Today my mom starts chemo. I wish there was no such thing as cancer, sickness or any type of disease or pain, suffering, or heartache.
I wish magic was real, fairy dust worked, and really awesome things happened when I twitched my nose...not only cures for disease, no more famines and war, but even instantaneous house cleaning, disappearing laundry piles, and steaming fresh dinner on the table, along with a spotless kitchen, by 6:00 every night.
In all truth and honesty, I wish my reality matched my faith...because I have HUGE faith! I do not doubt that God can do anything at any time in any part of the whole wide world...and yet at the same time, I've known sadness and deep disappointment in the way my heart yearns for things or outcomes and the way that God runs the Universe.
I'm not disillusioned to believe that life on earth will be without its struggles. It's life on earth, the first clue. I just wish I could take away other people's pain and sorrow.
At the same time, I know full well that it is through hardships, suffering, resistance, opposition, challenge, and pretty much anything that drop kicks us out of our comfort zones, that makes us grow stronger, putting down deeper roots, and allowing the false fluff of faking it to fly away.
My mom is really brave. It's not that she wants to be brave. She doesn't want to walk through this as much as you and I don't want to walk up and order our favorite java treat in a busy coffee shop BUCK NAKED. Yeah...who wants to do that? Who even wants to see that, right?!
And you know, this journey being one of her daughters, watching, listening, praying...it's been interesting. For the most part, it's been beautiful, in spite of the word cancer. The very word has opened doors to people willing to be vulnerable, real, candid, honest, and sincere. And, of course, the word cancer has also brought out some of the well-meaning sentiments. Like, "Betty, you already ARE healed. You don't need to DO anything about it but just have enough faith, because you ARE healed."
Yep. Someone said that. To my mom. If the person had said it to me, let me just say there would have been a can of whoop-ass opened at that moment. You see, my mom has faith. Like I said before, it could be a bumper sticker on the back of my car that states, "My mom has more faith than your honor student..." or something to that effect.
But let me just expose something that I feel is just one of the reasons some people shy away from God and church in the first place. Yes, in order to believe in a God we cannot see, we need faith. And, yes, there is a woman in the Bible whom Jesus spoke to and told her that her faith had made her well. Not her willpower, but her trust that Jesus was who He said He was and that God was bigger than her condition. BUT, here's where I get a little crusty. When people think they have control over a negative situation by sheer will power, positive thinking, or even trying to manipulate an outcome through prayer and fasting. And, this really gets my panties in a wad...I've even seen it here in blog world, but when an idea is put out there that if we just get enough people praying, it will change the circumstances...yes, historically God has moved when His people prayed...but at the same time, He knew their motives. He always knows our motives...and if motives are "bandwagon" or sheer entertainment, well, how pure is that?
So, basically, that thought process is stating there's a magic number that will change the outcome to line up with how we want it and if we can just hit that magic number of people praying...Or, I've heard people say, "Well, I guess I didn't have enough faith..." or "You know, you have sin in your life so that's why this is happening to you..." or "God's trying to teach you a lesson." Jesus blew the "sin in your life=why this is happening to you" theory out of the water.
ANYWAY, I am ALL FOR enlisting a lot of people's prayers, not just for the healing of a dying little boy or the healing of a cancer patient. But, what about enlisting prayer on a daily basis. What about talking to God in an intimate way, regularly that doesn't come with an agenda or a "What I want for Christmas" list? Since God is real and Santa's not...And, what about having faith and trusting God because He's good, even when we don't agree with how He does things? And not just when it works in our favor or benefits those we love?
When we pray for other people and the rough road they are walking, it's time that we are one, not thinking of ourselves, and two, communicating with the God who is in love with His creation. How great is that?!
Jesus gave us a model by which to pray. The part in there that says, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done..." I would guess many want to leave out the "Your will be done" part because it doesn't line up with our own.
Are we able to trust that even though we may not understand why we walk through trials and suffering or why our lives aren't as smooth as we would like, that maybe, just maybe, maybe, maybe, "Your will be done" is a beautiful thing? That perhaps God sees a bigger picture, and even though we don't, He's got beauty in mind for each of us?
I don't have all the answers, but I do know this. My mom's got faith. And my mom's got cancer. And my mom's got her first round of chemo today for the next half year. And God's got my mom. So, I have faith in Him.