Do you have any character flaws?
Hahahahahaha. Of course you do. Me too. Lots! Here are a few:
I enjoy being right a little more than I should
I am stingy toward people I think are foolish
I’m messy to a degree that is impolite
I have numerous double standards
I have the sense of humor of an 11 year old boy at times
I expect people to read my mind
I often think people should just “suck it up”
I am stubborn and prideful
I buy too many black shirts
I care more about tasks than people when under pressure
I avoid disapproval of those I deeply respect
I am impatient with my daughter
I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Bono from U2
I judge you if you wear mom jeans
So, one of the things I am prayerful of during this wild ride of being a cancer patient is that these impurities will rise to the surface like those present in gold do, in the fire. Cancer is the fire. I’m the gold…granted, a sub-par, bargain basement variety, presently. The intolerance for mom jeans, for example is the impurity that will rise to the surface to be burned off or scooped out and flung into the pile of arrogance, insecurity, rage, control, cowardice, vanity, etc.
But how? How can trials such as this make us better?
I’m not entirely sure but I do know that knowing God in the midst of the suffering is the key. Somehow our communion with Him is where it’s at.
Not what He does or doesn’t do for us.
Sometimes we think we’ll pray and He’ll answer in the exact way we want and that’s how we know and then our faith is strengthened. That happens. Now and again. But that’s not the fullness of it. We tend to think of God as this figure who either grants our wishes immediately and in a particular way like a genie or who doesn’t exist at all. We come to the table with an agenda. Heal the disease. Keep me safe. Free me from pain. Give me the money. Make him love me back.
We can’t handle it that God is so much bigger and wiser and possesses much more full and accurate perspective than we do. Suffering in His presence, seeking to trust His ways, reaching out bit by bit in faith…that’s how it happens. We see Him at work. We feel more secure. Our fears shrink. Our hope grows. Our eyes open more, our perspective shifts, our hearts grow bigger and softer. We begin to desire His will more than our self-centered, immature, limited desires. Because we begin to understand that even though it’s beyond our finite minds to fully grasp, that somehow, He is always hard at work for our good.