Felipe, the malade, in Lourdes.
I don’t know how many darn times that I’ve tried to answer the “why me” question as it relates to my cancer. Wish I had a nickel for each one. But it is a maturing process to try and come to grips with that. One of those no stone is safe from being overturned as my quest goes on. And that journey reveals so much, as a pilgrimage is more about the doing than the destination.
St Paul had an unnamed affliction that me continually prayed about for relief. And that never came for him. And I ponder this. How does that work? He as the chief evangelist in the spread of the Good News to the bigger world had a big job to do and wouldn’t he have been more effective if he was without this “thorn”. Why would God leave it in place?
I, of course, am not comparing myself to St. Paul but only as an individual with a burden as we all have of one sort or another. We all could ask the “why me”question at some point in our lives and even often maybe.
At Bible Guys today with the help of my fellow students I uncovered a quote from St. Paul in Second Corinthians, chapter 12 verses 6-12. This is from the Message a paraphrase of the Greek in modern English:
”If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I’d still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I’ll spare you. I don’t want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you’d encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk.
”Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he did in fact was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
”My grace is enough; it is all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
”Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in my own weakness. Now I take my limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that can cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
That is something to consider as we sit in the shade in between chores. I have found that most of the harder nuts in the Bible can’t be cracked with earthly logic but only yield to creative thinking. And here we are.