Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Journey to Trust - Suffering - Day 8
He bent over to pick up his tools and saw the swirling pattern fill his eye - and the long journey to trust began. For the next few years we traveled back and forth to specialists in a desperate attempt to save his vision. The prognosis was grim from the start.
We prayed our way through surgeries and painful days of recovery only to have to go through the whole ordeal again when the procedures failed. I was on a roller coaster faith ride - filled with hope one minute, weighted down with despair the next. I had long ago lost any notion of control. I was simply crying out for a miracle.
When the miracle didn't come we searched for answers. There were some well-meaning folks who questioned our faith. After all, they reasoned, it says in scripture that if you have enough faith you can ask for anything and God will give it to you. Others, perhaps not so well-meaning, asked if we had carefully examined our lives for unconfessed sin.
Here I was again - trying desperately to be enough. Faith-filled enough. Good enough.
In my heart I knew God didn't work that way and I tried to ignore the "helpers," but I struggled for answers. Why is this good man suffering? Why is it You don't answer my prayers Lord? What must I do?
In time we adjusted to our situation. One eye saved, the other lost to blindness. And I simply went on walking the same path - no closer to understanding the meaning of trust than I had been before. I accepted that this was God's will for us. I longed to draw closer to Him - and I did in so many ways. But the battle for control still raged in my heart. I wanted desperately to make life good - to put an end to suffering.
For days before every check-up I begged and bargained with God (I would even hope for a cancellation because no news is good news - right?). When the results were good, I rejoiced. When there were problems, I stepped up the begging and bargaining. If they got worse I went from anger to guilt to withdrawing from God and finally to confession - an agonizing cycle.
In my own way, I was still grasping for control. I felt I couldn't live a life filled with so much potential for pain. I longed for peaceful, predictable days with a calendar devoid of doctor appointments. I tried so hard.
And all my trying got me nowhere at all.