I’m in a 40 day fast and prayer group for Lyme patients right now, and I’m loving it because it’s reminding me of the kind of hope I had the first time I was sick.
That’s exactly what God’s talking to me about through Plan B too. As you guys probably remember, a friend and I led a small group on this book over the spring. The small group wrapped up, but I’m still in the book – partly because I haven’t been able to read it everyday and partly because we all loved the book so much that we’d get caught up in chatting about one specific chapter for weeks at a time.
I took Plan B with me to Virginia as part of my new plan to hop in bed early, connect with God through reading and prayer, and get 8 hours sleep. (I say “plan” because it’s still a work in progress.)
I was feeling pretty hopeless the first night I picked it up. I thought my Bartonella had been going away, but for the past couple of days I was feeling achey and nauseas and my eyelid was twitching again. I was beginning to feel like I’d never get over it.
On top of that I was mourning the fact that I felt stuck in New York City when all I wanted was a beautiful apartment in Northern Virginia with a laundry room and dishwasher and walk in closets and a shower big enough to turn around in without hitting the wall.
Worst of all, a part of me believed that I could be sick again because I’d failed God after He healed me. [Yes, I know this is way off track and not at all how God works, but my mind likes to play tricks on me sometimes.]
Then I read the following from Pete Wilson:
… why don’t I feel hopeful?’ you may say. ‘Why do I feel despair?’… As we saw in the last chapter, you may have been hoping for something instead of hoping in someone. Hoping for something will almost always disappoint. Hoping in God will always move toward something good, even if we can’t see it.
Which made me realize all my hopeless feelings were really based on disappointment.
I’d been walking around disappointed and frustrated that I’m not already better from Bartonella, disappointed that I’m still living in New York City while so many of the people I love are leaving, and disappointed in myself for being a big fat failure at all of the above (and, as I mentioned, wondering if I was sick again because God was disappointed in me too).
Then in my heart to heart with Jesus about this, He reminded me of one powerful thing: At my sickest with Lyme Disease, He’d given me hope. And I held onto it stubbornly right into remission.
This world will disappoint. Tiny New York City closets, kitchens, and bathrooms will disappoint. Rising prices in rent will disappoint. Illness and pain will disappoint. Doctors will disappoint. Employers and coworkers will disappoint. Everything I could hope for will disappoint if I let myself believe that everything will be perfect if I could just attain this one thing.
But Jesus has shown me He will never disappoint. That nothing is impossible with Him. That He can heal, remove illness, change circumstances, and shower us with blessings and all we need to do is hope. And I remembered that if He’s healed me before, He most certainly will heal me again. And if He can heal me, no illness is outside of His ability to heal.
All I have to do is hope. Care for myself because I know that He cares for me. Believe that He is bigger than any illness or circumstance that life can throw my way. And remember that nothing is outside of His realm of possibility.
I also think it’s interesting that the translation of “hope” as used in the Bible is to expect with certainty. (Check it out here.) Which means hope is trust. Which brings me full circle with my One Word 2011. Funny how God likes to work that way.