Have you ever wondered if GOD was listening to your prayers? Especially if they were prayers to be rescued from pain or a painful situation?
I remember praying for GOD to deliver me from a period when my seizures were way out of control. Yes, I had them since the age of 20. But with medication, I only had a seizure every 7-10 years. Suddenly, at age 50, I became allergic to my medication. Another one worked pretty well and I was back to normal for awhile. But, a few years later, they flared up much worse. None of the adjustments worked. I had seizures every month, then every week. It was totally out of control! I went from medication to medication with very little improvement.
Finally, I had to go to Dallas to a specialist. (We lived in TX then.) It didn’t help much. Finally, they put an implant in, but after the required year, I wasn’t much better. The seizures were coming monthly like clockwork. I wondered if this was the way my life was going to be for the rest of my life! I was unable to drive. I couldn’t count on being able to get through a day without a seizure. The likelihood that I would ever be able to go back to work seemed pretty hopeless. Four years had now passed. I wondered if GOD was listening…but honestly, I was so loopy from the medication, I wasn’t terribly agitated. I was more depressed and down. I felt like I would never be myself again. I had to depend on others to get to the store, do errands, and do anything I didn’t do without my husband…who was still working.
Ach! You mean the last four years were wasted?
But on one of the doctor visits, he went over my medications and realized I was on estrogen. Oh yes, I had told him long before! I had even asked him if this might be affecting my problem and he insisted that wasn’t my problem. Only now, he told me, “Estrogen is to seizures what gasoline is to a fire. You need some progesterone to calm it down.” (Not everyone believes this and it doesn’t work this way for everyone.)
It was only the effect of the medication that kept me from grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him!
That week, my internist ordered the lowest dose of progesterone and I went 4 months without a seizure! It definitely worked for me. It turned out I was in menopause and was no longer producing progesterone. After the next seizure, he upped my dose a notch and I went 6 years without a seizure!
Nothing in that four years was wasted. I just wish I could have learned it in two years!
Was GOD with me? Was He answering the prayer I wanted? He definitely was with me. He protected me from serious injury more than once. He tenderly showed His love to me through people who gave of their time to me to pick me up and take me places. He was also answering my prayers, but not in the ways I had hoped.
He showed me my pride because I often didn’t want to go with some people. I was scared to ride with them. Then I realized that He could protect me there too! I became close to people in those days that I hadn’t gotten to know in the previous years at that church.GOD had work He had to do in me during that four year period that could only be done when I was helpless.GOD's purposes for us are grand. Ours are so small by comparison. He wants to transform us. #hopeforthejourney #whatonearthisgoddoing Click To Tweet
There was a part of me that thought I needed to appear to be competent in order to survive. It made no difference if it was in my job or as my husband’s wife in public. (He was a pastor.) I couldn’t pull off the super competent look. But I tried to show a measure of competence while sharing the truth of my behind-the-scenes struggles so people would understand that was much more of the norm rather than the person who has it all together in a fake persona.
Generally, my public and private personas were genuine. The problem was that I was much more proud than I ever realized…or that I let on. That period of helplessness gave me insight into that reality. Would I have loved to not go through that four years? Of course! But when I looked back, I realized I was glad I had lived through it because of the friendships that were deepened, the changes GOD brought about in my life, the new perspectives I was given.
GOD’s purposes for us are grand. Ours are so small by comparison. He wants to transform us. We want things to stay the same. As long as we are part of His Kingdom, our wish will not come true.
GOD’s purposes for us are bigger and grander than ours. We want to be happy and comfortable in our little spots. We’d rather have very little change. He wants to transform us and make us more like Him. As we move through life, our prayers and desires will most often fit into categories that fit the former.
“Keep me and my loved ones healthy. Don’t let anything happen to any of us that will make us unhappy.” We want heaven to be here on earth. We don’t want to have to wait. This flies in the face of His plans for us. They are to transform us from the inside out, into people who are more like Jesus. The job will never be completed this side of heaven. But that is His purpose for us.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.II Corinthians 3:18 ESV
You can see how these two goals can often clash! Guess who wins? GOD! Every time. Fortunately. And the reason we struggle is because we tend to think His goal for us is the same as our goal for us. It isn’t. He wants to transform us starting with the way we think.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2 ESV