Monday, January 28, 2008

Struggling with Disease

Saturday was a hard day. I still can't believe that racquetball may no longer be an option for physical activity. Will my wrists get better? Good enough to play again? I hate to hold on to all the equipment if I'll never be able to use it. Seeing it lay around unused is just depressing. On the other hand, what if my wrists and shoulders do improve?

On top of that, this weekend made me think ahead to summer. Am I still going to be able to play golf? I don't play much, but to be forced into no-play-at-all doesn't seem fair. I was once a good player and I still enjoy the game.

I think I'm willing to give up everything for Christ. (I realize this is a fast transition from sports to spirituality.) I'm willing to sacrifice in order to become the Christian man I'm supposed to be. Do I really have to give up everything? Or is the willingness sufficient? Psalms 103 says: He will satisfy my desires with good things so that my youth is renewed.

I want/desire to be physically fit. I want to play racquetball and golf and hike in the mountains and run and jump and play basketball. When will my youth be renewed? Only in Heaven?

While walking this morning (an activity I can still do and love to do with my dogs) I asked God to heal me. I haven't ever asked that before. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe I'm afraid he won't answer. What will that mean? Psalm 103 again: He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. What if I claim that promise and he doesn't heal me? For a while I wondered if I deserved to be healed. I haven't exactly been a model Christian - come to think about it, I don't even know what that means. I guess I haven't been the Christian I want to be. That being true, how can I presume to ask for healing?

I know diseases aren't just physical. God is healing me of other diseases: pride, envy, discontent. But as Paul says in Philippians: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty [of course I'm hoping that God will show me what it's like to have the plenty of millions of dollars]. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.

Do I have to be content with arthritis? Should I ask only once to be healed? Or am I supposed to ask every day for the rest of my life? If a Christ-like person can ask for healing, and have that prayer answered, surely my dad would have been healed decades ago. God didn't heal him, why would he answer me?

So maybe part of this process simplification, this elimination of excess is advance restitution. "See God? I got rid of all this stuff. Now you can give me better stuff."
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