Waiting, Not Wasting
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
A few weeks ago I was hit with a nasty case of food poisoning, which significantly affected my already compromised digestive system. I have been dealing with bacterial overgrowth in my small intestines for seven years, which has caused IBS discomfort, pain, and food intolerances, as well as (I believe) a variety of skin issues. Living with this digestive disorder has greatly impacted the lives of myself and my family. We know this sickness is not from God, and that He desires and is able to heal me. So, why the apparent delay?
The answer is, I don’t know. I don’t know why some are healed instantly, others are healed over time, and still others aren’t healed this side of heaven. I am sure there are many factors involved–some of which I’m fairly certain of, some I can guess at, and others I have no clue about.
Here is what I do (after years of wrestling with God and theology) know that I know:
- God is absolutely always good in all His ways
- He is absolutely more loving than I can wrap my fallen, finite mind and heart around
- He is a strong, powerful, capable Father who can absolutely (and does) work all things together for the good of His kids
When my physical issues first began we were living in another state, on mission for God, and did not have health insurance. I vehemently prayed, (was already “fasting”), pleaded, and believed. I did what I could to alleviate my symptoms, but I was still in intense daily pain and discomfort. One by one my favorite foods (and soon, most foods) were eliminated in hopes of relief, which never fully came. Looking back I see the trauma I went through and the depression into which I eventually sank. I had two small boys at the time and could not get myself out of bed before eleven a.m. because I simply could not face another day of unrelenting pain with no end in sight. (Not to mention no coffee, which yes, I cried over. A lot.) My hope was in my healing and my healing never came.
How is it that I now awaken early, eager to greet the sun and start my day? I hope in something greater than my healing; I hope in my Healer.
My story is not unique. Flick on the news, flip through a magazine, check your mobile news app. Open your eyes, ears and heart to those around you. We breathe in broken bodies, think with broken minds, feel with broken hearts, and live in a broken world full of broken systems. Pain is everywhere; death is lurking. The enemy’s goal has always been to steal, kill and destroy. BUT–he is a defeated foe. Agreement empowers and where we place our agreements affects everything.
God’s Word, penned, paid for and poured out by bloodshed, unimaginable love, is overflowing with promises. Will we agree and unite with His hope and truth, or with the enemy’s fear and lies? What will we choose to empower in our lives?
A few weeks ago I lost it. Sick from food poisoning I sobbed and yelled at God for days. How much longer, God?! Why, God?! Please, God…help me…HEAL ME!!! I felt trapped in sickness with no escape–the darkness closing in as the light was growing dim. Until one night, in great pain, I raised my hands and praised God. I thanked Him and praised Him for all He is, has done, and will do…for (in that moment) everything I could barely recall, feel, or hope for. And that was the key: hope.
I asked Him what He had for me right then, right there. I knew He was present (regardless of whether I felt Him) and I knew while He had not caused what I was going through, He could bring good out of it. So I asked Him for His goodness in my pain. I asked Him what He had for me right then. He answered, “Hope.”
I recalled a prophetic word I’d been given years ago about an anchor. I remembered how the Lord had used that to draw me to Hebrews 6:19: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Right then I felt steadied, filled with hope, assured of God’s presence. Peace settled on me in the midst of pain.
I am still waiting (alongside countless others) for the fulfillment of many promises. How can we wait without wasting away? Hope in the One who holds our hearts, align ourselves with Him alone, and remember His goodness always.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14