Saturday, February 14, 2009

But Will God Restore?

I hadn't really thought of God as a restorer until the health and financial issues started attacking our family. I know the Bible says He is a restorer. Now I'm in a place of really trying to believe it. The concept is overwhelming. One staggers under the weight of it? Will God restore? Health? Life? Joy? Money? Love? All?

Hubby and I have gone through the ringer. For us, life is a kind of holding on. Do I dare dream?

There are many Christians out there who will say things like, "Don't expect too much, though. God wants you to learn." These are not Christians I want near me. I know God wants me to learn. But these Christians who so readily tell me to hold on could not could not could not have gone through what hubby and I have gone through and what we go through daily daily daily. But they look at me as if I'm weak. Honestly, there marriages would have broken long ago under the strain of racist mother-in-law, financial debt, sickly continually weeping crying child (for 18 years), and sickly sleepless gone-to-fat wife. So when they come with their platitudes I just don't say anything.

There's a great verse in the Bible: Strengthen not yourself in the things of Egypt. Loose translation: Don't trust the false way to save you. When we get sick, instead of turning to the Bible we go to the internet to research our conditions and the world's (Egypt's) cures. With stuff like autism and sleep disorders, I can see why Jesus said "the gospel is preached to the poor." It's not just that one needs a heck of a lot of money but that one needs a heck of a lot of money to go to nutritionists, house repairers and mod removers (to get rid of the mold), immunologists, allergists, internists, MRI specialists, neurologists, (Yep, the body is complicated and it's never ever only one thing that goes wrong when the body suffers under the weight of the sin of the world), health food stores, specialized supplements...etc. So then we are left with so much to fix, and so little money to fix it with, and so much guesswork on the part of the fixers. Only God can restore. Only from him can the free gift of restoration of health and life come.

When John asked Jesus about another disciple's life, Jesus said to John, "What business if that of yours? Follow me." We are told often to look unto Jesus. That means not to think about how God works in other folks' lives to compare what may or may not happen in ours. I have watched too many Christian interviews (nonfiction) and secular movies (fiction) where I see folks trusting in God and God miserably disappointing them. I grew up on this stuff. How to trust God when this image works always in the mind, and even modern Christianity is prone to telling us that we probably won't get our answers because well God knows better or we don't have enough faith etc. (And, once again, it's the ministers who are supposed to be having faith, not the parishioners, but that's another post.)The Lord told us to take heed how we hear. I am trying so hard to uproot all the negative seeds this culture has taught me.

But dare I dream? Christianity over the ages has taught many of its adherents to edge their bets: they have taught us not to dream. They tell us suffering is good. I really don't want much. Just a kind of normal life with sleep at night -- am writing this while on a bout of 8 days with absolutely no sleep. Just a normal life with a child who isn't continually in pain. That's all I'm asking, Lord. Be a restorer unto me, my God, because I have loved you so very much...and never, ever, ever have I thought of leaving or forsaking you. Look on my tears o Lord and do not fail me, oh my God, my only God. Remember how much I have loved you and do not let my enemies -- sickness, despair, poverty, confusion-- triumph over me. -C
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