Friday, June 6, 2014

Living in Plan B

(Grace and an off-duty magician who was showing her cool tricks.) 

...And we're back. Day two of what should be Grace's last twenty-one days of "chemobombing." Even though Grace's MRD was negative, she will still need the entire two years of high-risk chemo to make sure the cancer goes away completely, down to the very last cancer cell. She will have intense doses of chemo for the next five days, then one to two weeks to recover. So far she's had mild discomfort and lack of appetite, but nothing more.

The last week and a half home was a miracle. Grace swam and played and ate (and put on some weight, which is awesome) and slept. We all did. I had been at a breaking point, in terms of tired and worn out and the next day we were discharged and at home. God knew exactly what we needed and it was long enough that I now feel that I can handle the next three weeks.

He also prepared me by working on my heart. Last Sunday I was so down. I felt like God was bringing good out of our situation, but I couldn't help feeling resentful that He would do this to us. That He would use us and take advantage of us and even though I knew better, I really felt...well, disposable. 

And I couldn't reconcile Jeremiah 29:11 and John 16:33. 

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

John 16:33 "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

One talks about God having plans to bless us, the other about letting trials come to us. How could God say both? This last Sunday God healed my theology. He reminded me that He never created us to die. In the beginning, we were made and lived in a world without pain or suffering. That was Plan A. Sin entered and literally all hell broke loose. He reminded me that we are actually living in Plan B. Nothing in this life is as it should be.

A few years ago, as I was doing the laundry, I was talking to God. It was very casual and I was telling Him that I'd like to understand how if He is good, then how could He allow evil and not be evil Himself? And He told me the answer. What I'm going to say isn't Biblical, yet I feel it is supported by what the Bible tells us, so I'm going to share, but it's not Biblical doctrine, per se.

He told me that before we were created, He was. He was the width, height, and depth. He was time, matter, and energy. All that existed in every infinite direction and every infinite moment was Him. And when He decided to make us, He had to limit himself. He limited himself so that there would be room for us to exist outside himself, so that we could be individuals. He made a space that was "not-God." It was a safe place for us to exist as separate personalities but in that void lived the capacity to sin, that is, to act outside God's perfect plan. Without that space there would have never been sin or evil, but there would have never been us either.

The "not-God" space gave us the capacity to go against God, but it was not God who created sin or evil. The pain and suffering, death and sin... they were never supposed to happen. It was a choice made by us, not by God. Sin didn't start in Eden, it my not have even started with Lucifer. But regardless of where it started, it certainly hasn't stopped. Eden was Plan A for us. But we are in Plan B, the broken life, the broken world. God did not create sin or evil, but it is our world and it breaks us. 

So this is how God showed me that the two verses are reconciled. First, let me be clear that God's blessings have little to do with money or health or prosperity, at least not in this life. God's blessings deal with comforting those who mourn, giving mercy to the merciful, and for letting the pure in heart see God, among others. His plans for us are for our good, not for our harm or destruction. We will see His blessings and plans perfectly completed in Heaven....we will not see them completely here on earth.

He has plans to create beauty out of our brokenness, if we let Him. His plans exist even in the broken world we live in, even in our broken lives. He is actively seeking to bless us. Without His plans and promises to us I'm very sure we would be overtaken by evil. 

He reminded me that He has blessed us and allowed trials in our lives at the same time. And when I realized that He had not "done" this to us, my heart was healed. It just mattered to me. I needed to know. And thankfully He never tires of reminding me of His love for us, and is patient to reteach me again and again. And today had smiles and giggles in it because of that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment