Thursday, November 02, 2006

God is good

Awhile back my brother and his family were going through some hard times. His last blog entry at his blog talks about how the violent take things by force and how he wrestled with God and God answered.

I'm not like that. I need God. I need God. I need God. I don't need a hand, a foot, 5 senses, money, didly squat. I need God. Everything else is a blessing, it's wonderful and seems necessary but it's still extra. When it comes to myself I've found I only feel right asking His Will in my life. When it comes to others and them wanting healing or something I approach it with the idea that I'm asking something "extra" for the person. I'm asking God, in all His mercy, to look down and give a drop more mercy, that He would be glorified through it.

So for 5 days now I've looked at my hand and wished certain things, but never took it to God saying "fix it please". I've tried to adjust my mind and be ready accept whatever outcome comes my way.

During Sunday school this past Sunday the lesson on Jonah, the teacher kept saying that sometimes we've disobeyed God and refused to do what He wants and that's why bad things happen to us. Last night my pastor started off talking about how God chastises us because He loves us. Then he began his sermon from Psalms 5. It's a short chapter if you want to read it. The pastor seemed to focus on the first two verses, but unfortunately for me I always read ahead. By the end of the sermon the words from verses 4 & 5 were burned into my head For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

I'd read those verses probably 30 times over and over, talking to God and trying my best to convince Him that if there was something I wasn't doing, I didn't have a clue what it was. He put foster care in my heart as clearly as spray painting it on my car. I knew what to do, when, and even the agency to use for my training. He's usually pretty clear for me. So if I'm being chastised because I'm not doing something, I don't know what on earth it is.

It was as I was completing this conversation with God again, I looked up from my bible and discovered my pastor staring at me. My heart sank, I'd made it this far, almost 3 full services without anyone praying for me. And then my pastor spoke and asked if they could pray for me.

If I'd had an ounce, just an ounce more courage I would have actually said no. I would rather everyone speculate and be disappointed in me than to have them disappointed in God because He said no. But I've been raised in church my whole life, I know protocol. When someone asks if they can pray for you, you just can't say no.

Everyone gathered around me and prayed.

I didn't hear a thing any of them said. The minute the murmur of prayers started I closed my eyes and I begged God in His mercy to not disappoint these precious people. I literally prayed He'd heal my arm and inflict me somewhere else just so these people could see their prayers answered and I'd still learn whatever it is He's trying to teach me. --feel free to comment that I'm insane --

This morning, I feel different. There have been a few moments where my hand almost felt normal for a moment, but that's not where I feel different. At 1am this morning I arrived at a place to pick up some newspapers and had to wait for them to arrive. I spent an hour and a half just sitting in my car. I was just quiet, which is rare if not next to impossible for my busy mind. It's the first time in my life I truly felt as though I'd had a conversation with God. He reminded me of things I hadn't thought of for awhile, and He pointed out some things in this situation that I hadn't put together. Every now and then my thoughts would fly away with me but then the quiet would return and after a bit the conversation would resume.

For all of the many crazy things I've been thinking of the last several days the one sure thing that has sunk into my head is that God is with me. I could have quoted you "I'll never leave you nor forsake you" a hundred times and thought I'd believed them. But since that first comfort He provided on Sunday I've felt His presence every moment since.

So let me tell you what I know.
God is good.


One Sided said...

This is hard. to say getting your point across even if you are in a room with people. So hold judgement for a few muinutes. I will never say "God can't." or " God won't." Because few of us know God well enough to speak for Him.
But, there is this thing called life and in it there are some basic rules. You know like if you trip you will fall down you will not fall up. If (and I frequently do) hit your thumb with a hammer you will experience pain. Should you strain or break a part of your body there is a healing process that it must go through to get over that.
So if I fall and smack my face on the cement, is that of God? If my thumb hurts so bad I have to figure out how to sleep with my hand above my heart, should God rearrange the nature of things so I don't experience the pain that is a natural result of my action? I praise GOd that the Doctors knew to put a pin in my leg so it healed stright and I can walk, and I am most thankful for pills that can cause my back to relax after if do something stupid.
I do not ask for prayer for what I consider the natural course. However I humbly accept the prayers (well wishes) offered out of love and care. Accept them know that if God so chooses, I could be healed. I accept them konwing of instances where God had amazed others by His provision. I accept them knowing that God has already in His wisdom provided a natural result or action and as man was able showed us how to assist (as in setting a leg after a break, or developing pain killers, etc). But knowing that God has already made a provision for my healing and accepting that I am already a recipient of the Healing grace of our Father. I have received what everyone is praying for and it is happening in God's time. And yes I would be gratefull if it was to speed up.
And as to the other end of that blessing??? the kneee that will not allow me to golf, hunt with my friends or chase the grand kids . . . He could heal it He could have healed it, or I could have not played football. But it is the result of rules God put in place, as is the limp I walk with.

Your lesson, your trial and your witness are not in the injury they are in the how you handle the injury.

J. W. Poteet II said...

I have to second what one sided said. A lot of times the things that happen to us don't happen because God is punishing us or trying to teach us something, but because this is life and it rains on the just and the unjust, or unfortunately, because we did something and the natural result follows. But God never lets an opportunity be wasted. He may not have caused your hand to be injured, but he won't let that pain just happen without bringing something good out of it if we let Him. Your prayer doesn't sound crazy to me, in fact it sounds very much like intercessory prayer which requires that a person be literally willing to trade places with the person being prayed for. You weren't praying that God would move your injury so much as you were praying for the people around you to have their faith upheld and strengthened. And while you may not pray earnestly that your hand be healed, I bet in that moment of prayer, your prayer was fervent, almost desperate. The kind of prayer I've been talking about recently where you simply stand on God's promise and refuse to let Him dissappoint. Keep it up. I don't know what God is going to bring out of this for you, but I know that He will bring something.

Anonymous said...

I know God always answers your prayers if you are a Christian. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes not now. We also pray for a healing, and sometimes get disappointed when we don't get a miracle. Your compassion for the people praying for you , overwhelms me to the point of tears while I am reading. I agree that sometimes the natural healing process takes time and it may have happened in time and it is all a gift from God. BUT sometimes-you know that you know, that you know, you have been touched by God, you cannot explain it---but it is there. Just rejoice, and accept his touch, and even if not anyone else ever accepts the fact that you had a definite touch from God.
You know, that you know, that you know, he still hears and answers prayers and he is mindful of YOU!

flyawaynet said...

Thank you all for your comments. And just for the record, I agree with you all. Entering into the hand troubles I never once felt it was God's judgement against me... just something that happens. But having 3 consecutive sermons/lessons where they discuss how problems come from running from God or as chastisment even I, someone horrible at seeing themes, saw a theme.
Hindsight though, being 20/20, I believe you were all right. It wasn't judgement at all. And it could be that after the initial thought that it was judgement I started picking out the theme myself rather than it actually being what is being said.