So….picture this one. You find yourself in a hospital emergency room, being hooked up to an IV, nurses giving you shots, doctors coming in to look at X-rays that were taken of some part of your body, people reporting your vital signs….but you have no idea of what anyone is saying or what is going on, because everyone around you is talking a totally foreign language.
Wouldn’t you be asking God what He had gotten you into?? Why He was doing this to you? If He had really thought through His plan for you?
That is what happened to me about a year and a half ago, when I got this agonizing back pain. We’d been in Germany about a month and a half at that point. After three confusing days in the hospital, I was diagnosed with kidney stones that needed to come out ASAP. I am hoping that in September, I will finally be rid of all stones, stone fragments, etc. Since May of 2012, five months is the the longest period I have gone without being in the German hospital system.
I asked God what He was doing, and why He was doing it. Emphatically. Repeatedly, even.
He reminded me that He would never, ever put more on me than I could handle, that He is with me the whole time, and that it is just part of His plan.
And it does seem to be part of His plan. Being in the hospital really jump-started my learning German, (x-ray in German is Röntgen, pain is Schmerz, IV is Infusion), but, more importantly, each and every time I am there, there is either someone I need to talk to, or someone who needs to talk to me. The English woman whose daughter had gone through the same culture clash my daughter is experiencing, the young Catholic girl who was thinking about living with her boyfriend and didn’t quite understand how that was any business of the Church…these are just two examples.
Landing in a foreign hospital a distance from my family has also forced me to draw closer to God. I thought I was close to God already, but the situation I was in made me talk to Him more, rely on Him more, and take more comfort in His presence.
God has a plan for our lives, and He tries to tell us what He has in mind. If we aren’t listening or we are trying to get out of what God wants us to do, God has a habit of causing things to happen in our lives that gently persuade us to fall in love with His plans. Some examples of this in the Bible are Jonah and the whale (Jonah 2:1), Moses trying to get out of being God’s spokesman (Exodus 3:11), and Saul having to take a blind fall to become Paul (Acts 9:4).
We really want to be like Mary, like Joseph, like Job. Like the people who said ‘yes’ to God. Because then, we get the riches God wants to lavish on us sooner. We get the joy in the morning, rather than staying stuck in the dark night.