Last week I suggested that you and I monitor our speech and the amount of complaining that we do during the week. Okay, well I caught myself complaining…mostly about my frustration with technology and how the difficulties in understanding it are exacerbated by the visual disruptions from the MS. And I complained about the tiredness and difficulty moving around that is ongoing and got after myself for not exercising as much as I should. Most often my quiet time is just me and Jesus but today He let me see a much bigger picture and it was humbling.
The problem is the age old question: Why would God allow it? But today I wasn’t asking the WHY question, I was asking forgiveness for my bad habit of complaining and lamenting the lack of energy to do what I felt He wanted me to. He recalled for me a little study I did in Exodus…it was murmuring and complaining that got the children of Israel into some deep trouble. God surprised me with a sense of Him drawing me closer and hugging me; then He called my attention to what I did (and continue to do) right!
- I do go to Him for grace daily
- I have endured graciously most of the time
- My heart is submissive, I do accept His will
- I search for the gold and mine it when I find it, share what He gives me and teach whenever the opportunity presents
- I work within my limits
- I am positive more than negative
- I love Him and seek Him out for relationship
It’s not that He doesn’t hear or care about our complaints, He does, but he choses to notice and concentrate on what we do right! Cool! Then He blew me away by suggesting that I look at MS as an equipping?! That gave me a shot of adrenaline and woke me up. Equipping? Disease is not a spiritual gift! How in the world? That was entirely outside my theological box!
I wrote some more that came with that and then tried to save the draft so that I could meditate, talk with God and some trusted friends, and consult Scripture to see if this “new thing” aligns with Scripture. I have a new software program that I am learning to use—and a jumpy cursor. As I was attempting to save the draft form, my dancing cursor hit publish instead. Then my computer decided to block me out so that my draft was published! Argh. After two days of fighting with technology we finally were able to take the post down! So after having time to think through what God was saying, here is the edited version.
Me: MS as an equipping, God? Equipping for what? I don’t get it. That doesn’t fit with any paradigm I know of!
Him: Since MS showed up, use it like a fighter uses as sparing partner of a pole vaulter uses his pole. Use the momentum and the resistance to propel you further in your development of Christ's chracter and the resistance to build stamina and endurance. In resisting the disease you will become more like Him and I will use your experience as a weapon of warfare.
Me: A weapon of spiritual warfare? That is really outside the box. How can that be?
Him: People tend to have small boxes. Does what I say offend you? Would you allow Me to expand your box?
Then God brought to mind person after person He asked to do hard things: Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, Ezekiel was paralyzed for a couple years, Jeremiah cooled his heels in a cistern, Isaiah was required to not mourn his wife’s death, Paul went through all kinds of stuff.
Me: Yes Lord, You do ask people to do hard things, in that sense what You say does align with Scripture. But You never asked anyone who came to You for healing to live with disease. You healed them! I can see doing a hard thing, but I think disease is a work of the enemy which You came to defeat! So, there is something I’m not getting here.
Him: Remember that passage in Ephesians 3:10-11?
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Me: Does Your saying this offend me? Not really because that verse says far more than my mind can comprehend. Heavenly realms are Your domain. You can be Yourself there and make Your will and wisdom known however You wish.
I don’t have any background experience with “heavenly realms” that would give meaning to those words. I have a sense of it. I “sorta, kinda” get it. You know what You meant and if You put those things together You have a good reason for it—and understanding, comprehending “Why” You would make Your wisdom known through the church or by using me as an example…that may be something beyond my design!! Like a big 747 it is mostly going right over my head!
For right now, here is what I think He is saying to me: My assignment is still to resist this disease as I would resist a sparring partner, and maintain an attitude that honors God and brings Him glory. My domain is to develop spiritual, physical and emotional maturity. That is my job and within my design capabilities. It is God’s prerogative in His domain, if He chooses to point to me and say to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, “Now that is how it’s done. That’s what I’m talking about. That is being faithful regardless.” It is not my place to correct God or tell Him He needs to stay inside my box—Job found that out. My position is that God is good, period, no matter what it looks like.
That God should use me as His example to teach heavenly beings? That’s humbling! Another scripture says that He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I don’t pretend to be wise; I’m just trying to get through today without complaining and to be gracious to those around me in the process.
Action Step: This week let’s keep track of what we do right—that honors God and brings Him glory. Share with the rest of us so that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.