I know I am in the fires of life sometimes, but it’s when I let myself believe that I am actually burning-up that I get into trouble.
In the movies when a shuttle or space capsule reenters the atmosphere I am completely amazed and wide-eyed. It’s burning, but not burning UP. And then it’s just fine when it gets through to the other side.
Recently we were in Tennessee for our family vacation and I can’t explain what happens to me there. It just makes no sense.
No joke. We don’t know if it’s the elevation or the cool temps or a combination of both (that’s what I think it is, a combination of the two). It’s blissful. I feel alive and free from the bondage of pain. It’s better than pain killers because I don’t have any side effects! We hiked over 25 miles as a family. I slept well. I laughed. I enjoyed every second of it.
But then I had to re-enter the atmosphere of home.
Coming to terms with my illness (fibromyalgia and an immune system that only functions at 50%) and all of the baggage and life change that comes with it was hard enough to do the first time. So here’s the next thing I can’t explain — I am having a harder time accepting being “back in my body” this month than I did all of last year.
If I didn’t have such a strong faith foundation (that is still being constructed and I hope to never cease construction!), I would be asking things such as:
Is God punishing me?
Did God make all this happen in my body?
Why won’t He take it all away?
I’m going to tackle the first question in this post, and the subsequent questions in more posts this week.
The short answer is NO WAY, JOSE — that’s Ho-zay for you non Texans —
God is love. He crafted you one molecule at a time and He knows every single hair on your head. He gave you the ability to think and feel and reason and love and laugh… and so much more. You are intricate, and believe it or not you have some of God’s characteristics IN you. You are made in His image!
If you have a dog or a cat that you just love to pieces – like he is part of your family, ok let’s face it, you talk for him and make it sound like he is speaking. You know you do. Imagine Spot making a mistake like say … throwing up on the carpet, repeatedly … you would never wish chronic pain on him because of that mistake, right? Yes we would love for him to clean it up and sanitize the carpet but we know Spot isn’t capable of that. He wasn’t created to work that way. So even though you may be disappointed, you are concerned for his well being and you check on him at least before you yell at him (oh wait, is that just me?). Oh and PS: Spot is going to puke on the carpet again. IT’s to be expected.
Am I comparing us to dogs? Sort of. But not how you might think I am. God loves you so very very much that He would never wish chronic pain on you. Ever. The God you read about in the Old Testament with Abraham and Moses was completely irritated because we kept “puking on the carpet and not cleaning it up.” Can you blame Him? Gross. BUT, when Jesus died for us on the cross, He took all of our carpet mishaps with Him. Not a single stain was left behind – the carpet is white as snow. Yes, white.
If you struggle with wondering if God is punishing you, please believe me when I tell you He celebrates you. You are the work of His hands. If you’re an artist of any kind, you can appreciate what it means to make something with your own hands. It’s kind of a big deal.
You aren’t burning up.
You’re going to be ok.
Your circumstances might completely … well, suck… but there are so many of us who understand what that feels like.
You are not alone.
So put some sunscreen on, because we are going to have to learn how to appreciate the burn.