One morning in church, a friend of mine told the congregation, “The Lord healed my knee, so now I can ride my bike.” Like a volcano letting off plumes of smoke before an eruption, my heart screamed, “What about me, God?” It seemed ridiculous. I couldn’t cook because of my hands, and she was worried about not riding her bike.
At the end of the service when my pastor invited people to come up for prayer, I felt as though I was inside God’s pressure cooker. Reaching out for prayer seemed extremely difficult that day. Normally, I didn’t think twice about my limitations. Whenever I was confronted with something I couldn’t accomplish, I figured out a solution. But for the past two days, I’d been an angry mess. I knew my attitude was wrong but I couldn’t help it. I’ve always been the one to encourage others and I was ashamed about how upset I felt. I was embarrassed and I was tempted just to go home. Yet, I knew that if I didn’t ask for help I’d explode.
I thought I had made peace with God about my disability, so when it came up, I was angry with myself and thought, “Not this again.” When the same issues came up the next day it seemed too much for me to deal with. God had arranged another circumstance because He wanted to bring me to a deeper measure of healing, but waited to surrender to Him. My effort to change my attitude had gotten me very upset and blocked me from feeling God’s love.
When my pastor was finished praying with people who had gone forward and started to walk toward the door of the sanctuary, I asked a friend to get Pastor James. When he came over to me he asked, “What’s going on?”
I struggled to figure out how to explain the amount of pain and turmoil I felt. God met me when I humbled myself and said, “My life gets so frustrating sometimes.” My tension started to evaporate as the words escaped from my lips. My confession took my breath away and I wondered what reaction it would bring.
As Pastor James smiled and said “Well, I imagine it does,” I knew God was there to meet me. As we prayed together, I confessed my frustration. I sensed Him filling me with peace.
Anger is just one of the steps in the grief process, but hiding it hasn’t helped. That is why I was in the pressure cooker. I had the choice of whether to hide or to press on through.
In several ways my spirit operates much like my body does. I know how my body is supposed to function but can’t. It’s difficult for me to walk safely because of spasticity. When I concentrate on the way I walk, I have more stability. After I fall, I pay attention but after a while I forget to be careful. I gave my heart to the Lord many years ago, and know if I pray and read the Word daily my relationship with Him is strengthened. When I neglect my relationship with Him I have trouble letting Him be in control. Like the Apostle Paul, I struggle when I see the wide gap between what I want to do and what I actually do. When I attempt to earn His love by acting a certain way I make matters worse. It’s through surrendering my ideas and efforts that I receive God’s grace.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15