Monday, September 16, 2013

what I'm reading: in sickness, what should I pray?

Because I believe his plans for me are better than what I could plan for myself, rather than run away from the path he has set before me, I want to run toward it. I don't want to try to change God's mind—his thoughts are perfect. I want to think his thoughts. I don't want to change God's timing—his timing is perfect. I want the grace to accept his timing. I don't want to change God's plan—his plan is perfect. I want to embrace his plan and see how he is glorified through it. I want to submit.
Nancie and David Guthrie lost two babies to Zellweger syndrome, a rare genetic disease. Their second child Hope only lived for six months, and it wasn't an easy life: "These babies are blind, probably deaf, unable to suck, coo, or respond in any intentional way".

Knowing that there was a one in four chance that any other child would have the disease, David underwent a vasectomy; but Nancy became pregnant, and prenatal testing showed that this baby would also die. They lost Gabriel at six months.

You can imagine that they were encouraged to pray for healing. I'm sure they did, and rightly so. But Nancy says - and I think she's right - that there are bigger and better things to pray for.
Often, I see the body of Christ put so much into pursuing God for healing. With great boldness and passion and persistence, we cry out to God, begging for physical healing. And in these prayers, there is often a tiny P.S. added at the end where we say, 'If it be your will.'

But shouldn't we switch that around?

Shouldn't we cry out to God with boldness and passion and persistence in a prayer that says, "God, would you please accomplish your will? Would you give me a willing heart to embrace your plan and your purpose? Would you mold me into a vessel that you can use to accomplish what you have in mind?" And then, perhaps, we could add a tiny P.S. that says, "and if that includes, healing, we will be grateful."

Isn't real faith revealed more through pursuing God and what He wants than by pursuing what I want?

We often hear people talk about the "victorious Christian life." But isn't the life of a Christian really more about bending the knee, humbling ourselves, and taking up a cross?

I don't know what the cross will look like for you. I just know it will require a death to your desires and your dreams to carry it. And it won't be easy.

But I also know that as you die to yourself. God's life will take root and grow within you.

Holding on to Hope 78-81.


Ali said...

Oh boy! I have come back and read this several times. It's really quite challenging isn't it?!

Jean said...

Yes, it is. And I wish I'd had it in my hands 6 months ago. But all in God's good timing.