Some of my thoughts on this have already been expressed in the above linked post. So, I will try to build on what was said there. My thoughts on this jump around quite a bit so hang in there with me.
First I will address the issue as it relates to Christians. I know some people think that once you become a follower of Christ that all your problems dissolve into a puddle on the floor and you walk off into the sunset together, but you and I both know that isn't the case. There is the walking together part although sometimes you head into the storm, not the sunset.
So, I guess the first thing that occurs to me is that the times in my life when things aren't going well are times when I seek God all the more. I seek Him for answers to the questions we all have. Why? For how long? For what greater good? Did I do something wrong? What are you trying to teach me? Those questions and many more race through my mind when things go bad in my life. But more than answers, I seek Him for comfort. I want to go sit at His feet and be reminded of the truths that I know. He is good. He loves me. He will never leave me or forsake me. I am then led to the realization that when I am suffering I am still so blessed! I have my saviour to love and comfort me. I have the hope of perfect eternity with him.
Next my thoughts turn again to the glorification of God. I spoke earlier of giving God the glory when I am blessed. The blessing holds little meaning if I don't use it to point others to Him. But what of the hard times? I suppose people could look at them and say that my God is not trustworthy. Jay has been in constant, and often agonizing pain since the Spring of 1999. I couldn't begin to guess the number of times we have asked God to take that pain away and heal him. I have struggled most of my life with bouts of depression that have nearly killed me. In fact at my lowest I have asked Him to take my life just so that the struggle against it could end. Has God healed Jay? No. Am I depression free? No. Is God able to heal us? Yes. So why doesn't He? One answer may be found in Matthew 9:1-5
So He got into the boat, crossed over and came to His own city. And behold they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." And at once some of the scribes said within themsleves, "This man blasphemes!" But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say 'Your sins are forgiven you' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?"
Certainly Jesus could've walked up to the man and instantly healed his physical body (and if you read on you see that ultimately he does). We need only look back one chapter to know this. Jesus had been in the business of healing. But in this case He chooses a different road. I think it is interesting to note that verse 2 says, "seeing their faith". It feels to me as though since they had a certain amount of faith already Jesus felt they were ready for the next step. Sure, they knew the alphabet, but could they read? And so when He proclaims the mans sins forgiven what happens? Indignation. Yet had not Jesus given the man all he needed? In fact, if He had healed his legs and neglected to forgive him his sins wouldn't his plight have been just as pitiable. No, more so. So, in my lowest moments, knowing that I am forgiven and that God is with me is all I need. Now, getting back to God's glory. If others see me in a seemingly desperate situation and yet I have joy, God gets glory. If everything about my physical circumstance seems unbearable and yet I testify to the peace I have in resting in Him, God gets glory. If I am in the pits of depression and can do nothing but weep, yet acknowledge that this life is only a passing moment and I can still hope in the fact that one day I will shed this flawed body and be forever healed, God gets glory. And would He get the glory if my earthly, physical body were healed. Of course. But which is harder. To instantly heal me, or to be able to sustain me in the midst of my trial?
I am entering a state of rambling so I guess I will post this and save some thoughts for later.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Posted by Heather at 11:47 AM