Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Catch a cold, heal a heart

Over Christmas break, I caught a cold. It almost went away; all that was left was that darned cough.

Right before New Year's, I caught a second cold on top of the first. It was terrible, and every symptom hit me all at once. I didn't go to work on Friday.

As I was laying in bed in between periods of sleep, I was earnestly praying that God would take away my sickness, and quickly. I didn't want to spend the last night of the year alone in my infirmity.

While I was praying, God spoke back to me. Not audibly, but in the midst of my thoughts. It always takes me by surprise when He does this, because I know that I don't talk to Him nearly enough, and I certainly don't listen for Him like I should. When He spoke, it was a very simple question: "Are you seeking the end of your suffering, or are you seeking Me?"

The question stunned me in its obviousness, and I had to stop and think of what was motivating me to pray. It made me realize that I was asking God to heal me quickly so I could have fun with my friends, rather than earnestly coming into His presence and expressing my desire to know His will. So often my requests (when I request them at all) are centered on what can make things easier for me, rather than learning how I can be used to advance God's kingdom.

So I changed my prayer to a simpler one: "Draw me near to You. Show me Your heart." I recalled the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33: "'But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'" And Matthew 7:7: "'Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.'" He promised the answer to my prayer, but made it clear that my motivation should not be to have my "kingdom" restored to health, but to look for His kingdom first and foremost.

Four days later, he hasn't quite finished healing me from my cold, but my heart is certainly stronger than it was on that miserable Friday evening.

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." - James 4:8a

1 Talked Back:

At January 5, 2006 at 11:02:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i had no idea you were a religious fellow? nice work on the god connection. i bet you feel better just having figured that whole thing out.


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