Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 30, and now, at age 59, he is still in the battle and will forever be. So it is with us.
We are such a microwave, I want it quickly, generation. It truly has become our greatest weakness, as it is our back door to giving up. Eight months can certainly be seen as a long time, and trust me, I felt every bit of it (that's about 245 days, if we're counting). But when I think about the time we willingly devote to learning an instrument, learning a new language, and such, I wonder what, "the dread of time this will take", says about our devotion to our relationship with God. Yet, truth is, , when we are facing a life threatening illness we never ask, 'how long will this take to treat, doc?', instead the question becomes 'what do I need to do?'
It was important for me to see and acknowledge how sick I was. I say it that way because the two are not one in the same. You can see something is wrong, but acknowledging it is a whole different animal. Bottom line, I knew I would do nothing to change, if I continued to tell myself that "I was fine." I believe "I'm fine" or "I'm OK" is truly among the most dangerous phrases in our modern day vernacular and deadly to Christians and our relationship with God. The reasons we use the term varies, probably a combination of several factors: politeness, awkwardness, fear of being a burden, and not wanting to be seen as struggling. But truth be told, it is killing us.
As a novice writer, my regret in writing Rebound, is that there was so much I was just inexperienced to convey on paper. One chapter that failed to make the book was on 'performing sick'. Continuing to do, when spiritually you are not in the space to do so. I call it being talented enough to impress people, but untalented enough to fool God. I look at chronic spiritual sickness as the hypertension of faith, it is the silent killer. There are signs, but we easily dismiss them, by taking a baby aspirin as a quick remedy, and continue with life as usual, until we come to an abrupt halt.
Whether we're in a Rebound (and not all are spiritual: the devastation of Covid, relationships, job loss, etc) or not, we must learn to rest in God. In Gen. 1, God gives us, what I believe, is an often missed secret of life. We must be content with small victories. The Creator, with a whole world ahead of Him to design, looked out over total darkness and began His work. YET, He pauses seven times in the first chapter and says, "And God saw that it was good." Not only did he see good in the small measures of His work, but he put a 'period' at the end of each sentence and not a 'comma.' Finality. Each day came to a close and a new day began. We live in a world in which nothing, other than death, is ever final. So we work ourselves to death.
So what kept me going? I chose to imitate God's process and learned to put a period at the end of each day. I began to say, ' it is good' with my small progress. It allowed me to put my head on the pillow at night and to let go. To not look at the mountain ahead, but instead, count the blessings of each individual step. That small 'comma' beckons us to carry over the worry and anxiety of the day, to a point where there is no end in sight. There is no rest.
If Satan could get Jesus overwhelmed with what was ahead (a series of commas), he would never have finished the task of dying on the cross for us. If he can get us overwhelmed with the work ahead, we will never finish our task of drawing near to God. Contrary to what we'd come to believe, Satan's desire is not to knock us out, but to keep us sick and ineffective, so that we take ourselves out of the equation.
Our God, the creator of all things, can achieve his goal without us, but he chooses to partner with us. Therefore, we are crucial to his equation. In other words, God needs me. God needs you. That's why there is a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on (Heb. 12:1)! So giving up, no matter how long the process, is simply not an option.