Monday, July 25, 2016

He knows more than my name

I know God knows my name, but does He know anything else about me? Does He know about my muscle spams? Does He know about the turbulence in my stomach? Does God know that sometimes I get light headed, sometimes my hands can't grip and clench, and sometimes my legs give out? Does He know about how my hot flashes are mysteriously paired with frigid feet and hands?
I'll be honest, sometimes it is easier to imagine that God doesn't know any of my many ailments. I can rationalize that if He doesn't know He can't be blamed for not fixing it all. I've read my Bible, I konw that with one thought, one blink of an eye He could remove every single symptom. Without a supplement, doctor or surgery God could make them all "poof," simply disappear. 
But God hasn't done a magic show with my symptoms. He hasn't made them go away.
When my muscles are flaring and my body is in acute suffering, God feels so terribly far away that I flirt with feelings of frustration. Well, to be honest I've more than flirted. I've fallen head-over-heels into utter anger at God for allowing me to suffer all these many years. In those moments when my little body burns with full-blown rage I call God out. I accuse Him of giving me a raw deal. I stew in jealousy over the health and full life of other people my age and question. I question why God has left me hanging in a limbo of sickness while my peers out enjoying a carefree existence of vibrant vitality.
These episodes of anger and frustration always pass. I get it out of my system, vent my inner feelings and move on. But inevitably another bad day will come and once again the question arises, "Does God have any knowledge of what is going on in my body?" To avoid the looming emotional breakdown into anger and frustration I have foolishly chosen to believe God doesn't know. In a lame attempt to protect my spirit from the pain of abandonment I pretend He is completely unaware. Can I blame God when He blissfully ignorant of my condition and far-away from my physical body? No, I can't blame Him one bit.
But the truth is God knows everything about me. He knew my name before I was born. Jeremiah 1:5 says that He actually formed me and is intimately aware of every twinge, discomfort and dysfunction in my body. Before I ever became sick, He knew the ailments to come, how they would feel and the distress they would cause.
This reality leads me to the most challenging question of all: What kind of God is this who allows physical suffering? How can a God, the God who knows my name, be a loving God if He allows this suffering? Does God know my name, know my pain and simple not care? 
The truth of God's all-knowing diety won't relent because my mind tries to play tricks. I can pretend God doesn't see or know about my suffering but to deny His knowledge is to deny who He is and His unmatched power.
 The truth is that God does know my name. He knows my pain and His heart breaks for it. But more than my physical condition, God knows my heart and like any good Father He is orchestrating my life in such a way that my heart is made healthy. The heart is the one thing I have that will last. My body won't. No matter how healthy or ill my body is today, it is temporary. But my soul is forever.
When faced with the reality of God's knowledge the question seems to ask itself, "If God could use my ill body to produce a vibrant heart, would that make Him a cruel and harsh God?" No. It would, and does, make Him a loving and benevolent Father.
God is the God of my body, heart and soul. He is the one true God who knows every fiber of my physical being and knows my every pain and suffering. He isn't distant. He isn't blissfully ignorant. God is doing a miraculous work by using my broken body to rebuild my spirit.
This body is part of His plan, part of His good and perfect plan to make me fit for eternity. Because God knows my name and it is written in His book and one day He will speak it as I enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise.

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