Sunshine in the Valley

humor and encouragement from my heart to yours

A matter of control

on May 15, 2012

We hear about submission all the time in church, especially regarding the will of God. But what does that really look like? What does it mean, honestly? I’m starting to realize the gaps that sometimes exist between what I know in my head and where it applies to my everyday life. It sounds so spiritual in church, but when the rubber meets the road….do we really know what we are talking about?

Submission: (noun) the action or fact of yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. (synonyms: obedience – subjection – subordination)

The Lord taught me a pretty powerful lesson about this last week.

Things were going great. I was feeling well, working full days, and hopped in bed Wednesday night eagerly anticipating work day #4. In a row!! I realize this is no great accomplishment for most folks, but for me, it’s pretty significant these days. :) I was determined to finally work an entire week….and I was almost there!

Early in the wee hours of Thursday morning, however, I woke from a deep sleep and began having tremors and all the warning signs of an impending seizure. This was very unusual, as seizures generally do not hit in the middle of the night. Symptoms hit so quickly that I had no time to take meds or call for help, as my face and body were both paralyzed within moments. My heart immediately begged, “God! I want to go to work tomorrow!” I was distressed and frustrated, so close to fulfilling my goal of working a full week…only to have it seemingly vanishing before my eyes. The symptoms accelerated, and I could not so much as open my eyes as again I silently, desperately cried, “Oh God, I want to go to work tomorrow!”

I don’t know about you, but God does not often directly reply to my requests, so I will not soon forget the answer that immediately followed. It was not audible of course, but just as real in my heart as if I heard the words aloud….gentle and kind, a stark contrast to my desperate pleas. “You aren’t asking the right way: ‘I want’.

My heart was smitten by His simple words. The message could not be clearer. Throughout my illness He has taught me much about who is really in control of my life…..and it isn’t me. I used to subconsciously think I was, in the “little stuff” at least….I would confidently tell folks I would be somewhere or do something without ever once considering the fact that maybe I wouldn’t be able to…that maybe it was a good thing but not the best thing He desired for me. Even when I started becoming ill, I would make commitments and joke that they would happen because I was determined they would. Then I’d wake up unable to walk or talk, and have to cancel those plans after all. This frustrated me to no end, until I started learning what submission really means, and that it applies to all aspects of my life. I had forgotten about that little verse in James that says “For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or do that.” I wasn’t consciously rebellious towards the Lord (though perhaps the end result was the same) but when it came to day to day plans, I guess I thought I could handle those myself. How wrong I was! If He is not Lord of all my life, is He Lord at all?

Yet after so many such lessons, here I was, once again, telling Him what I wanted rather than being submissive to what He might want in this matter. I was so ashamed. As the seizure intensified, my heart grew calm and I accepted the fact that I likely would not be working the next day. Still, I quietly asked, “Lord…..would you let me go to work tomorrow?”

Every symptom fled. The seizure was gone, instantaneously.

I lay there in shock. This was honestly the last thing I had expected. I have prayed many times for the Lord to stop seizures or take away certain symptoms, but in His wisdom He has never chosen to intervene in such a dramatic way. Yet here I was, eyes opening, a body now responding perfectly normally: peace rather than the chaos wreaking havoc only moments before.

Again that gentle, quiet voice came. “I am teaching you here.”

Oh yes, was He ever! How easy it is to forget that attitude in prayer makes a profound difference as to whether that petition is granted or not. The fact is, what I was asking for was not wrong. It was good that I wanted to go to work. It was good that I cried to the Lord instead of getting angry. But I was not praying according to His will.  I was not being submissive. Just the day before, I had read in John where Jesus said “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me”. (John 5:36) If the perfect Son of God would live this way, how much more should I as a very imperfect human being!

That moment was also a reminder of His omnipotence and awareness of what is happening in my life. He effortlessly removed every trace of the seizure, with no “human help” whatsoever, and He could take away this disease entirely if He so chose. All He would have to do is speak the word, and those Lyme bugs wouldn’t stand a chance! :) But in His wisdom, He has allowed this into my life for His purpose and His glory, and it won’t remain a minute longer than He wishes.

I used to long that I lived in Jesus’ day, and mourned that I couldn’t touch the hem of His garment and be healed like the woman with the issue of blood. But the Lord has since reminded me that although times have changed, He is still the same. He hears my prayer just as surely as He heard the silent prayer of the woman that day. I just must trust Him when the answer doesn’t come as quickly as I think it should.

And amazingly enough, the next morning I woke up perfectly fine. No trace of the seizure was left behind, further proof that the Lord stopped that seizure, because I always have “fallout” the morning after. I worked a full day, and even had the energy to go to dinner with a sweet friend afterwards. God is so good!

Submission definitely doesn’t always result in getting what we want, though. :) I longed to work this week, but so far that hasn’t happened due to a rough weekend. But you know what? It’s ok. God is God. I’m not. And I’m grateful for that. :)


One response to “A matter of control

  1. Thank you God! Thank you Lydia. Tears and Prayers.

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