“I don’t see a change, Lord,” I said one night, laying in bed, thinking about all my health issues. “Some days it almost seems worse. No matter how much I pray for healing. Figuring it all out is so expensive and I don’t want surgery if I even need it. What do I do?”
“Should I call the doctor?”
“Should I fight to actually be diagnosed with this disease, or should I . . .”
Honestly, I sometimes feel as if God really isn’t listening to, or helping, me with some of the health concerns I’ve been having for the last few years, but then, there are days I feel like he’s directing me to “wait.”
Be still and wait.
Two of the things I am the absolute worst at.
“You know what, God, I’ll just handle this!” I cry out in frustration. “Just..never mind! If you don’t want to answer me, then I’ll just fix it myself.”
Be still and wait. I’ve got this.
It’s very hard to trust God when we don’t see things changing. Trust me, I know this first hand.
But the Bible tells us to trust he is working for our good even when we can’t see it.
This whole “trust in God” thing has been a real struggle for me over the last couple of years. There are days I feel so hopeless with situations in my life, from finances to the lack of friendships, to trying to sell our house and chronic health issues that never seem to go away.
I heard a great sermon once entitled “The Battle Belongs to the Lord.” I don’t always agree with the pastor, but for this sermon, I absolutely agreed with him.
Each time I find myself in despair I hear the pastor saying, “The battle belongs to the Lord.”
The devil will tell us, “But your checking account is still empty,” and that is when you say “The battle belongs to the Lord,” the pastor said.
This is exactly what happened to me last week when I looked at our savings and realized we were really going to be struggling to make our mortgage payment this month after some unexpected expenses. I began to fall back into the familiar pattern of panic, trying to figure it all out in my head and fix it on my own.
Then I heard the words: “The battle belongs to the Lord.”
This week my mind, for some reason, started rushing again with thoughts of some inconclusive tests I have had in the last few years for a disease that can only be cured by what some consider a minor surgery (I consider all surgeries major.)
“What if I have this?”
“I need to figure this out.”
“I need to decide what to do right now about it because what if this disease kills me. I mean, they say it could take many years, but still. . . ”
I began “researching” on Google, talking to others on a Facebook support group who have it, looking at all my test results again, thinking and stressing. I started to fall back again into a pattern of negative thinking that three years ago left me almost completely mentally paralyzed.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
The words kept coming back to me. Over and over.
I signed out of Facebook, I stopped Googling, and I turned on a sermon podcast and laid down for bed. A year ago I wouldn’t have done any of those things. I would have Googled and researched and fretted all night long.
“The battle belongs to the Lord,” I repeated to myself, over and over to try to calm myself.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that I fall into these obsessive, worrying thoughts about my health, finances, or future in seasons of my life where I feel God is calling me to continue with a task he has asked me to finish. I have a feeling someone is trying all he can to distract me from the here and now; to lead me down paths of confusion so I will forget my calling, forget that God has asked me
to write and to raise and teach my children. What God has called me to may not seem as important as what he has called others to, but this is the path he has set for me and it is clear to me that Satan prefers that I forget about that path and wander off on some wild goose chase in another direction.
There have been more than a few times I have snapped back to reality while running around an empty left field of life like a chicken with my head cut off. I’ve looked around and noticed that where I was supposed to be is way off in the distance. I then have to toss aside the random worries to get back to where I need to be, but I can only do that with the help of God.
He tenderly takes my hand every time this happens and says, “No. Not here. Over here where I asked you to be and where I am doing a new thing, even if you can’t see it. Stay on this path. I will be here with you, even on the darkest days.”
And God does this repeatedly.
Repeatedly he steps off the path we were on together, and I wandered off from, takes my hand and leads me out of the wilderness of anxiety, panic, and confusion and back to the path he set for me.
He’s never impatient when he guides me back.
He’s never frustrated and never scolds me for walking off and letting my human side rule for a while.
He simply leads me back, leans down close and whispers, “Keep going. This way. We’ll get there together, beloved.”
I know I’ll wander off again.
I know I’ll lose myself in a fog of confusion again.
I know I’ll panic again, cry and ask God, “Where are you?!” because I will forget, once again, that he’s right here, next to me, where he’s always been.