Yesterday’s scripture was for laughs. Today’s is serious.
“Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you. Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.” Psalm 27:14.
This verse was my “Life Verse” in college. I swashbuckled through my days quoting it. I was confident that every word was true. Then I became ill with Multi-Chemical Sensitivity, and life as I knew it stopped.
I’d seen God heal others, and I was sure that God would heal me if I could just hit on the right combination of prayer and faith. I scoured the Bible, I listened to testimonies, and I read reports. After gathering my research, I put my “knowledge” into action. I Jericho-marched around my house declaring it was God’s. I posted healing scriptures to my mirror and memorized them. I anointed my doorposts with oil. I fasted. I prayed. I declared. I did everything I could think of. I was a woman on a mission, but nothing worked. Eventually, I played my trump card and did the one thing that I KNEW would move God’s hand. I went to the garage where all the detergents had been banished and picked up a bottle of fabric softener. In a voice filled with radical faith, I declared, “God, I know you’re healing me. I believe this will have no effect on my body.” Then I inhaled deeply.
Later, as I was writhing in bed wracked with incredible pain, I heard God speak. His gentle voice said quietly in my spirit, “I could heal you and set you aside, but I am doing a different thing in you. I am healing you hour by hour and minute by minute. You will be well.”
You’d think that after hearing God, I’d be happy, but I wasn’t. I was angry. I wanted healed NOW. I looked at my Bible, and rather than reaching for it, I turned my face to the wall. After that, my personal winter began. (See September 1, 2015’s post).
As I look back on that time in my life, I can understand why I got angry, but I can also understand why my anger was wrong. You see, God had told me all along what he wanted from me. He declared it in Psalm 27. I was to wait. Instead, I did everything I could to manipulate God into doing MY bidding on MY timetable. I’m not saying that God doesn’t heal. And I’m not saying that God doesn’t tell some people to step out in faith, but I am saying that a person should LISTEN AND OBEY. God didn’t tell me to sniff the fabric softener. He told me to wait. I was just too bullheaded to do what he asked. I can wrap my actions up in all kinds of spiritual bows, but truthfully, I wasn’t acting in faith. I was acting in rebellion. And when God didn’t do what I asked, I threw a temper fit and ignored him.
As my quarantine continued, I reevaluated my faith. I began to read the Bible and memorize scripture not out of a desire to “manipulate” God, but out of a desire to learn about him. I spent time in prayer–not to get what I wanted–but because it just felt right. I began to cultivate a deep relationship with God that wasn’t based out of a fear of hell or a desire for gain, but because I knew he was worthy of my love. Romans 8:28 says that ALL things work together for good. I believe God knew my quarantine would make me a better person. I’m closer to God, and I finally understand who I am in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17).