A Walk and a Talk With God
That morning was so typical of numerous others, too numerous to count. I awoke stiff and sore and tired. I wanted nothing more but to roll over and go back to sleep - for a few days maybe. Instead, I forced myself to move, to get out of bed, get dressed and go for a walk. I was moving as quickly as my body allowed, which wasn't much - I felt as though I was going in slow motion. "No hurry", I told myself, "just put one foot in front of the other, you'll make it - eventually", I thought, trying to keep positive. I was trying to walk 1 1/2 miles on as many days as I could. It felt grueling as I slowly moved along.
"This is amazing", I thought, "I'm 22 years old, yet I feel like an old woman - have for years now..." I tried to push the thought out of my mind. It was hard not to think about it. My body hurt and I wished
I were dead. But I'm a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ. And I trust him with every detail of my life, including this ever eluding health (or lack thereof) dilemma. I tried to think happy thoughts as I walked slowly along. Often I felt as though I could relate to Job's dilemma in the bible. And so, I tried to pray for my family, my friends, anyone, anything, just not me. I tried to stay positive, to not be selfish. I tried not to throw any "pity parties". But of course my efforts were in vain. Soon I couldn't hold back the tears. Soon I couldn't hold back my desperate plea. And so, toward the end of my walk, I had a talk with God.
"God", I cried, "I love you more than anything. My whole life, my whole existence, my whole point of being here is to live for you, to draw others to you, to do your work here. My backpack is full, God. I make the bulletins at church for you, I play the hymns at church for you, I head-up and teach Kid's Club at church for you, I teach Sunday School at church for you, I'm the director of a teenage drama group for you... God, the list goes on. I love these things; I thrive on these things; these things are for you, God; but my backpack is full. This health thing that I'm dealing with - I can't handle it - it's too much - it just won't fit into my backpack."
God replied in his still, small voice, "This is the load I have for you to carry." He was referring to "this health thing".
"But God, it won't fit into my backpack", I pleaded with tears running down my cheeks.
Lovingly, he replied, "Then empty your backpack, because this is the load that I have for you to carry."
Caught by surprise, his response was not something I had at all expected. He hadn't said it, but it was implied that this was his will for now, not necessarily forever, although I wasn't allowed to know for sure. Afterall, it is faith that is to drive us, not sight. Slowly I started to nod. Recognizing that if something is God's will, then he provides the means to do it, I knew that he'd provide the strength both to empty my backpack and then to allow "this health thing" to fill it. I wasn't sure which one would require more strength, but I knew he'd provide. His peace swept over me as I accepted his will.
I stopped right there, near the end of my walk, slowly heaved my heavy overflowing backpack off my shoulders, and dropped it to the ground. Slowly and carefully, I knelt down and opened it up. I pulled out my commitments, one by one, and handed them back to God, who's hands were open wide. And then, once my backpack was empty, I looked up and let my heavenly Father fill my backpack with the load he willed for me to carry. I smiled as I realized the load fit just perfectly. Up until then, I had been equating my self-worth with how much I was doing for God. With my health getting in the way of doing these things well, thus overflowing my backpack, I felt worthless. Now I was beginning to see that it wasn't what I was doing for God that mattered, all that mattered was that I was in his will. For if we are in the will of God, there is no more better place to be.
With new determination and strength, I lifted my backpack and put it on my shoulders once more. "Thank you, God. I love you."
"I love you too, child", was his sweet reply.
I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I knew I was to press on. With tears running down my cheeks, I did just that.