Monday, August 16, 2010

Frustrated

I’ve been frustrated this summer. With myself.

I’ve hesitated to share this here, but since there hasn’t been much of any substance around the old blog this summer, I thought I’d shake things up a bit.

God’s been dealing with me, oh yes He has, and He’s been using a 15 year old boy to do it. Funny thing is, that 15 year old boy probably doesn’t even know me.

I think this all started back when I read Jason Boyett’s book, “O Me of Little Faith.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the book much. I felt like Jason had a bit of a my-faith-is-weaker-than-your-faith-isn’t-that-cool?-thing going on, and it made me feel old because I don’t find that very funny or encouraging. And so I wrote the nicest review I thought I could write about the book and called it a day.

But God kept that book on my mind, and I think He did so for a reason. I think God wanted to point out my hypocrisy and my judgmental spirit. And my lack of faith.

Jason and I could be pen pals.

Shortly after I wrote the review, an accident happened to a boy in our neighborhood. A terrible accident in which he drowned and was without vital signs for 10 minutes, but miraculously he was revived. I asked you to pray, and you must have because Matthew is a walking miracle.

Not that this hasn’t been the hardest summer of his or his parents’ lives. It’s been terrible. And amazing. And good.

But ever since Matthew’s accident and his subsequent healing, I have become more and more aware that my faith is no better, probably worse, than Jason Boyett’s. And it’s annoying me. Frustrating, really.

Remember when I asked you to pray? I went over to our local elementary school to join hands and hearts with our community. I prayed earnestly, and have all summer, that God would heal this sweet boy and bring relief to his family.

But later, upon reflection, I realized that as I prayed I totally did not expect to see God move. I totally expected the worst. And throughout the summer, God has shown me that I am so much that way—hoping for the best, but always expecting the worst.

This, my friends, is a complete lack of faith.

All summer long, I’ve read the family’s CarePages updates. I’ve seen how God is clearly at work in that situation, and yet I’ve seen how I have doubted that God would heal him. Just so we’re clear here . . . I don’t doubt that God CAN heal him, I just doubt that God WILL heal him. There’s a difference. I truly believe that God is who He says He is. I truly believe that God can do miracles.

I just don’t expect miracles.

And this is what’s frustrating to me. I don’t expect them. And as a result, I don’t see them. My eyes are not open to what God has placed in front of me, and I’m frustrated by that.

It’s not God. I totally don’t blame him for anything.

I blame myself.

Just look at the progress this boy made during one week in July.

July 4 (Just a few days after his accident) – Matthew began to communicate “yes” and “no” to his dad.

July 5 – Matthew dabs at his chin with a washcloth and recognizes his mom when she comes into the room.

July 6 – Matthew transferred to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. At this point the family does not know how long he will be there. Weeks? Months?

July 9 – Three days later Matthew is transferred to a rehabilitation facility right here in our town.

July 10 – Matthew walked about 15 feet before getting tired and then indicated to his dad that he wanted to go home. He’s frustrated (like me!), but making progress.

Today, August 16, Matthew is home, walking, even riding his bike! He has made amazing, miraculous strides, and his family credits the Lord for His faithful care.

I am so thankful to Matthew and to his parents for sharing their road with the world because it has encouraged my faith so much. It has reminded me that God is still in the business of doing miracles. Big ones. Small ones. Every day is a miracle.

Someone left this comment on Matthew’s Care Page this summer, and I just had to copy it because it meant so much to me. A woman wrote about how, 21 years ago, she had suffered a brain aneurysm and was not expected to ever walk again. She was determined to do that, and she has. At the end of her note she wrote this, “I have prayed that Jesus will show Himself to you in your head. So, look for Him there. He will help you as you fight. You will have His resurrection power as I had. He gives it freely. We are praying and praying and praying. He has done so many miracles in you already and He will do more, as many as you need. We love you little brother. You are becoming a man!”

I don’t know why, but something about that last line just made me weep. God is doing this thing in Matthew to help him become a man, and that is a miracle too.

I guess God is working in me to make me more of a woman after His own heart. To help me see Him every day, all around me, even in my head. God is showing me my weakness so that I will rely on Him for more faith.

And that’s a miracle in itself.

Shelly

8 comments:

  1. This is hard. HARD. I don't expect miracles, either. Because I've experienced a lot of things where sure, God COULD have fixed it, made it easier or better. But He didn't. And so now, when things happen, I just don't expect Him to perform miracles. I know He can. And I know He loves us. I guess I'm just perpetually afraid that His best and what will work all things together for His glory is going to be painful and scary and difficult.

    It's not good. I know that. I think you're brave for addressing the issue head on! (And I'm so thankful and amazed to hear about the progress Matthew has made!! THAT is awesome!!)

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  2. Me too. I know that God CAN fix things or heal people but I don't expect him to. I struggle with praying for healing or miracles because I know that in this world we are promised tribulations. And that's hard when you are trying to live out your faith in front of your kids. It's hard when you are trying to teach them how to pray. Oh, it it's so hard.

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  3. Wow. I feel like I need to get quiet and go ponder this and ask God to show me all that He is speaking through this post. You have put to words something we all struggle with at one time or another. Thank you for thinking this out and putting it out there for us to meditate on with you.

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  4. This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart w/us.

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  5. This is a beautiful and honest post which I loved reading. It reminds me of what my friend Anne always tells me, " God can meet you where you really are, not where you pretend to be." Blessings on your journey, Shelly.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  6. Thank you Shelly.
    -H

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  7. That was a beautiful post and reminder of our awesome God, mighty in power, working wonders! Thanks for sharing your heart and these wonderful, convicting thoughts.

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