and what He was doing in her was summed up with that submissive attitude of worship that brought tears to my eyes.

Oh no. I have no right to complain. But not compared to anyone else. God prepared me for exactly what He wanted me to face from His refining. His refining is preparing me for exactly what He wants to do with me this evening, tomorrow, next week, next year--until His return. He is making me more like Christ.

I've hit several walls today. The one this morning where I couldn't talk to God when I awoke, the one that left me sighing with shame because of my little faith, and the one that made my heart ache for the sweet simplicity of understanding that if I have nothing else, I will never be separated from the love of Jesus.

I'll probably run into a few more walls (my vision is still impaired), but I hope that God will use the gentle lessons of today to brighten my vision of Him.

~2 Corinthians 4


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