“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.”- 2 Corinthians 10:3
“It’s only human to feel that way”.
Through the years, I have said this to many people. It always seemed like the best way to validate whatever they were talking about- an encouragement even. Even from the perspective of Christian to Christian, saying, “That’s normal” somehow made me think I was offering some kind of balm for a hurt, frustration, or shame for the person in front of me.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”- Galatians 5:13,16-17
A couple months apart, I sat in the same position at Children’s, waiting to be told what the current EEG results would say for each of my children. The thing about epilepsy is that these results can change on any given day. If I didn’t believe that there was a God sovereign over each and every brain wave of each and every human, I would say that epilepsy is ruthless and unpredictable- changing its pattern whenever it feels like it.
Always but God.
After sitting with Bailey Grace and hearing the news that at this time, her seizures were not only severe, but pretty constant, I had to wonder if we were going to be told the same thing about Ally. I prayed thy will, I said that I wanted what God wanted- yet, did I mean it?
“…this nation approaches me only with their words, and honors me only with their lip service.”- Isaiah 29:13
Is this what I was offering God?
Saying, “Thy will” while really thinking that a certain result was better than the next. It’s only human, right?
Of course it is. You know what else is human?
Lust. Selfishness. Materialism. Deception. Gossip.
As I sat there waiting to be told what felt like ‘good’ or ‘bad’ news, I realized that I was viewing the whole thing wrong. You see, when we place our determination on circumstance or season, our joy, hope, and peace lie in that particular thing staying the same. Yet, when we place our joy, hope and peace on God Himself- the Never-changing One- our roller coaster of emotions and thoughts becomes much more solid and steadfast.
Friends, we can think ,act, believe, feel, LIVE differently because of Christ. The same power that resurrected Jesus is the power that lives within each and every follower of Christ- and it is greater, bigger, more powerful than our flesh could ever attempt to be. Saying, ‘thy will’ but praising God more for what the world considers good might be human but it doesn’t come from a heart posture of belief in a God who is good in all things.
The truth, we can’t just say, ‘Thy will’ with our lips- we have to be transformed by its truth in the depths of who we truly are!
(The Light has already overcome the darkness!)
When they came in to discuss Ally’s overnight results, they were in fact different than Bailey Grace’s. Human nature would’ve told me there was more to celebrate- that a bigger victory was gained. But God. I believe all the days of Bailey Grace and Ally’s lives were written before yet one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). I believe His best is planned for each of them- for each of us. I also know that in any given moment, passing, fleeting, ever-changing seizure patterns can change. It might have been human to say, “Praise God!” a little bit louder; but praise God my Lord overcame my frail humanity at the cross.
Friends, I want to honor God with my heart. I want to trust that His Spirit is greater. I want to believe at the core of who I am that all His ways are good and perfect and true- and to do this, it’s going to take a lot more than just telling myself, “It’s only human”.
“This God- His way is perfect.”- 2 Samuel 22:31
At all times.
In all things.
No matter what.
“The Lord is faithful in all His words and kind in all His works. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.”- Psalm 145:13, 17