Sunday, August 20, 2017
Sunday Afternoon Tea - When you realize you are mad at God.
Forgiveness, Commitment, Journey... those are the three words I scribbled on my planner next to that day's list of things that needed to be accomplished. Three words that were answers from God to my recent frustrations.
It has been a difficult summer as far as health is concerned but last week was particularly hard. I had been waking up with extremely low blood sugar numbers. I mean dangerously low. Ever since the infection last winter, fatigue has been even more an issue than usual but add in wonky blood sugar and... well, that affects just about everything.
I began to notice all the tasks not getting done that were my responsibility. As it was, my very busy husband had asked if I could take over a couple of his chores and I had to say no. Except my usual mild demeanor was a snarky, "Are you kidding?".
Which is the mood I was in that morning as I stared at the planner, deciding what priority to write down and what could be let go and not liking it one bit. That was when I heard Him, not out loud but in that still small Voice. He said I was mad at Him.
No way, God! I have walked with you too long to be mad and I'm still praying and still reading your Word (although not enough apparently) and I'm still saying all the right things and... by that time I began to realize He just might be on to something. Except I didn't think I was mad at God, I still called it by the euphemism... frustrated... because that was the feeling attached to the thinking.
So right there, three words popped into my mind. Three words I had to write down on the Planner in that day's section. Forgiveness. Commitment. Journey. I actually wrote them down before I knew what He was saying through them.
Forgiveness - He reminded me that it was okay to be frustrated about where circumstances are taking me because I don't understand it. However, when that frustration turns to being angry about circumstances in life, then it slips into being angry at God. There is a very fine line we can cross and, like me, we don't realize when we have crossed it.
It sounds outlandish but I knew I had to forgive God. Yes, God! Because my days were not lining up like I expected or wanted them to... I was blaming Him. Not realizing it at first but then that whole epiphany happened while writing on the Planner. It was true. I was mad at God and I needed to let go of expectations and forgive Him for allowing illness into my life.
Commitment - I felt as if He was asking me if I was truly committed to letting Him be in charge of my life. It is easy to say, as a young Christian, that I will go anywhere you want me to go. Africa? You've got it! Smuggle Bibles behind the Iron Curtain? Sure! Live with two chronic illnesses? Now you are asking too much God. You are messing with my theology as well as my desires. What about those healing verses? Insert silence... perhaps the sounds of crickets chirping... but no God answer.
While Forgiveness surprised me, Commitment did not. We've had this discussion before, usually in the midst of trials so difficult I had to remind myself to breath. I think He asks this question throughout our life. Like Job, the enemy of our souls tells God we will serve Him when all is well but what if our days don't seem to make sense? Certainly they will not bow to you, then.
There are some who do drop by the wayside, like the grain of wheat as it grows and the summer sun bakes it... some followers of Christ stomp their feet and shake their hands at Him and let the anger simmer... and wither on the side of the road. They let their expectations, their feelings, affect their commitment.
Nope... going to stand firm and stay committed and keep my spiritual compass set to True North... toward that City whose Builder and Maker is God. It isn't Heaven but it will be. Some. Day. In the meantime, He gives Grace for each day.
Like Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".
Journey -While I may not like what I'm going through right now, it is true that when I look back on the journey so far, often I can see God tracks on the road. Much like how I hardly ever see the animals that cross our property but when there is snow on the ground, their tracks are everywhere. They leave behind proof they exist even when I rarely actually see them.
If we dedicate our lives to walking with Christ, if we honestly say we are the kind of Christian that wants to honor and serve Him... then we will follow the journey He has planned. I don't understand the intersection of His path and answers to prayer and His Will and our decisions. Etcetera. Minds far more theological have wrestled these questions for millennia.
Sometimes we just have to accept that we will not understand everything this side of Eternity.
I can have peace in the journey because I know He will not ask me to do anything that He has not equipped me to do. That doesn't mean there will not be rocks and hills and valleys and storms along the way. He will take each one of us up to a point that we have to let go of our own plans and our own purposes and even our own abilities... to allow His work to be accomplished.
He allows us to go through various trials to mold us perfectly. Uniquely.
So often we judge ourselves and blame God. He isn't pointing out that my windows did not get washed this year or that weeds are growing up among the plants around the deck. He isn't sitting on the throne upset with me that I still owe letters to friends or that I finally got around to sorting through the In-basket on the desk to find insurance papers.
God will have us answer to Him about what we did with what He gave to us. Not what we absolutely cannot accomplish no matter how hard we try. That brings a lot of peace and helps to walk the journey unafraid of being honest with Him. He knows I don't like having to deal with illness and you know what? That means he also realizes that I am limited in what I can accomplish. God does not put His people between a rock and a hard place.
So I will continue on this journey and if He should decide to take Juvenile Diabetes and Hashimoto's Disease away... that would be good. If not... He gives grace every day to handle illness and financial issues and children (although I am blessed in that department) and everything else this fallen world throws at us.
In the end, we remember that the very journey is God's gift to us. Life is His gift. How we choose to live it is our gift to Him.
Image: The hutch decorated for Fall last year.