Looking back, my recent blog reflections seem to dwell on the painful slowness of life, of not getting to where I want to be, of being immobile (in the figurative sense) and feeling frustrated at that.
Well, it seems that life can be funny sometimes. Now, I am literally immobile (in the physical sense). Well, not totally immobile. I can move for sure. I guess you could say I have been forced into an incredibly slow pace of life. You see, I broke my wrist while snowboarding.
The bone that was fractured is connected to my elbow so they put me in a cast that covers all the way up my arm. As expected, it takes me a little bit longer to do my daily activities. Washing my hair, one hour. Putting on clothes, ten minutes. Opening a jar of peanut butter, five minutes (there was no one around!). Typing with one hand? Managing it.
Given this ironic situation – being frustrated with immobility and then getting slowed down even more by an injury – I was tempted to say that this was God’s way of really teaching me a lesson. Patience? You ain’t seen nothing yet!
Isn’t that what people tend to say when something bad happens? That God is testing us? Or what about when something good has happened? We usually respond with how God has blessed us.
“I just got a raise! God has blessed me.”
“I’ve been unemployed for six months. God must be testing me.”
I admit, I usually say things like this without really thinking about the meaning behind it. It’s easy to say God blessed me because I got something nice, but what about someone else who doesn’t have much? Does God not want to bless them? Or when I’m going through a hard time I might say God is just testing me. But what about those for whom their whole life is a constant struggle? Does God really not care and just keep sending hardship after hardship as if they just don’t seem to “learn the lesson”?
The question of the day is, “How do I/you/we view God?”
Are we putting God in a box? Is God an ATM machine who gives us nice things? Is God a mean God who sends painful struggles our way just to teach us a lesson?
Putting God in a box is comfortable. And we like having faith that is comfortable. We know what to expect, we have an explanation for everything. But God does not live in a box, nor is waiting at our command holding our “Dear God, can I please have___” lists. As the Narnians in C.S Lewis’ book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe describe it, “He’s not a tame lion.” God is simply waiting, waiting for us to say, “Yes.” Yes to God’s plan, yes to God’s love, yes to an open heart.
It is life itself that is full of hardship and we derive lessons from our experiences, drawing on God for strength to get through it all. Our true blessings come from our relationship as being God’s beloved. The things that bring us joy help us experience our world more fully, a world which God created with love. We are blessed because we are loved by God, knowing that whatever life brings, God will give us strength, courage, wisdom, acceptance, peace, or whatever it is we need to get through the day.
God calls us beyond comfort. God challenges us to be better people. God longs for us to grow deeper in our faith. Putting God in a box is easy, but our faith requires more than just “easy.”
a girl who dreams