This early post from October 2010 has returned to my thoughts these last few days. Perhaps someone else needs it as much as I did today. There are still medical issues without solutions, but the asthma problem referenced in the article has stabilized, so that's progress. This year I'm using a different reading schedule with different juxtapositions teaching me how much more there is to learn of our God. Without further ado, here's the post from the archives.
This morning's Scripture portion in my Bible read-through calendar for the year juxtaposed Isaiah 20 and Jeremiah 28-30. Reading these two in one sitting illuminated common themes I might otherwise have missed: true hope vs. false hope (or trust) and true prophets bringing bad news.
In the Isaiah reading, Israel has put their trust in African military might to rescue them from Assyria, and Isaiah gets to depict the disappointing news that their allies will not protect them. In Jeremiah, a false prophet preaches quick liberation from domination by Babylon, and Jeremiah is commissioned to tell the people of Judah that restoration will come, but it will take a lifetime, so they need to settle in and work for good in the land of their exile. In both these cases, contrary perhaps to our expectations, the true prophecies say things will get worse before they get better; the true hope is in God, not in human helps or a happy turn of events. The ultimate expression of this true hope is in Jeremiah 30:22:
"'You shall be My people,
And I will be your God.'"
As I was considering asking for your prayers for my next doctor's appointment Friday morning (asthma/allergy doctor), these readings changed the content of my request. The Scriptures showed me that my trust is not as true as it needs to be on the medical issues we're still working out. Last week the lupus doctor seemed frustrated because my medication level was up and my activity tolerance was down. His frustration discouraged me, and I realize now that I was hoping in my doctor and hoping for short-term good news.
If God moves you to pray for me, would you pray first for true trust? That my hope would not be in the skill of my physicians, my own analysis and presentation of symptoms, medications, or compliance with doctors' instructions, but in God's character and Word? He is the one who gives wisdom and insight to the doctors and who ultimately determines the efficacy of their prescriptions. He has not promised me good health now, in this body, but He has promised good. He has also promised that the tough times are not for always, and that body-soul-spirit wholeness is coming, even if it takes a lifetime.
Also, would you pray that my life, attitude, and words would proclaim truth about God? True trust will (or should?) produce a hope and peace that don't vary with the circumstances but stay firmly fixed on God's constancy and faithfulness. My community is pretty small right now, but I long for God to be glorified in my interactions with my doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and family and through this blog, notes, and e-mails. Sometimes that requires courage to say what is needful even when it is not what is desired. It always requires confident dependence on the Lord, and so I ask your prayers..
As always, thank you so much for sharing your day with me in this place. Thank you also for your prayers. Please feel free to let me know in the comments or by e-mail
how I can pray for you, too.
I'm glad you reposted this because I don't think I'd read it, before. I'm teaching on trust, right now, and our lesson Sunday was on "Rack, Shack, and Benny" :) in Daniel 3. I love how they acknowledge: God is capable of delivering them from the furnace. But I love even more how they say: EVEN IF HE DOESN'T we aren't going to bow down before your golden statue. They understand; they'll be victorious, regardless, because they are living in obedience to the One True God, and they will be with Him for eternity. God doesn't always appear in the way we want; I know. But He's gone ahead and triumphed over everything that hurts us, and someday we'll be free of everything that causes us suffering, now. And He's walking with us through whatever our flames. You know all this; you know way more than I. I'm just affirming. I love you, and I'm praying for you.ReplyDelete
I love that story, too, although I have not yet seen the VeggieTales version. The "even if not" verse actually came to mind for you when you posted about Job and the "though He slay me" verse, so we're in sync. :) He has triumphed! Thank you for the reminder and the love. (I don't know about you, but that resurrection body can't come soon enough for me!)ReplyDelete
It's my favorite of alllllll the Veggie Tale movies. You should make a point. It would cheer you up! (It's probably on youtube.)ReplyDelete
"...that the tough times are not for always, and that body-soul-spirit wholeness is coming..." Thank you, Jesus, for promises like these that breathe hope right into whatever dark corner we've found ourselves.ReplyDelete
I read that passage in Jeremiah recently during my study of the Psalms of Ascent, specifically the part about settling in and making a life right in the midst of captivity. And that hits right on something I'm working through--will be working through all year, I think--the need to hold onto those "someday" promises of our future Home away from all this brokenness while at the same time making ourselves at home here and now. Because our Home is in Him and He's already here with us. Because that future Home is only Home because He's there in it. And thus, as you've said here, our real hope, our true trust needs to be found in Him alone.
Praying for True Trust in the midst of your current struggles, Friend.
Thank you for being such a vessel of God's love. This post has been on my mind lately, too.ReplyDelete
I hope not because of fresh sorrows. Thank you for reading and understanding and for your always encouraging words to me. Love to you today (God's love and mine)!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your prayers and for sharing how this intersects with your journey and learning. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him today (Romans 15:13).ReplyDelete
like Courtney, i'm praying for true trust in the Lord, for you and also for all us crumbles: it's as important as anything can be. but i wonder whether you weren't being too hard on yourself in your repost...i'm kind of groping here, and hope i don't get it wrong, but let me try to explain why i think you might be.ReplyDelete
suppose that a child is on a desert island with her mother, who's a surgeon. suppose also that the child breaks her arm somehow. her mother lets her know that she's hoping not to have to rebreak and reset the arm, but she'll have to monitor the situation, since that may be necessary in order for the arm to heal properly. suppose that after a bit the mother decides that she has to rebreak and reset the arm after all. upon hearing this news, it would be natural for the child to be disappointed. would such disappointment evince a lack of "true trust" in the mother on the child's part? not necessarily, i think. it would make all the difference whether the child was disappointed *that the arm would have to be rebroken*, or disappointed *in her mother*. the latter case, but not in the former, it seems, would show a lack of trust in the mother.
similarly, mightn't it be that your being disappointed *in God* would have betrayed a lack of true trust, but not your being disappointed that there wasn't good news in the short as well as the long term? can't we trust God that, if He lets us suffer in the short term, in the actual circumstances that suffering is a part of the path to the best thing for us, and still be disappointed that in the actual circumstances the path to the best thing for us is more painful and difficult (in the short term) than it might have been, or that we had been hoping it would be?
i suppose that if the news that you weren't getting better had left you *entirely* disconsolate, that would be evidence that you were putting your trust in doctors and medicine, rather than God.
but everything i know about you suggests you weren't entirely disconsolate.
i hope this isn't dry and unhelpful. one last thing: your community may still be pretty small, but even if it is, it loves you GREATLY!
True trust. Yes and wow. It's something we only seem to learn, or at least confirm, in the fire. There have been times when I repeated over and over, "I trust you, God. I trust you, God," and it really did help me remember that He's worthy of all our trust. Praying for you in this and so many ways. Hugs to you.ReplyDelete