Friday, May 17, 2013

On Sickness: A Glass Darkly

Hello, again! My Mumsie prompted me to update my blog, with good reason! Having the first words seen on my page read "I am pregnant," when I most certainly am not, can be a little strange. And besides. I have not posted in a good long while.

So, here goes.

In the long, long silence that has marked this blog over the past months, God has been teaching me so many things. Through school, through friendships, through words (of course), He has placed another and another concept in my "to learn and live" basket of memories. Recently, He has been using health especially. Now, you know from other posts that my health has not always been that great, but that I am working to get better.

Well, I've had a real brainwave.

This world is broken. I know, it took me long enough to apply it to myself, right? This hit me when my doctor asked me, "Before we start, do you believe you can get better? Do you believe you can be perfectly healthy?" I got to thinking about that question, and so much of the emphasis in the natural/holistic/integral circles revolves around your ultimate belief that you can get better. Even Christians start mimicking it: "God made our bodies to work well, and if we just live like we are supposed to, we can trust to see everything work out alright." Sure, there is truth to that in spots, but, like I said, Jenn had got to thinking, and that means I was going to question much.

It dawned on me that there is sin in this world, and that sin mars a whole lot more than my soul. In fact, all of creation groans out of misery, brokenness, just-plain-not-rightness, and my body joins in the chorus. Living for perfect health on this earth is a dream ~ or a nightmare ~ because it is not what we are supposed to be living for! Our bodies right now, they are just going to die, and we will have to get an entirely new outfitting in heaven! They are not fit for eternal glory and never will be, no matter our diet, our exercise habits, the kind of shoes we wear, our healthcare system, or our farming techniques. Nothing short of Christ's salvation and the eucatastrophic End of all earthly things will thrust us into beautiful, whole health. And by that time we won't be concentrating on our beautiful, whole health, but on Him!

So what is the point? To admit defeat in my quest for perfect earthly health may sound depressing, but I am quite the opposite! My health was something that I was holding on to, and anything we hold on to apart from Christ turns into a burden. Now that I see my bodily health is of naught on this earth, that it is a pursuit only leading to a dead end, I can lift my eyes to the Maker. For so long I have been thinking, "Alright, Lord, I will do the best I can to get better so that I in my body will be able to serve you best." But that is not the way it is at all! The right attitude, I have come to realise, is, "Alright, Lord, be glorified in me now and through this sickness now, so I will be able to glorify you in another way at another task later." The purpose of my health is not to heal my body, but to have Christ formed in me so I can receive my heavenly body, have a sanctified self, and know Christ! This life on earth is merely seeing through a glass darkly, looking into a mirror all fouled and muddled and dim. But living for the eternity in which I will see Him clearly, now that is something worth living for.

Am I going to call it quits on doctors and foods and tests? 'Course not! Because taking care of my body for His glory is something important He commands me to do. But I will not be going about it as though it were my body, my health. I have been bought with a price, and He can do whatever He will in this soul that belongs to Him, this body that belongs to Him, this mess of a health case that belong to Him. The point is not for me to be healed to do more things for God, but for God to make me holy through the illness as I glorify Him through the illness. Joy does not have to wait for the better side of health. Joy is here. Glory can be found here. Praise can be given here. 

So. I won't worry my life away. I won't grasp on to the health that is His regardless. Rather, I will know genuine happiness in the battle because the battle is preparing me for something better and because I catch glimpses ~ more than glimpses!~ of grace through it. My life is His life and He is doing everything to perfection to bring me to know Him. That humbles, awes, wonders me. That brings me laughter, joy, peace.

My health is not about getting my body back together, but about surrendering it to God for His glory. And after a few days of trying out this new perspective, I can tell you the surrender is sweet.