**I wrote this just over a year ago when I was asked to do a guest post on a blog. I didn’t ever post it on here but found it again just today and wanted it to be here.
An unexpected intruder has made it’s way into my family’s life in the past two months. A guest, of sorts, that we could well do without! Sort of like that person who just shows up uninvited to your dinner party. At first it’s awkward and you’re not really sure what to say. You exchange glances with those closest to you, those who can read your mind through your eyes. You shuffle about to adjust the arrangement and make adequate space for them all the while trying to be cordial. Though pleasantries are passed and you know in your heart you just need to accept this, deal, and move on, in the back of your mind there is that constant nagging thought of, “Why are you here?!”
For sake of analogy, we’ll call our dinner party life. And the uninvited guest? Well, we’ll call them cancer. Aggressive cancer, so the doctors say. A cancer that is not very common and for which there is no cure. In short, the cancer has disrupted our party!
While we, as a family, have come to terms as best we can with this undesired infiltrator it seems to bring all kinds of crazy out of the woodwork and it is that which we’re finding even more difficult to deal with than the party pooper itself.
We have no trouble believing that God is Sovereign, that He is in control of all things, even this. We know that as Christians we are promised suffering and yet, even still, we are to have joy in Christ. We believe that God is good and He can heal in the blink of an eye if He so chooses. Scripture tells us to ask and we have. As an aside, it is quite possibly that it was more like pleading than just asking, but whatever. With the persistence of those telemarketers that call every. single. night at dinnertime we will continue to bring our requests before the Lord and ask for His hand of healing to touch my dad. We will also accept in faith that God’s will WILL be done even if it’s not the result that we as sinful, desirous earthlings want.
So my question in all of this is as follows. What do you do when supposedly well meaning brothers and sisters in Christ berate you under the guise of loving you?
I know that it comes down to many age old debates and big theological words which I will not even describe here for fear of opening up a can of worms that I really don’t want to even crack.
As a family dealing with cancer we’ve heard it all. “You won’t be healed if you don’t have enough faith.” um…okay? “God does not want Christians to die of disease otherwise why would people come to faith?” er…because they love Jesus and above all else want to give glory to God? Just a guess. “God needs us here to spread His gospel. He would never let a true christian die or how would His kingdom be furthered?” Now, this may just be an oddity of mine but I surmise that if God needs ME (a hopelessly wretched, utterly depraved, walking disaster who time and time again needs to ask for forgiveness) then He really isn’t the type of God I want to serve.
Thankfully, I know better and I will keep limping along in this journey and trust that as much as the Holy Spirit is working in me, also these people are being worked in. I think where we miss the mark on things like this – and oh, believe me, there are deep, emotional, even angry parts of me that want to miss the mark and argue back and tell these people that they are REE. DIC. YOU. LUS! But I know that would be wrong. And even more than wrong it would serve no purpose but to give me some temporary satisfaction of knowing I made my point. (complete with a, “so there!” at the end) However, God is teaching me, be it ever so slowly, that I am not the one to open eyes, or convict, or change hearts. I also know that I have never changed my ways because of someone yelling back at me. It is through people loving on me. Listening to me and most importantly praying for me that I have changed. People trusting the Holy Spirit to move in and through me. I know I need to do the same to all of the crazies….er, people who so obviously believe something very different from me and feel the need to share their insights.
It’s a slow journey, this progressive sanctification thing. I picture myself in heaven, showing up at the table and having people exchanging those subtle glances. Those ones that say, “what’s she doing here?” I may not be an uninvited guest. But even now I certainly feel completely undeserving of the invitation.