Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trusting God With Our Tomorrows

“All I know of tomorrow is that GOD WILL RISE before the sun.”
These words jumped out at me as I walked around our local Christian book store. I found myself in a long pause as I looked at the plaque in front of me, pondering the many ways this truth applies to my life. The little plaque with the big promise now sits on my desk just under my computer monitor, a daily reminder that the Lord is in all of our tomorrows before we can even think about getting there.
There are so many changes one has to make when you are faced with a health crisis. It is an unwelcome guest that refuses to leave, and unlike a real guest you cannot excuse yourself and go to another room for a few moments away.  You learn to live one day at a time, hoping and praying that when one day ends the next will be a good one.  Many of us begin a turn on the teeter totter of two thoughts:  1. Squeeze everything that I can out of today and forget about tomorrow (get it done while I can!). 2. Tiptoeing around the day on eggshells in fear of overdoing it and tomorrow not being a good one.
Oh, I tell you I spend a lot of time on that teeter totter and I look upon it with disdain in my heart. My goal has always been to address chronic illness with wisdom, a positive outlook, and a can-do attitude. Little did I know how many times this challenge would slam me to the ground,  jolting my world and causing confusion – “I have so much to do! I need to get it done today because who knows what tomorrow may bring and I do not want to get any farther behind. On the other hand, if I work more than a couple of hours today I might be okay tomorrow, or I might put myself in bed with a flare. WHAT DO I DO?”

There is not one person I know with a chronic illness who travels this journey without a trip to the school yard for time on their own teeter totter.  As a matter of truth, some of us are waving to others from our side of the school yard, desperately hanging on with one hand (Hey! How’s it going over there? You figured out how to get off this thing yet?). 
One side of this balancing act is weighed down with our responsibilities and passions – the very things that give us such joy and fulfillment in life.  The other is weighed with the reality that our bodies are not what we want them to be.  Let’s face it – it’s not easy to keep getting up again when your body is bruised from the jolting . The things we love seem to slip from our grip and slowly out of our sight. If we fail to be careful, we can become jaded and view the world only from the place of frustration with our broken bodies.

The only hope for balance and less slams to the ground is complete and total trust in Jesus. Growth toward wholeness and maturity in the Lord is a journey, not a destination, and I believe that applies to learning His voice in the midst of the ups, downs, and slams chronic illness brings. Our dreams are infinitely smaller than the dreams He has for us.  Step into tomorrow’s uncertainty believing in His promise to us: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him...” 1 Corinthians 2:9