Yesterday was my CT scan. It’s a quick and relatively painless process, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover there was no prep for it this time (as opposed to my full-body scan last year when I had to drink a half gallon of some nasty milky substance to make my insides glow.) I say relativey painless because once again there was IV trouble. She was very nice, and the Emla cream I put on my arm beforehand helped numb the pain some. After one try, she said, “I can’t figure it out. The vein is right there but it just won’t stay.” (Story of my life.) So she called in the big guns, and it so happened to be the Ninja who rescued me after five hours of torment in the hospital last year. And it was quick and “easy” and we were done.
Biting my lip to try to control myself, and knowing a breakdown was seconds away, I looked at Brian and said, “Why? I just don’t understand.”
I don’t understand. I don’t get why this part has to be so painful. I don’t get why, when my life is already so difficult, this is added on. Why the IV trouble every single time? Why couldn’t this one thing be easy in the midst of all that I’ve gone through this past year? I want to understand why He allows this to happen. And I question myself. I ask, “What am I missing? What am I not learning? Am I just not clinging to Christ enough that there is this one more thing that makes me cling even more?” Because I refuse to let it drive me away from Him. I am terrified that it will drive me away from Him, so I cling even tighter to Him even though the questions abound.
In terms of prayer… we must not only pray our questions,
but also pray our faith.
(Steve Harper, Talking In The Dark)
I go to Him daily with these questions, and it is a daily struggle to believe. I know the truth in my mind and I know the truth in my heart as well. But I must remind myself that it is the truth, because I don’t feel the truth right now. God is sovereign in the midst of pain. He is still on His throne. He never changes and will not change. He loves me deeper than I can fathom. He is good and faithful and never makes a mistake.
That last one is a hard thing for me to believe right now. I struggle with feeling like all of this is a huge mistake, and when I’m despairing, I struggle with feeling like I am nothing but a mistake. I know that’s not true. I know that He chose me and molded me and fashioned me to be who I am even before I was conceived. And I know that He chose me for a beautiful purpose in this life.
So I look around and see all the beautiful things He has purposed for me… the family that I grew up in, the friends, the education, the work, the husband and children, the home, the church, the life, and ultimately Himself and the promise of forever. And as I see the beauty of Who He is, and what He has done for me, the questions change.
My “why me?” becomes “why not me?” And I question why He has been so good to me when I deserve so much less than this. He has given me so many amazing and abundant gifts. Yet I never look around and ask “why me?” about those. I live as if I expect Him to bless me with these things, yet I am shocked that He could allow hard things in my life.
Truth be told. I do expect to be blessed, because He has promised blessing in my life. What I so often fail to see is that this whole trial, this pain and fear and questioning and struggle, this is one of the blessings He has given me. It is driving me deeper. It is pushing me to Him. It is forcing me to examine and ask those hard questions, and I know what I believe. Clinging to Christ is the best place to be. And being in that place may be hard, but it is the ultimate blessing.
So I let go of the questions, questions that have no answers. And I cling to what I do know. That He loves me. That He knows me. That He designed me. That He designed this body, this matrix of veins beneath my skin, every cell, every molecule, every part of me was His divine plan… the perfect Weaver who designed my tapestry in beauty. And as much as I don’t want it to be there, every needle stick and every missed IV is woven into that tapestry. And it is going to be beautiful when it’s finished.
We are urgent about the body; He is about the soul. We call for present comforts; He considers our everlasting rest. And therefore when He sends us not the very things we ask, He hears us by sending greater than we ask or think.