Making Deals With God
Last post I wrote about how Kathy was hit by a car while walking across the street. Part of that story includes a description of the pain Kathy was in. It was so intense she was shaking, and sweating, and vomiting. Seeing her in the ER like that was disturbing. As I wrote before, I’ve seen many victims in pain from injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents but Kathy’s pain was very near to being the worst I’ve ever witnessed.
Because of that I thought it was likely Kathy suffered a shattered pelvis, or broken hip, or that she would come out of this with partial paralysis of her lower body. And as people sometimes do when they find themselves in a situation such as this, I tried to make a deal with God.
I prayed, “Please God, please, heal Kathy. You healed Malchus’s ear. You can do anything. Please heal Kathy and I’ll do anything You want.”
Then I thought about what I just prayed and said, “Actually God, I’m selfish and I’m kind of a coward, so, I’ll need Your help to do what You want. But please heal Kathy.”
Then I thought a moment more and prayed, “Actually God, I should do whatever You want anyway, whether You answer my prayer or not, so, just help me to always do what You want. But please heal Kathy.”
That was nine days ago. Right now, as I write this sentence, it’s one minute before midnight on Good Friday. Jesus died for me, and for you, on Good Friday. On Good Friday Jesus did what God wanted in spite of the cost. He did what God wanted even though he would be wrongly condemned to death. Even though he would be mocked, and flogged, and crucified–Jesus did what God wanted.
He did what God wanted out of love for God, and out of love for me, and for you. He did that to pay for the sins born out of my selfishness and my cowardice. He did that to pay for your sins born out of your selfishness and your cowardice too.
He loves us that much.
For that reason, I have no business making deals with God.
He gave His son for me.
I should do whatever He wants regardless of what He may send my way.
Just before we left the ER for the trauma wing, where Kathy would spend the next four days, the trauma doc on duty showed me Kathy’s CT scan. There was no shattered pelvis. Her only broken bone was the L1 and that fracture was on the side of the vertebrae away from her spinal cord. Her prognosis is good. It will take time but it’s likely her health and function will be restored completely. Already after just nine days she’s improved dramatically from where she was. We give God the glory, and we thank you all for your prayers.
In Luke 23:44-45 we see in God’s word that just before Jesus died “there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed.”
It was a dark time. Jesus’ disciples were mourning. But early on Sunday the women took spices to the tomb. And when they arrived they found the stone rolled away exposing the entrance, and the body of Jesus was gone. Two men dressed in clothing that looked like it was made out of lightening said, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He’s not here,”
“He has risen.” (Luke 24:1-6)
I think there’s a resurrection in the life of anyone who recognizes the weight of what Jesus did for us when he was mocked and flogged and crucified. When Jesus’ message of love that’s communicated in his sacrifice is fully realized, it results in a disciple of Jesus who desires to do whatever God wants, whatever that may be.
Jesus died for you.
He loves you that much.
Jesus has risen.
Do whatever he wants, and you’ll rise too.
[Resurrection image via Charles Meeks – Creative Commons]