Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Conclusion of the Matter

I just returned from my follow-up appointment with the doctor, and it turns out that there are more doctors in my future... It's probably all fine, though there's a possibility I'll need minor surgery. But I left discouraged.

The other day, I was talking with my sister and said something about my body getting revenge for all the abuse it's had to tolerate over the years. Genuinely confused, she asked, "What abuse?" "Well, I've carried a good bit more weight than I should have in my adult years," I replied. Today, those words came back to me as I left the doctor's office.

I'm only just now trying to sort through all this, so I can't promise this will all make sense, but here is what I realized today: I've been assuming that I caused all the weird things my body has done over these past years. I feel that this is somehow payback for something I've done. Somehow, I've come to believe that my health struggles are my fault. And today when I realized that, I also realized that that feeling is probably incorrect.

Now, being overweight does take its toll on your body; I'm not denying that. So some of this stuff may really be mine to own. But so many really odd things have gone wrong with my body over the last decade. I really am the one doctor's don't want to see coming, as the stuff I get stumps most of them. And my body, more and more consistently, reacts in the extreme, taking injury quickly and healing slowly. Even my doctor pointed out that every time I come in, there's a genuine problem; I'm not a hypochondriac. I just keep having really odd reactions.

And today as I left the doctor's office and as all these thoughts flitted through my brain, I realized that--rather than being my fault--most of this stuff is just part of the package that came with this sin-damaged body I was given. You might find that encouraging (it's not your fault); I did not. If I caused all this, as I choose to live healthier and healthier as I have done over the past few years and in earnest for the last 6 months, it seems like these things should begin to fade. I'm only 35 and other than being overweight, I can't think of any of the body-damaging behaviors that I have engaged in: don't smoke, chew, drink, do drugs, 'sun-worship,' or anything else.

But if all of these health problems are just part of the package, what does the other half of my life hold? I already do more than my share to support the medical industry; how much more will I do? Will my body just continue to react more and more strongly (I'm thinking second law of thermodynamics here)?

I won't dwell here--I can't change one hair on my head more or less change the configuration of my immune system--but few a few minutes this afternoon, I found myself struggling. And all the platitudes in the world are ineffectual at this point. I know that I might struggle for the rest of my life or I might never be sick again. I can't know what tomorrow holds, and frankly, as One very wise man once said: Today's trouble is enough. Don't go borrowing tomorrow's (my paraphrase). I know (better than most) that God can, with but a word, heal me instantly and completely. (If you don't know my story or haven't already read Easter Shoes, I encourage you to do so.) And since my ordeal then last nearly 5 years, I also know that He can sustain me through any amount of pain or weariness I may be called to endure.

The Conclusion of the Matter: So I find myself in the only reasonable place to be: at the feet of my Savior...confessing to Him how tired I am of this body I now have and how very grateful I am that He's already promised me another one. His Word, His Spirit, His history, and my own experience teach me that I AM is enough. And I suppose in the end, knowing that I AM is enough, is more than enough; that's all I really need to know. My body may be weary, but my soul can be at rest, for He is.

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. --Psalm 116:7 NIV

-J

(c) 2008

6 comments:

Sarah said...

...hard stuff. One of my fav songs my Mercy Me, is "Bring the Rain" The chorus says, "So I pray, bring me joy bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings you glory. And I know there'll be days that this life brings me pain, but if that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain." I can never sing the end of that chorus without choking up...it seems to go against my very nature to say (out loud) bring whatever it is, and I'll praise you...and at the same time, what my heart so much yearns to do.

ShalomSeeker said...

You know, I love that song too! I feel exactly the same way: Whatever it takes (followed by tears from the part of me that knows what that will entail). I love Him for even bringing me to the place where I can say that.

Thanks for reminding me of that!

ShalomSeeker said...

Big Man for Jesus said...
Thanks for sharing. It is so hard to understand things from our limited earthly view, but the good news is I don't have to.

I read a great quote by Oswald Chambers that said, "Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason-a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a person..."

Love you, Your Bro

March 21, 2:18 PM

joyce said...

I can't resist a mom/aunt comment: Are you taking your vitamins??

And drinking lots of water? There. Consider yourself nagged.

Bob said...

And I can't resist a dad/uncle comment: "It's all your parents' fault." (Don't thank me - I'm a giver.)

ShalomSeeker said...

Aunt J: Yes, I take my vitamins and yes, I'm drinking my water (to the tune of 3/4 of a gallon or more a day, actually). Thanks for checking, though. :-)

Uncle B: I really like the idea of blaming my parents! Thanks Unca B! "It's all my parents' fault. It's all my parents' fault..." I'm feeling more and more like a product of my generation! Thanks for helping me fit in! LOL! :-) (Wonder if my da has stumbled onto this blog yet...)