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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tough Questions

How do you find a balance between being told to be content and thankful with what befalls you and, on the other hand, wanting something to be different than it is -- even wanting something different because it seems the Lord must want it different too?

Anyone want to take a stab at that? (please comment) This is what I am pondering in the midst of waiting for more answers...hoping my body will fight even though it is not functioning at 100%. I have some answers from my GI Doctor visit yesterday. The good news is I do not have pancreatitis. The elevated lipase results were probapblly due to me vomiting and having such severeve stomach pain. This can cause a false or elevated lipase result in blood work. The CT scan did not show any inflamation of the pancreas. It is believed now that I could have a bloackage in the GI tract which is making it difficult for what I eat to exit. There is also a possibility of an infection. We are waiting on a number of lab results that will take a few days. In the mean time I am allowed to eat soft foods. Last night I had tomato soup and some of a vanilla milk shake. Not much is happening...rather frustrating. Lots of rumblings but no results. I am waiting to call the Dr. office this morning. So that is the scoop so far...back to my above question...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let you gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

If I am truly thankful and rejoicing, why then would I pray for my circumstances to change? And if I am praying for circumstances to change and for some trial or hardship I am facing to be taken away, then does that no imply a discontent with the way things are? Can I honestly say I am thankful with how things are today? I try to give thanks. But down deep I want things to be different. I pray for it to be different. Giving thanks is different than being thankful. I am certain I have not been very rejoicing. So then the questions start up again...how am I to obey when I am pulled in such opposite directions? The distinction needs to be made between being thankful and giving thanks, between feeling joy and making the determined decision to say I choose to rejoice. I don't think it is possible to feel thankful in the midst of a painful circumstance, but I can make a choice to say I give thanks to God in spite of its difficulty. Feelings are hard to control. The only thing with in me that I am able to control is my will. I am drawn to the story of Jesus in the garden. Jesus prayed -- if it is possible for the cup I am about to take to be removed. I don't think he was very thankful at that moment...something about sweating blood tells me that. He did not want to go to the cross, yet his plea was not my will but yours be done. Here is the answer! In the flesh we will desire things and pray for things that we cannot know whether they are God's will or not. So then when I pray for circumstances to change I must remember to say Lord do your will, not mine. I must also chose to be thankful for his will whatever that is and I must choose to rejoice in how He answers my prayer. Jesus made himself nothing in order to endure the suffering of the cross...He chose to do it out of love. He emptied himself and was obedient to the will of the Father. This is our example...to choose the will of the Father over our own flesh. It is the saying, live in the Spirit -- it's the abundant life. It's what Caleb and Joshua got to experience walking into the Promised Land. Moses didn't get to go. Ahh but I digress...off on a rabbit trail. So much more to write about but for another time. In the end it is about choosing in my will to be thankful even when I don't feel like it. It is choosing to be joyful even when I don't feel like it. In the Spirit I can overcome my flesh. Once we are truly surrendered in our will then that peace that passes all understanding settles upon our weary hearts and minds and we find rest-- true peace.

"We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8: 26-27

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