Wrestling with God about serious things
This morning I received an email from a friend regarding the life-and-death situation of one of her friends, who is battling a terminal disease. I felt impressed to share these thoughts with her, and also with you. Blessings on you as you read:
There are several dimensions to answering your question about G’s situation. First, all the contemplatives through history whose writings have survived talk about Jesus Himself being the great reward, the most desirable one, and that the ultimate outcome of seeking Him is to be with Him and to know Him. They emphasize the need to relinquish all other desires to the one desire of the presence of Jesus, leaving all the options in His hand, and determining to love Him and worship Him no matter what the short-term outcome looks like. When Mary (my wife) was nearing the end of her journey in 2004, a friend of our daughter sent her a note quoting from Psalm 45, that the King was inviting her to leave her father’s home, because He desired her presence. It gave her the faith to release herself, her children, and me into the Lord’s hands, knowing that fullness for her was in His literal presence after physical death.
Second, the closer we come to Him and release our desires to Him, the more clearly we understand His desires and plans, and can come into agreement with them. This was Jesus’ own process in the Garden, where He presented His desires to the Father, but then relinquished them to the Father’s greater plan. We are certainly free to ask for healing, and even declare it when we hear His Word to us, but that reality is also held in tension with the fact that the fullness of His promises of healing will come after He returns. We ask, we believe, we trust in His outcome.
Third (and this is very powerful), while we wait and suffer, we can draw near in trust and worship. This is the embrace of the “north wind” of SOS 4:16, letting the fragrance of worship flow out under the pressure of difficult circumstances. It is the highest form of worship and trust, again modeled by Jesus on the cross when He commended His Spirit into the hands of the Father. Paul tells us (Colossians 1:24) that when we come to this place of trust and understanding, God actually counts it as participation in the sufferings of Jesus, and uses it to influence and transform the lives of people around us, even those we might not know. Amazing!
Finally, Marie and I are reading a book by Robert Henderson titled “Operating in the Courts of Heaven.” It’s very powerful and insightful in the matter of how we pray, and how we can eliminate spiritual factors that hinder prayers. Often these spiritual factors give the enemy the right to accuse and hinder prayer, and so the Holy Spirit desires to help us eliminate the enemy’s influence through forgiveness, repentance, and trust. I would recommend it to you.
I hope these things are helpful to someone who may read this posting. Pass it on!