|2011 Christmas Day feast with all the trimmings!|
Of all the questions I ask myself... "WHY doesn't God show up and heal me?" is probably the biggest... especially, when my cherished roles as husband, father, provider, counselor, friend... are all compromised by this elephant sitting on my chest... this burden of Parkinson's Disease. Its weight can be so oppressive in the middle of the night, when I'm awakened by my need for more medicine (or less electricity)... fumbling with this small controller that I can't see (which, BTW, was designed by a mad scientist)... aargghhh!
But then it hits me...
That still and quiet sense that God is allowing me enough external pain to be dissatisfied with the side dishes of success, health, family, relationships, etc... but to actually sit down and enjoy this feast's main course... knowing Him more! He has spread before me this small trial, which seems at times to be so huge... yet, it continues to re-focus my longing to know God more...
"Everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering..." ~ Philippians 3:9-10 (The Message)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. ~ from Psalm 42 (NIV)
“Oh Father, I want us to be swallowed up in this Psalm. Not that it’s a happy place to be. But to learn how to be in an unhappy place... that is what we need. And this Psalmist does it... so well. He is miserable... so well. I want You to teach Your people how to be struck down... well. How to be in turmoil... well. How to be downcast... well. How to have waves break over them... well. And the Psalms, and this one in particular, is so well suited to help us." ~ John Piper (from his opening prayer on a message from Psalm 42)