Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Why Doesn't God Fit in My Box?

I’ve been thinking about a comment my daughter made recently concerning her prayers and her diabetes. She has been praying daily for God to heal her of her diabetes.

She has always had faith that she would be healed if God wanted to do it. She also had a great attitude at the beginning, when as an 11-year old, newly diagnosed, she wrote to the church of one of my co-workers that had been praying for her particularly: “I don’t know why I have diabetes, but I don’t see it as a disease—I see it as an opportunity to see what God can do.”

When my co-worker read me that note, I was ashamed of myself because I was still dealing with the crushing realization that my child had a life-threatening, chronic illness. I was very angry at God. I couldn’t even sit through church services without crying in rage the entire service.

Now, as is typical of children with diabetes, Lindsey later questioned, “Why me?” And she went through a couple of years of rebellion...not checking her blood sugar regularly...deciding without a blood sugar check how much insulin to take. And the question...”Why won’t God heal me?”

But through all the years, she never has doubted that God could heal her if it is in His will. In late February, Lindsey had an eye check-up and a dental check-up. She received two clean bills of health.

What makes these results so impressive is that Lindsey has had diabetes for nearly 10 years. A couple of months into dealing with the diabetes, Lindsey’s doctor explained the necessity of regular blood tests, eye exams, and dental care. She told me that damage from the diabetes would start showing up in about five years.

This is what Lindsey said to me that started the whole contemplation: “I’ve been praying every day for God to heal me of my diabetes. I have been healing is just packaged differently than I expected.” She was referring to there being “no evidence of diabetes in my eyes or my teeth.”

Once again I am in awe of my daughter’s faith. She can see God working in her body, even though she wears an insulin pump and tests her blood sugar several times a day.

It is difficult at times to accept the form of answer God gives me to my prayers. I tend to be one of those people who starts a prayer request with an idea of how I want the issue resolved. This is probably the wrong attitude with which to go to the throne of God.

I think Lindsey’s idea of taking advantage of “an opportunity to see what God can do” is probably the best approach to viewing our circumstances and our prayers.

When life smacks us in the face with more that we seem to be able to handle, the natural desire is to want circumstances return to what they were before the crisis. But if we don’t allow ourselves to really look for God in the circumstances, how will we grow?

Like Lindsey said, her answer came packaged in an unexpected way. God is too big to stuff into my box... My answer might be more than I am expecting, or it might be less than I want at the moment. My responsibility is to see the answer as God intends it to be...a lesson in submitting to a holy God who intends everything for my good and His glory. And I have already been given the best gift...Jesus bought my entry into heaven with his life.

First printed March 2006 in The Freedom Reader, a publication of Spring Valley Freedom Bapist Church, Huntington, WV.