Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Fix-It-Up Chappie

First, a nod to Dr. Seuss' "The Sneetches" for the title of this post. The Fix-it-up Chappie was the guy who put stars on the Sneetches bellies (and took them off). I love Dr. Seuss, but he's not who I'm talking about today. God is.

I've almost caught up with glass orders, except for the repairs. I'm planning to work on them when I return from vacation in a couple of weeks. I've never had so much repair work in all my life as a glass artist! I have pieces with broken zinc framing and whole glass. I have pieces with broken glass. I have pieces in old window frames that need work on the glass and frame. I didn't know there were so many ways to be broken. I guess I'm the glass Fix-it-up Chappie, if a woman can be a chappie!

It's easy for us to think of God as the ultimate Fix-it-up Chappie. You know: "We ask; He answers." and "Those who are His can trust that their lives will be happy." Except that's not how it works. We know that, too.

I've been hanging around with/know several families who have been experiencing loss or grief. I know of a young boy who is going through chemo treatments for cancer; and I know another family whose young son lost his battle with cancer. I've been spending time with the family of a friend who has been in critical condition for over 2 weeks. Yesterday, our prayers were answered and she received a liver transplant. That doesn't guarantee a full recovery, but it's the first step!

I've learned not to expect that my prayers will be answered exactly as I asked. Bad things happen. Beloved ones die. I have usually been able to find a silver lining to the bad things, eventually. I can thank God for those silver linings.

Here's something weird, though: Sometimes I struggle to attribute the positive happenings to God. I know God is in charge and that He ordains all things, but if God doesn't go out of His way to afflict us with the negative happenings in our lives, does He go out of His way to bless us with the positive happenings?

As I ponder this question, I seek guidance where we should always seek guidance: God's Word. The ESV version of Mark 11:24 is, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." To me, that makes it sound like God is the Fix-it-up Chappie and makes our every whim come true. The NIV version is almost identical. It's when I read The Message that I understand better. It says, "That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything."

If I embrace this God-life, I must trust God. And I do. I trust God completely. So I trust His reasons for the death of a child, even though it hurts desperately. I trust that someday I'll understand this agony. This part is easy for me, for some reason.

So for these positives, I must trust God. Completely. So I trust His reasons for providing a liver for my friend. I trust that someday I'll understand that this happiness I feel isn't selfish because it's what I want. It's unselfish because it's what God wants.

I think that's it! I think the reason I have a hard time attributing the positives to God is that I feel like I'm being selfish! It's what I want, so it's selfish. But if it's also what God wants, how can it be selfish? I will work on trusting God in ALL things. Even the good ones (as weird as that sounds!)

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