Tonight I feel like I write the same things over and over: variations of the phrase, "I can't quite get on my feet," or, "I'm almost there." It comes down to a battle against two things: discipline and self-control. I am not doing well at either lately, and it wasn't long ago that I was doing better at both. I can't battle them on my own, and perhaps that is where I have been failing: I've been trying to do this all myself. That seems to be my age-old problem. I'm tired again... The oxygen effect doesn't seem to persist--or else maybe I'm tired from trying so hard to keep up with this and that.
This week has been a bit of an emotional week. Sunday at church, the pastor talked about the passage in the ninth chapter of Luke where the man brings his epileptic son to Jesus after the disciples could not heal him. Jesus asks, "How long has this been going on?" The man tells him and then says, "Please do something if you can." The pastor talked about Jesus' response to the man and asked us to think about the meaning of the response. He did a little bit of dialogue from the point of view of Jesus that really made me think. "What do you mean, 'If you can?' Are you suggesting that I couldn't? Are you suggesting that the power of God might not be enough, that it would be insufficient, that the omnipotent God could do nothing to help?"
God has a way of confronting me with things that I need to face when I need to face them. A number of things have happened this week that have forced me to confront my attitude about this passage. I've always thought that my problem was not about believing that God couldn't but that He wouldn't. I've always thought that God could do anything, but He didn't seem very interested in helping me. In certain areas of my life, I've felt that He left me on my own to handle the situation.
So on Wednesday night, the big question came. "If I gave you what you needed, would you accept it? Or would you feel guilty or otherwise negatively about accepting charity? Would you push my gift aside because you hadn't earned it yourself?"
I had to wrestle with myself and come to the conclusion that if I want God's help, I must also be willing to accept it if He provides it to me. I can't limit Him by saying that it has to come in the form of something I can do myself.
And then I got to the question of "can't." And it's hard to admit that I'm not sure if God really can provide this kind of help that I need. He's done so many little things for me! In fact, He's done some pretty big things for me, too. Why can't I believe that He can do this big thing? Because it's just that much bigger than anything I've ever faced in my life.
The situations didn't stop coming. I had to face "can't" again when praying for a couple of friends. I never realized how rampant doubt is in my life. I want it out! But the only way that God can root it out is by forcing me to confront it, by bringing these things to light and forcing me to exercise the little faith I have. It hurts! God, please take the little tiny faith I have and do something with it!