Lessons from Mono
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” — 1st Samuel 1:10-11
I don’t know why the Lord allows things…well, I think I’m learning why He does. I read about Hannah in 1st Samuel and God closed her womb. He allowed the other wife Peninnah to have lots and lots of babies. Hannah had to sit there every day and have it rubbed in her face that she could not provide her husband with children. She had to watch the Lord bless Peninnah, but not her. So many would say…”why in the would God do that to her?” But, it drove Hannah to her knees. It drove her to say the prayer that is our main text for this WMD. She told God if He’d give her a son, she would give him right back. This is what God wanted from her. That is why He closed her womb…it drove her to a place she would have never gone on her own. Plus…what a miracle!!! We read that story from the book of 1st Samuel, the very name of the son God gave to her. I don’t even know the names of Peninnah’s children…but I know Samuel all these years later…unbelievable.
As I’ve been laid up with mono, wishing I was at work with all the other teachers, it has driven me to a place I would have never gone if I hadn’t gotten sick. I started asking “Why, God, do you have me all laid up like this?” Then, in my prayer time, I started doing some repenting. I started thinking about bad attitudes I’ve had towards certain people. I started asking for the Lord to forgive me. After all, when I pray the Lord’s Prayer, I am asking for Him to forgive me in the same way that I forgive others. As more and more of my wrong attitudes are being dealt with…I feel more and more strength. The sickness drove me to a place where I would have never gone before.
I think sometimes I start thinking that I’m really important. Things like this put me back in my place…and God back in His. I have used the same little piece of paper as my Bible’s bookmark for years. I wrote on it “Lord, I cancel the Devil’s assignment.” It is simply to remind me to cripple the Devil in my prayers before I start my day. Then, I can walk in confidence that the Lord is directing me exactly where He wants me to go. In my mind, if anything bad happens to me, Satan had to go before God and BEG Him for permission, just like he had to in order to harm Job. If God allows it, then there is a greater purpose on the other side of it that He wants to accomplish…so I gladly endure the trial. I had forgotten why I was praying this every day…I remember now.
I think I might add to my bookmark “include me in YOUR plans.” When I first started feeling sick, I just figured I had strep. Therefore, I took some penicillin because that’s what they used before. Unfortunately, there is a very high likelihood that if you take penicillin with mono…you break out in bumps and sores. Hence, I have bumps and sores all over my body. What if I had just waited to go to the doctor and let them run the proper tests? Instead, I did what I thought was best instead of letting the Doctors do what they do best. Do you see the parallels? I have been preaching, writing WMD’s, and witnessing to people the way I thought was best. I know God has been with me, almost as if I have included Him. Now, what I want is for me to be with Him, I want Him to include me.
I just pray that I will put God in His rightful place in my life. I don’t want to include Him in my plans…I want Him to include me in His. I’m already getting excited, because I know that God wants to bring forth new life from me just as He did Hannah. He wants to birth something special. It could only have happened by bringing me to a place that I would never had gone on my own. I don’t know what it is, but I am waiting…and expecting.