Monday, May 17, 2010

It's Time For An Attitude Check

By Cindee Re

I awoke to a dismal, rainy, gray morning. I usually don’t mind the weather, enjoying the variety of our mid-western climate, but this morning it absolutely annoyed me. I felt frustrated as soon as I stepped out of bed.

I knew I was tired. It had been a long five weeks of sickness in our house. My oldest daughter had been hospitalized briefly because she lost the feeling in and partial function of her left leg, which thankfully reversed itself after a week. That left four days until my husband’s shoulder surgery, four relatively quiet days for me to finally come down with the virus plaguing my family.

I knew God had kept me healthy through the days I was most needed, so I trusted Him to handle the details of the next four days as well. By Tuesday morning, I wasn’t well, but improved enough to take my husband to the hospital. His surgery went well, and by week’s end we’d all settled into a bit more normal routine. Saturday I awoke frustrated by life, and grumbling aloud to God, “Why does everything have to be so hard sometimes.”

Throughout the morning, the Apostle Paul’s words rang in my ears, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!” (Rom. 7:21-24)

I felt as wretched as Paul. I didn’t want to be short-tempered, frustrated, and annoyed, and I didn’t want my words to hurt the ones I love, but they did.

Too often I fail to be the wife and mother my family desires and deserves. They try to be patient and understanding. They know the pain and frequent nausea, resulting from an accident four years ago, often causes my quietness, impatience, and frustration, and they’re right, but that’s a reason, not an excuse. God doesn’t excuse my attitudes because of what He’s allowed in my life.

He’s allowed my injury for a reason, and He’ll use it if I’ll let Him, but there’s the rub. God knows I can’t struggle through this on my own, and He doesn’t expect me to. Instead, He asks me to take every thought captive to Christ, to lean on Him, because His grace is sufficient for me, His power made perfect in my weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)

God wants me to do life with Him, through Him, in Him, for then He can redeem the pain, limitations, and even my attitudes for the glory of His Kingdom.

Father, teach me to willingly surrender to Your will. Grant me courage to take up my cross daily and follow You, for then my life will honor and glorify You, and whatever You allow will be well worth the cost. May I learn to walk worthy. Amen.

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  1. great article...I must say, though that I do not agree with just one position taken. God is sovereign, that is for sure. Using the phrase God allows this sickness, trial, etc. is problematic. He gives His children endurance and perserverance to cope with the most unbelievably difficult things. He nature is good, these difficulties come from living in a fallen world, where we wait for the return of Jesus at His second coming, when He returns for the final time. Love bears all things...His love carries His children through the challenges, which is a completely different mind set than seeing our Heavenly Father as one who "allows" difficult things in our lives. Yes, we can all learn to lean on Him through these things, and He works all things together for the good....but using that word allows is a problem. Just so you are aware of my personal context, I have a child with a degenerative genetic condition. She's cognitively delayed and at 12 is losing her ability to speak. She uses a machine at night to assist her breathing. My son has a moderate level learning disability and I was completely healed of muscular dystrophy 15 months ago, after 38 years. My mother and one sister also had/have this condition. My sister has very limitted mobility at age 61. Miracle and mystery of life go hand in hand.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I agree completely with your position. I used the word "allows" because my children were questioning why God has chosen not to answer their prayers to heal me (or their sister or their brother who have auto-immune diseases), struggling to understand why God, who is all powerful doesn't always use His power in ways we understand. "Allows" helped them understand that while God absolutely does have the power to heal, sometimes He chooses not to for reasons we may never understand this side of Heaven. It helped them begin to grapple with the truth that God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts not our thoughts, that God is infinite and we are simply finite, unable to grasp the mind of God.

    God allowed Satan to test Job, but had the final word -- this far and no farther. He has the power to over-ride all the effects of sin in our fallen world, but sometimes chooses not to, which is why I chose to use the word "allows."

    Again, thank you so much for your feedback. I appreciate it more than you know, and will be lifting you and your family in prayer.