Have you ever felt like shouting, ‘it’s not fair?’ as you shake your fist angrily at God. Or perhaps you’ve had those thoughts and you have felt ashamed to have them and tried to push them back down because it would be outrageous to act like that towards God.
I’m being totally honest and real with you when I say that I have been having those thoughts and at times over the last couple of months I have felt like a toddler having a tantrum, arms flailing, shouting and snotty nosed in anger at the hand life is currently dealing me and my family.
If you read my last few blogs (Mountain Top Moments and Count your Blessings) you will know already that the Lovely Mr B and I are currently in a battle for his health and full healing from throat cancer. Now we know ultimately that the victory has been won by Jesus, but we still have to engage in a daily battle to combat the lies of the enemy and not take the symptoms of cancer lying down but battle them with the word of God and the faithfulness of our God.
But, this does not take into account the human emotions that we go through in the battle and if I’m honest the ugliness that there can be at times.
Over the last few weeks as we walk this road I have had thoughts about things not being fair and as I think them I can almost see myself as a toddler who just can’t wrap her head around the current situation and the only words that come close are IT’S NOT FAIR in a loud, whiny, shouty voice (not my finest hour). I picture myself throwing myself down and punching the floor with feet and fists as the tears and snot mingle in my hair, all hot and sweaty from the fight! (Like I said not a pretty picture).
As I spent my summer holiday from school, mostly supporting Mr B sitting around waiting to see specialists, appointments, scans, blood tests, teeth out etc. I had the thought-it’s not fair, this is my holiday.
As I think about not being able to go to a coffee shop and enjoy a brew with Mr B I think it’s not fair, this is how we enjoy some downtime together.
As I give up day after day to sit in hospital on my day off or my weekend I have the thought, it’s not fair, this is my down time.
As I cancel things I have booked in my diary, months in advance, I think it’s not fair, I so wanted to go that conference, when will I get chance to do that again.
When I have to put things down that I have been working on because I simply no longer have the time or I feel overwhelmed with the prospect of it now, I think it’s not fair, I’ve worked so hard for this.
And then I catch myself and think, what if I hadn’t been on school holiday when this cancer battle kicked off? How on earth would I have been able to go to the appointments with Mr B? I was available because of the timing.
We aren’t going to our favourite coffee shops together but we are getting to spend lots of quality time together and I may be drinking the coffee and it may be at hospital but that’s okay for now because we get to spend all this time together and we are getting lots of time to dare to dream about the future we have.
As I cancel conferences that I have eagerly waited for I am reminded that there will be others and that this time I am spending with God is of the highest quality and is moving myself and Mr B further into his loving arms and I wouldn’t get that level of intimacy at a conference.
As I put down for a season a ministry that I have been pouring my heart and soul into I am reminded that God has plans for my life and that He has big plans for me and Mr B and that I can trust Him with what He has called me to. I am not going to miss it!! In fact, taking this time in this season is where God is going to grow me the most for what He has ahead and it will so be worth it.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As I think about my most recent it’s not fair moment, which came on my day off this week, when I just wanted to be able to catch my breath and help my youngest prepare for leaving to go to university. I instead spent the majority of the day at hospital with The Lovely Mr B who wasn’t doing well. In that moment, my it’s not fair was ringing loudly in my head as I thought of our youngest at home getting ready alone. But on reflection later in the day I realised if this hadn’t happened on the Friday there would have been no way that we could both have taken our youngest to university and I would have had to do that momentous occasion alone, but guess what, I was available and God used the time to our advantage.
God always sees the bigger picture and we only ever get a glimpse of His plans and we don’t see the way He manoeuvres things around to make them work until we look back and see how amazingly things worked out, much better than if we had planned them!!
I’m also reminded that in my why me/us moments that actually why not me/us? We are saved and have eternal life to look forward to but that doesn’t mean we won’t face battles in this life and how am I different from anybody else who is suffering or who has suffered. Jesus never promised us an easy life and in fact the very opposite;
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I recently saw this quote (Nicky Gumble) and it sums up the Christian life to a tee;
It’s a battle ground not a playground.
Even though I can’t stop the battles that life throws up I can and will choose how to react and I choose to react differently because God has got me and this situation firmly in hand.
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
As I sat on Friday waiting for Mr B’s latest meds in what appeared to be a very long queue, I could see people getting frustrated and angry with the poor young guy behind the counter in the pharmacy who was calling out numbers as the meds became available. As I sat there I said sorry to God (again) for my selfish attitude and asked him to use me to encourage others and that I would make myself available.
As my number was called and I went up to the counter I got to encourage the young man who smiled at me and got to tell him what a great job he was doing despite the onslaught of agitated patients there had been. He was really shocked and said thank you. I left with the meds Mr B needed and I hope he felt seen and valued in that moment.
It got me thinking, what am I doing in all this waiting time I have now got? Instead of seeing it as ‘wasted’ time and getting frustrated with all the things I can’t do I can use it to write, to pray to worship and to be the light in the lives of those around me who are in need.
As I pondered this I feel like I am constantly trying to shoehorn my plans into God’s plans. I have a full diary and things to do, so many things to do. But, I keep feeling the Father smiling over me as he watches and thinking ‘when is she going to learn? She is trying so hard to fit her stuff into my plan for her and this is causing her such anxiety. If only she would just stop resisting and let me lead’.
I then pictured myself having a toddler tantrum and the Father holding me in His arms and waiting for me to cry, scream, hit, shout it out as He held me close and finally my arms dropping down and me leaning in, submission, I’m done, I’m going to stop rallying and let go. Finallyl!!!
Papa’s got this and He’s got me and mine!!! He really is a good, good Father.