Tuesday, May 27, 2008
He gives and takes away,
He gives and takes away,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Feeling funky today. Funky is defined in Iobst’s Dictionary as “Unable to label one’s emotions. Distinctively ambiguous.” Adjective.
So I feel funky. When good and bad hit at the same time, I spend some time in Funky Town, which has nothing to do with the 70’s. Today, I think I sit here feeling funky because I just don’t get God. I don’t. No surprise there. I never understand Him or His ways. No one does.
Let me explain.
Everyone talks to Jesus or God in their own way. I try to keep an open line to Him throughout the day, but we have a set time each morning for a chat. I go through some prayers and then sit and listen, often just meditating in silence. Then I open up my prayer journal. I have a page for each person or situation I am praying for, so I sit and flip pages praying for whatever God has laid on my heart.
One of the things I have prayed for the past three weeks is “merciful weather in our world.” I felt I was supposed to start praying for this and then guess what? Myanmar, China, now tornadoes everywhere including a town called Windsor, Colorado near me that was devastated. Okay. I am not God and I am not in control. I am just called to pray. I get that. But, yeesh. Right after I felt led to pray for merciful weather, thousands upon thousands of people are wiped off the earth in bad weather? Yeesh.
So then, I hear about Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter being accidentally killed. Yikes. She was five. Then a friend from San Diego calls me and tells me she has breast cancer.
See where I am going?
John and Noah and I happened to have a BLESSED weekend. Lots of joy and laughter and then John and I bought a bed. The kind where each of us get to set our own number of comfort. We have wanted one of these forever. But we just never had enough expendable income to justify the purchase. Now we do. What a blessing to be able to get rid of our 12 year old bed. Other stuff happened that made Memorial Day weekend delightful.
So I am having a mix of emotions. Everybody does at times. But here is the kicker.
A while back, I posted on my blog a call for prayer for Brandy, Joey and Laura. Brandy needed a lung transplantation and Joey and Laura were going to donate parts of their lungs for her. The operation, in November, was successful. A week or two after the surgery Brandy walked for a mile – the first time in her life.
I know Joey and Laura very well. I have never met Brandy.
So on my page marked Brandy, I continued to pray every day. I never heard anything more about her nor did I ask. I just assumed she was healing up and starting her new life with new lungs. When I came to her page I would pray things like “God, give her a great day.” or “God, show Brandy new things she can do.” I have done this for months.
Last Thursday, I came to her page and asked “God should I keep praying for Brandy? She is probably out there having a great new life as a 20 year old girl who can breathe well.” I heard very distinctively from my Lord, “You don’t have to pray any more, Robbie. I got her.”
So I put a big check mark in the corner. When I flip pages if I see a check mark I just keep going. God has released me from praying for that person or situation anymore.
Yesterday I got a wonderfully written and heartfelt email from Joey. The subject line read: EXHALE.
Brandy died last Thursday.
How does prayer work? What is the point exactly? Am I just talking to myself, flipping pages? Futility about life led me to Funky Town. Here I sit.
But I know the truth. The truth that does not waver like emotions. The truth that God is God and He is bigger and more complex than anything I can ever ever imagine. The truth is that God uses prayer. How? I don’t know. Maybe He uses prayer to mold ME and my heart to just want to hang out with Him more. Maybe He uses prayer to lessen pain or thwart evil or spread good.
I don’t know.
But I do know that He gives and He takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
My last prayer for Brandy, this beautiful girl I will never meet? “Father, make all of Brandy’s dreams come true.”
If I believe, truly believe in the God who has this exquisite eternity planned for all of us then that prayer was answered. Brandy is living her dreams right now, dancing with Jesus, breathing freely and fully.
Funky Town won’t last. Faith will buy me a ticket out of here pretty soon. But for right now, I sit with ginger peach tea and a laptop.
And I wonder.