What would the psalmists say?
Look Lord, see the wonder you have wrought in me
For it is your glory to bring beauty from dirt
To take the broken useless things around us and turn them into reflections of your glory
Thank you for the work you do in me
Thank you for hearing me and never letting me go no matter how hard I fought
Thank you for being stronger than I am
I was praying last Tuesday, and I wanted to tell God that all I want is to feel better, but I couldn’t say it. I used to want that. Right now, I suspect that I know what I want, but it’ll take me a while to admit to it. Instead I thanked him. I thanked him for teaching me and, when I worked up the courage, I thanked him for giving me pain. A few months ago, I would have done anything to feel better. But today I look in a mirror and I see the pristine work of art that God is making from his clueless child and how could I ask him to stop?
It’s ridiculous, I know, but perhaps you can see my point. In the past months, I’ve learned firsthand what I thought I already knew: that hardships are the means by which we develop into stronger persons. But when that realization hit me, I didn’t care. I wanted out. I was like a bear caught in a trap. I didn’t care if the farmer had only caught me to heal to wound I had. I just didn’t want to be there. But what I saw a few days ago was a different girl. I really did see that what God is doing in me is good, and I wanted him to continue it more than I wanted to escape the pain. I didn’t want it just because I liked it. I wanted it because I knew it to be good. Three months ago, I didn’t care what was good or bad. I just wanted to stop hurting.
When I think about this, I think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. When he was terrified of what he was about to go through, he didn’t beg his father to take away the ordeal at all costs. He said “If it is possible, let this cup pass away from me”. He was in a scary, scary, place that he didn’t want to be in, but instead of thrashing and trying to get away at all costs, he knelt humbly and asked that his father do what was good. He asked his father to save us even if the cross was the only way.
That was what I did on Tuesday without thinking about it. Instead of screaming in pain like I’ve been doing the past months, I humbled myself before God and asked that if there was some other way, he take it instead. Like Jesus (I imagine) I knew that there was no other way. Those words were simply me committing myself to God’s will for the first time in this circumstance. It was me saying: “Instead of trying to get out of this my way, I’ll let you do your work. I’ll no longer fight you.” I raised the white flag essentially.
I hope he was proud of me, but he has no reason to be, I think. The girl who wanted to end her life four months ago would never have done what I did on Tuesday. I don’t know what God did in me, but it was something remarkable. Somehow he wore out my defenses and brought me over to his side (kicking and screaming, in a very real sense). He made me into a girl that can say like Jesus did “Your aim is good father. I want it because it is good.” and I really did. “It hurts, so I would take another way over this, but I know you have given me the best. Have it your way”. He transformed me (albeit a little bit) into the image of his son.
I’ve prayed for that since I was a little girl. My prayer has been “God please teach me your laws, and teach me to love and want to obey them. Then teach me to actually obey them. Help me not to disgrace you. Make me like your son.” He hasn’t done it the way I would prefer, but he apparently heard those prayers.