(Caution: Much of what I say and the subjects I address here may be upsetting. )
Last night I got very angry with Jesus. My neighbor has been in the hospital for over a week. He had had surgery that went well but he did not come out of the surgery as expected. The symptoms indicated a post-operative stroke. I sat with his wife for a long time; we discussed possible scenarios for the future, and we looked at the options she had with each scenario so that she would know that she would survive regardless the outcome. I asked her what she wanted to happen. She said she wanted her husband back the way he was. So we prayed for that.
After a CT scan it was determined that he had not suffered a stroke, did not have brain damage, was going through withdrawal from habitual alcohol and tobacco use and was expected to improve. We rejoiced; we had received an answer to our prayers in the affirmative.
Yesterday, it was determined that he has dementia.
I was not happy. I felt betrayed. My ‘old’ mind was thinking that we had not used the right words: she had said “the way he was;” in fact, she had suspected dementia before his surgery. My ‘old’ mind was blaming my own pride because I was so happy that my praying with her had ‘worked.’ on and on… I know there are readers who will say we “did it wrong,” but I don’t buy that. The God I love is not a legalistic trickster. The God I love would not trip us up over semantics and terminology. And I was angry with Jesus because I did not understand why He would “pull a stunt like this.” What good would come of my encouraging a neighbor to pray, our getting our hopes up when we had the answer to our prayers, and then have it turned inside out.
As I fixed my supper, I had a ‘come to Jesus’ talk with Jesus. I let Him know what I thought about all of the arguments coming up from my ‘old’ mind. I accused Him of allowing the evil one to get at us. I pulled no punches. I was angry.
Now, that was not all that was going on last night. My phone has been maliciously hacked and manipulated and it is not good. I felt unprotected and in danger and that’s the frame of mind I was in when I went to sleep. Years ago, I lost my fear of death…even if it meant eternity separated from God. When I was suicidal and lost that fear of death, I was on a very slippery slope. I am no longer suicidal but neither do I fear death…regardless my eternal state.
The last thing I did before falling asleep was read a post by a friend which included the line from scripture: “On that day you will not question me about anything.”
Now, I realize, as Job did, that I, in my finite understanding, can not fathom the infinite Mind of God. I am fully aware of God’s vehemence when he ‘sat Job down.’ But I was not afraid. I am fully aware that the proper posture is on my knees and in fear of God. But my life was over a year ago…and a few times before that. One could argue that I am on borrowed time. Yet, I slept …accepting the possibility that I may not wake up.
Several posts back, I wrote about being aware of songs in my head and the insights I gain when I listen to the lyrics. Honestly, these are not songs I have heard recently, nor do I always know the lyrics before I look them up. This morning I woke with an old Chicago pop song in my head. The words I heard when I first became aware of it were, “Hold me now. It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry…”
Hold me now
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to know
Hold me now
I really want to tell you I’m sorry
I could never let you goAnd after all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise you
And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just a part of me I can’t let go
I can’t let go.
Is that the Holy Spirit praying to the Father God on my behalf? Are those words from Jesus to me? I don’t know. I’ll have to sit with it for a while. I’m tired…like I’ve been standing out in the wind too long. I feel as if I am at a resigned state of peace….like I’ve given up striving so much. I am being “still,” as a recent blogger wrote about.
Back before we prayed, I pointed out to my neighbor’s wife that she was at a crossroads. Well, now I am at a crossroads. Because of the potentially malicious manipulation of my cell phone, as well as comments and altercations with other bloggers, I may back off for a while. I don’t doubt Jesus is still talking to me; it’s like the morning after a big fight with a loved one…you quietly hug and make up…and then you move forward, together.
Blessings to you all and may God’s peace be with you.
The image above was taken by Marc Dalio and is available through Getty Images. I hope they don’t mind my borrowing it. See http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/westurn-picture-id503094053