I started reading a book for Bible study at church – Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It’s turning out to be quite an amazing book. It’s filled with far too many big ideas to even give me the opportunity to explain what it’s really packed with. All I can really say is that it makes you really examine who you are and what you think about your relationship with God. I read a passage today and I had to just stop and write because less than one chapter makes so much sense! (I’m only in chapter 1!!!)
Here are few things the book has said and what I realize:
God is holy. We often try to compare God to people and think about his greatness as we do of humans, but this is not possible. There is no way we can ever fathom who God is and what is greatness is because we are thinking and looking as human. He is not man; He is God. His greatness is overwhelming and his abilities are overwhelming. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). We can’t change God, nor can we comprehend his greatness because we have NOTHING with which to compare Him. He is, by no means, compared to humans – He is completely set apart from us. Humans cannot part a sea, or bring people back to life (not talking about doctors), give every promise made, nor can they provide food and water out of nothing. Our words are never be enough to worship Him because He is THAT big.
I realized that as I think about Him, I place him in the “container of a human”. As I think about trust, I compare the trust in Him as I do of humans. As I lose trust or faith in people, I think about whether or not I can continue to trust them. I have found that I cannot compare God to the trust I give in humans. He is NOT human, therefore I cannot expel human feelings on Him. Whatever you faith may be, whoever your God may be, it is bigger than man and can do things for you that man cannot. When we can’t trust others or ourselves, remembering that He is bigger than man, and His greatness is bigger than man, we can rest assure that trust will never be lost there. “It is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending” (Francis Chan, Crazy Love).
Here is the next passage that made me think:
So often we question God and ask “why?” Sometimes we aren’t afforded answers to what happens. My roommate in college had a neighbor she was close with who died of leukemia. He had to be one of the cutest little 5 year-olds you have ever seen. He spent most of his life battle the disease and lost the battle at the age of 5. So often, when bad things happen, we ask “Why does this happen? Why did You let this happen to me?” I have asked the same question about this eating disorder (guilty!). Sometimes we cannot comprehend why God does what he does – but there is a purpose to everything he does. I can’t tell you how many times my psychologist has said that I’m developing patience (ugh…. I’m so sick of patience, but I do need to learn it). I’ve come to really hate that P word.
I read a story in a magazine several years ago (I’ll try to tell the summary of it as best as I can remember). It was about a little girl with huge hopes and dreams – she was just 4. She had been fighting cancer in the hospital for quite some time and had grown very close with the male doctor treating her. Her doctor did not typically attach to children and patients because he knows they would go home or possibly pass away. In fact, he kept his distance from so many people in his life because he saw all the pain that families go through as they battle illness or lose loved ones. As her fight was coming to an end the doctor was torn apart. He had tried everything to save her. He tried all the possible treatments and drugs, but he could not save her. The day that she died he spent time with her after the family left. As he was weeping, he began to ask God questions. He wasn’t religious, and didn’t pray, but he proceeded anyway. He asked questions along the following lines: “Why did this have to happen? There are so many terrible people in the world, and you had to take one of the purest little girls?” “If you are the great God that you say you are, why did she have to lose her life so young?” He was lucky enough to receive an answer from God, and it was very simple, “to teach you how to love.”
I often ask why things are happening in my life. Why did I have to get this disorder and why have past events have to happen. I don’t know the answers, but I am guessing they happened to improve my relationship with God. I have had to come closer to Him in order to get through these most recent/current phases of recovery.
We all often want answers, and we think it’s unfair that things happen to us or our family, or we ask what we did wrong. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t learn that reason right away. There is a reason I have had to go through so much treatment. It has exposed me to many people and all have made an impact in my life. I don’t know why I have had to go through these things, but I know it’s forcing me to renew my faith and get closer to God. It’s forcing me to start learning patience, and learning to trust myself and others again. Instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me? Why do I deserve it? How is this fair?” I’m beginning to ask, “What am I supposed to learn from this? How can this struggle help me?”
I have heard many people say, “I learned that the hard way.” We all know what that statement means….. we tried to do something WE wanted to do, that may not have been on our path, because WE thought OUR way was the best way. When we make that statement we know we SHOULD HAVE done it another way/the right way. But….. we learned from it!!! We learned to not yell like that again, to humble ourselves, to trust our gut, to listen to our body, to remember patience etc. So think about it, almost every time we “learn something the hard way,” maybe we were supposed to do it the hard way all along. Maybe that struggle was put in front of us so that we will have the trust or patience for when the bigger/harder struggle comes. What we are dealing with could be building something in us for what has yet to come. Our struggles are all different, and they all often hurt. Instead of looking at the terrible side of things, I’m now trying to focus on what I am learning from the situation in front of me. It can’t take away the sting of it all, but it is helpful to know that there is meaning in what is happening.
I can’t say I know why I’ve had to go through these struggles with this eating disorder and other things, but I do know I’m learning trust and patience, both of which I did not have. What it all comes down to is….. we live and learn.