Friday, July 5, 2013

Psalm 6

From the New Living Translation

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your rage.
Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
    Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
I am sick at heart.
    How long, O Lord, until you restore me?
 
Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
    Save me because of your unfailing love.
For the dead do not remember you.
    Who can praise you from the grave?

I am worn out from sobbing.
    All night I flood my bed with weeping,
    drenching it with my tears.
My vision is blurred by grief;
    my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

Go away, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
    the Lord will answer my prayer.
May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
    May they suddenly turn back in shame.


As I continue my look back at how the Psalms spoke to my heart after my melanoma stage 3b diagnosis and apply them to all of life's calamities, I am reminded, by this one, of something I felt at the time.

I never felt like God was angry at me and that melanoma was a divine punishment for some grave sin. Some people do and I realize that. I didn't and never have. I did, however, feel like God was disappointed in me. Again, this is me. He had nagged me for decades to get my mole removed and I refused. I didn't like needles or medical procedures and I sure didn't go around volunteering for any. Especially since I didn't have 20/20 foresight. My mama's idea that my mole would, one day, give me trouble was asinine to me. It was a mole for crying out loud. She just liked to see me at the doctor's office and was using that mole as an excuse to get me there (that was in the back of my rebellious mind). I couldn't remember ever not having that mole and it was going to be on me when I died. I tell ya, that sure sounded good and feasible to my teenage mind and to my twenty-something mind. Shoot. Even my thirty-something mind liked it. That thought pleased me until I was almost 49!

It never, ever, never crossed my mind that that thing could literally be the death of me. It made me weak-kneed and it hurt all over when I received my diagnosis. Catastrophes can make us ache all over. They just can. And we cry out to God for compassion and restoration.

And we know we'll never be restored to where we were before. We'll never be the same and our lives are forever altered. That's the nature of calamity. It just is. And that sucks, doesn't it? So we cry and we cry out. Loud. That's our nature.

And God hears and answers. That's God's nature. We know God is at work in our troubles and He will rescue us from our storms. We may not know when. We may not know how. But we know He will. Our diseases can, and do, do much damage and bring death. Our other types of catastrophes can also. But at some point they will go away. That is the hope and the promise. 

We may experience relief in this lifetime. That happens. While life and health are never what they were, they can actually be better as we re-prioritize and learn to savor life and treasure the gift that it is and the people who are in it in a whole new way. 

We can know seasons of NED (no evidence of disease). Finances can straighten out. Jobs can be gotten. Pain can eventually subside to a degree, or at least become manageable. We may even smile again. We can know relief from pain.

All relief, in this lifetime, will be temporary. Even if it lasts until the end of my life, that relief will end when I do.  

BUT, God's rescue is eternal. My enemies will be dealt with. For good. It will happen.

That is the hope. That is the promise.

charis