As I stated in my last post, I am going to use the examples from Pauline’s comment directly. In that post, I showed how we are to live following the Lord rather than determining our own care. We follow the Spirit with our care. What supplements I take, the food I eat, when I go to the doctor, the medicine I use—my Shepherd determines all my care. Remember John 5:19: …the Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Nothing includes everything.
Care for Myself and the Garden
I think one of the biggest reasons this seems like a burden is because we, in the deep recesses of our hearts, believe God will withhold rather than direct our care. It is our long-held lie. It started in the Garden and to this very day we believe it. “God is not good and He withholds the knowledge we need.” It is deep in our DNA.
Remember Pauline’s comment: “John, what about the commonsense stuff like you swimming for your back pain or me going to the ER with difficulty breathing and high fever, which turned out to be pneumonia?” I am not saying that God doesn’t have us go to the doctor, or the ER, it is just that He (not me) directs it.
Like juicing off my finger. In shock, I followed rather than led my care. I had no idea what to do; I was a quivering mess when I saw part of my index finger shoot out the side of a juicer. But I did drive to the hospital, was seen by the ER staff, and did go to a surgeon to reattach my finger. Yet I believe it was His will as I followed this path.
Care by Following
My choice to have back surgery stems from a whole lot of His shepherding. I didn’t want surgery; I wanted healing, but that was not His choice. I waited and He told me when to go under the knife and I did it in peace because I knew He was doing it.
Again, it is about following. I have seen the Lord delay care from medical practitioners even while there was suffering going on. And the crisis of faith is, “What if I am not hearing Him correctly? What if I die because I didn’t hear?” We all alike struggle with these thoughts. We inherited these from our first parents, and only by following Him can He maneuver us through to His Fathering care.
Our God is our Father and He is our Shepherd, even when we are resistant. But the fact remains that as we follow Him, His burden is light and His yoke is easy. He is able to make every situation about fellowship and union with Him. The last thing I want to do is lose opportunities to know Christ in this life. And the willful rebellion of being my own caretaker is too costly for me…or any of us.
Next I’ll discuss caring for another.