In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in more praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.--1 Peter 1: 6-7
"Grieved by various trials". Boy, doesn't that describe life some times? So much of life is troublesome and annoying. These verses hit my heart like an arrow when I read them this weekend. Because, to be honest, a lot of times I get in the way of my troubles resulting in praise and glory to my Savior.
I've dealt with a lot of health issues pretty much my entire life. Nothing major, for which I am so thankful. I don't have cancer, I didn't have any developmental issues, I have full function of all my senses and limbs. Put into perspective, I have had it pretty doggone easy. Nothing terrible. Just annoying and tiresome. And a lot of it.
I got a horrible case of mono two years ago that really did me in, and my body has kept hold of some pretty awesome souvenirs from it's long journey dealing with that virus. The days I feel unwell in some way far outnumber the days I feel great. My health has kept me from work, from fun, and from serving. We owe thousands in doctor bills. I constantly am praying for wisdom as to whether or not to do certain things because I wonder what my body can handle. I'm terrified of pregnancy (I mean, ff my body can't function well under normal circumstances, how is it going to grow a human??). I get frustrated because my health keeps me from so many things--from feeling energetic, from going to the gym when I want to, from volunteering for things, from financial security (see how God likes to breed dependence on Him in so many ways through this one thing? He's pretty good like that). I have begged and pleaded to God for restored health. It always seems to elusive.
Reading these verses in 1 Peter this weekend was completely by accident. I was at camp with middle school students and we were supposed to be reading in 2 Peter. God had other plans and I "accidentally" read 1 Peter instead. The words softened my heart. Because maybe it's not God's will to heal me. Maybe He wants to get praise out of getting me through each sickness one episode at a time. Maybe He wants glory from providing extra money for us to help pay down our bills. Maybe He wants honor through sustaining me spiritually even when I get frustrated. Maybe He wants glory for providing my husband with such grace and kindness through my never ending physical limits.
Perhaps my health will get better as time goes on. One day I could be shouting from every rooftop that my God, the great healer, has restored my health. My body might remain strong and healthy through a multitude of pregnancies (okay, maybe not a multitude; I have no desire to rival a Duggar with my baby making efficiency!). God would get glory for that. But, He will also get glory through my remembering that having a crazy doctor bill and missing some days of work and not getting paid are not so big that they undermine his role as my provider. He will also get praise by getting me through a tiring weekend at camp with students, surviving on little sleep, and feeling great so that I could pour into the sweet girls in my cabin (even if that weekend had bookends of feeling crappy--He's so good like that!).
I have no right to tell my God how He should get His glory out of my life. I just pray He gets it. And that no matter what happens, that I react not in frustration or anger or a demanding of my rights, but that my faith would be "found to result in more praise, and glory, and honor" to Him alone. To God be the glory!