I have been thinking a lot about prayer lately. Probably because I have been doing a lot of praying since I have been ill now for going on six weeks. I believe in prayer. I believe that miracles have and still can occur when people pray. I have faith in a God who listens to each of our prayers and answers them all. What I am unsure of is how to handle the answers.
Well, I shouldn't say unsure of as much as uncomfortable with. At times I am uncomfortable with the answers I receive and find it hard to accept a No or a Wait. I impatiently want the miracle. I am like a child who knows my father is capable of doing exactly what I am asking of him. I don't want to wait; I want him to do it NOW. I don't want to learn any lessons in patience or humility or perseverance, I want what I want and I want it NOW. I know he can do it, so why should I have to wait? Not a very attractive attitude, I know. I am working on it.
In the spirit of working on my attitude and my patience, I began to think about it and a thought popped into my head - What if you never recover, Kim? What if you are in that minority of people who never regain movement in their face? What if your eyesight never returns to normal? What then? These questioning thoughts stopped me cold.
I talk a lot about God's grace and how I felt its power many times in my life. I believe in its power to sustain and strengthen. I overcame many problems in the past relying on God's grace. I marvel at the way His grace and mercy always seem to be at the bottom of every pit I dig myself into. So far, I would have to say, resoundingly, that God's grace has met all of my expectations. But, I have to ask myself the question - has my faith in His grace really been tested? And if it really is tested, how will I fare?
I am reminded of Paul. in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, when he begged God to take something painful away from his life. He had faith that God could remove this obstacle at His will, so Paul prayed for just that, for it to be taken from him. And he prayed. And prayed again. He became distraught at the fact that after each prayer he found his circumstances to be the same, so he asked God why. Paul's Lord said to him "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Of course at that point Paul did what Paul does and immediately set about being delighted and boasting in his hardships so that he could tell of the excellent grace of God. Dang you Paul, If only it were that easy for me.
I truly want to believe that if my fervent prayers, and those of the many people praying for my healing, are answered with "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." that I will be able to see it as an opportunity to revel in my weakness and extol the power of the grace of God. If I am being honest, though, I have to tell you that I don't believe I will immediately go there. I think there might be a lot of begging, pleading and questioning before I finally resolve to accept it and then still more time to live with it before I am ready to delight in it.
Only time will tell what my ultimate fate will be, whether my healing will be complete. Only God knows how and when he intends to answer those prayers. For now, all I can do is keep praying and remind myself that so far, His grace has never failed me, so there is a good chance it will continue to keep me going through whatever outcome I am left with. I am sure that His grace is sufficient, it is my prayer that my faith will match it.