“And the hits just keep coming . . . ” Tom Cruise – A Few Good Men
I have a whole new sensitivity when I listen to the news and hear about undrinkable water, bad storms, homes and businesses destroyed, flooding, foreign governments intentionally turning the power off on their people, and so on and so forth.
I recently told a friend, “All I really want is to coast for a little while and stop having to deal with stuff.” The friend completely agreed, he has dealt with crisis after crisis the last few years. I’m sure you would like a break also. If you haven’t been effected by COVID-19, the Texas storm, an unexpected health situation, the passing of a family member, a large financial loss – then you’ve got to know someone who has.
So what do we do? I’ve been reading an amazing book by Mark Batterson called Win the Day. He shares how his wife dealt with an unexpected cancer diagnosis:
Lora was diagnosed with breast cancer. If you’ve had cancer or have a loved one who has, you know that a thousand questions fire across your synapses. What stage is it? How do we treat it? What is the prognosis? Fortunately, we caught it early and Lora is better than ever.
Can I brag on my wife? I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of her. She participated in her own healing process by making some courageous changes. She became intentional about everything she put into her body and mind. Along with changing our diet, we did our best to eliminate toxins in our environment. Yes, that includes people. Lora started practicing meditation more regularly. We even started frequenting comedy clubs. Why? Laughter “doeth good like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
When you get cancer, denying the diagnosis does no good. If you don’t own it, it will own you. For Lora, the healing process began with a brave question (for God – Dave’s words) she stumbled across while reading a poem about illness:
What have you come to teach me?
When we find ourselves in difficult situations, we get so focused on getting out of them that we fail to get anything out of them. Then we wonder why we find ourselves in the same situation all over again. There is nothing wrong with asking God to change your circumstances, but His primary objective is changing you. The circumstances you’re asking him to change may be the very circumstances He is using to change you. . . . Maybe it has come to teach you a lesson that could not be learned any other way! (Pg. 42)
That’s nice and everything, but what about:
“I don’t want to learn any more lessons!”
“This lesson is too personal and painful!”
“Haven’t we been through this one already?”
“Why do I keep taking hits and others aren’t?”
Plus, we may not get an answer right away – or at all. And if we do, it might not be the answer we were hoping for. Very rarely are we able to scratch our heads and say, “Oh, I get it now, that makes perfect sense! And that makes all the misery worth it!”
However, in spite of our feelings, pains, and disappointments – we keep asking the question to God out of trust.
We’re human beings and we feel and hurt and wonder. God loves us too much to let us stay the same. Am I going to draw closer to Him, or try to figure out His mind and reasoning? I love this quote from Christine Caine, “God asks us to love Him with all of our hearts, not understand Him with all of our minds.” Plus, if we repent of our sins and believe His son died for us – we always have the hope Jesus returning to take us to a heavenly home where there is no pain, illnesses, death, lack of resources, corruption, and so on and so forth.
“And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever . . . ” (1 John 2:17)