Ok. So. I guess I say, “sorry” a lot.

Well, in Africa, that’s normal. Everybody says sorry for everything. Your neighbor trips on his shoelace. Five people chorus, “Sorry!” A baby is crying. All the adults say, “Sorry.” A woman tearfully tells her neighbors that her brother has died. Everyone shakes their heads, clicks their tongues, and says, “Sorry.”
In the USA, saying sorry seems to imply apology- not just sympathy. Like, by using that word, somehow you are saying you share responsibility in the other person’s problem. I said, “sorry” to the woman starting my IV at the hospital the other day. She looked at me and said, “Why you apologizing?!” Well, she was complaining about something happening at home, so I was trying to sympathize. Apparently my attempt at sympathy just came off sounding really strange. Whatever.
Ok, and here’s something else. I just posted that great prayer about abandonment to God, remember? Well, somehow, just after posting that, I again find myself in the ambiguous position of not knowing whether to accept or fight what’s coming my way. Wondering, “Is God’s hand in all of this? Or is this straight up the enemy and I need to beat him off with a stick?”
Ok. Ambiguity. Nothing is black and white, for goodness sake!!! Or is it?
{Sickness. Malaria. Death. Suffering. War. Destruction. Hatred.} = EVIL. Works of the enemy. Boo to him.
{Life. Health. Joy. Peace. Love. Encouragement.} = Good gifts- which come from the Father of heavenly lights- right? RIGHT.

BUT… what do we do with these cute little equations when we bring in the Romans 8:28 factor? (you remember, “All things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”)
[sickness] + [Rom8:28] = Good gift from God?
So, like, in theory, I’m thinking, “YES! Of course! Any sickness that comes into the life of one who loves God and is called according to His purpose will work out for the good,” but I’m also thinking, “But the certainty that God’s going to bring good out of it doesn’t seem like a reason for a Christian to just roll over and passively take the sickness…”
Or- have you ever heard some well-meaning individual say something like this, “Well, I’ll take whatever God gives me. Sickness. Death. Malaria…” blah blah blah.
Oh heavens! God doesn’t bring death and destruction- that’s the Hindu goddess Kali! Our God brings life abundantly… HELLO!
(I’m really venting here, folks… chalk it up to days and days of confinement…)
So, my question now is basically, “Where does abandonment to God meet fatalism?” Because, I’m all for abandoning myself into God’s hands and believing He will do what is good and right… but I’m absolutely NOT interested in labeling everything that comes my way as “God’s will” simply because I’ve prayed an abandonment prayer. Is that lack of faith?
To make this all a bit more concrete, let me tell you what’s going on with me. I came down with malaria again last Thursday. Yes. AGAIN. I’ve had malaria 4 times in the last 5 months. I’ve also had typhoid and several other secondary infections. And, I’m somebody who has endeavored to put herself fully into God’s hands. I don’t believe God sent the sickness, but He also never healed me instantly. Not that He couldn’t have- not that I didn’t ask or hope or hold out for healing- or maybe not that He didn’t want to- just for whatever reason, He didn’t. I don’t understand these things!
But, now, as I’m recovering from the most recent battle with this hateful disease, my body is really weak, and I don’t know that I’m up to the journey I was meant to make to North Carolina on Friday. So, do I yell at the devil to back off and give me my strength back- and do I then push through the journey? Or do I sit back and say, “Ok, God. Here I am. Sickness and weakness and imperfections and all. Do what You want to do through me.”
Maybe that’s the prayer of abandonment. When everything is confusing and I’m doing all I know to do. Maybe abandoning myself is that moment where I cease my striving and tell the Lord, “I don’t know what’s going on here, but I want to hear what You are saying. Please speak loudly enough for me to hear and obey. I’ll just do whatever You ask me. I’ll just trust You right now to work Your will and way into this circumstance. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. Whatever that may look like. I’m yours, Lord.”
Yeah. Maybe that’s it.

About Jennie Joy

I'm a lover and truth-seeker. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts, struggles, and sincere searchings as I get to know God and welcome the reality of His kingdom in and through me.

2 responses »

  1. Jewel says:

    Interesting thoughts! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Bryan says:

    Here is an equation that might help:√(-Health) = -Life(i), +Life(i)Allow me to explain. The square root of negative health is a consequence of living life on our fallen world. Sometimes you fall into sickness because of sin in your life being multiplied, hence -Life. Sometimes you fall into sickness because you're just alive living in a fallen world, hence +Life. When you take the square root of the negative here, you always have to use i, an imaginary number, to account for the multiplication of life coming out to a negative result. This makes total sense because the devil prowls around LIKE a roaring lion, but Christ has already won the victory. (It also makes sense, because two wrongs don't make a right, and if you didn't account for i here, multiplying sin upon sin would come out to be a positive thing, which is obviously not right.)I figure at this point there are two things that can take place. You can call the enemy's power (i) for what it is — imaginary — and rebuke it in the name of Jesus, and believe in faith that +Life will be multiplied without i, resulting in positive health (John 10:10). Or when you don't see the prayer immediately being answered, you can wait patiently on the Lord because as Deuteronomy 23:5 says, God turns the curses into blessings because He loves you. Mathematically speaking, it fits with the equation, for as you continue to multiply i on to the 4th power, all of that junk of the enemy comes out positive. (i^2 = -1, but i^4 = +1)Hope that helps.Love,BryanP.S.You + Sickness + [Psalm 41:1-3] = HealthEvil = EvilEvil ≠ God's WillHowever: (Evil + Child of God)*[Romans 8:28] = Bad Situation + Good Results

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