Peanut Butter Sandwiches
I am a peanut-butter loving freak. Always have been. In the fifth grade myself and several others were pulled out of the typical classroom for advanced science and math projects. While my peers came up with elaborate and sophisticated projects worthy of the advanced program, I followed my own path.
I decided to do a blind peanut-butter tasting challenge to determine the best tasting peanut butter. That's right, while the others donned safety glasses, lit Bunsen burners, and created chemical formulas- I went from room to room giving people spoon-sized samples of different brand peanut butters.
That's why to this day I savor a peanut butter sandwich- plain, with jelly, or with banana- love them all.
As most of you are aware, I am in a long term recuperation from a life threatening incident earlier this summer. For the next couple of months I am expected to still be in a wheelchair, unable to walk, strapped to a wound vac device on my leg 24/7 and administered IV medications every 8 hours around the clock.
The longer the healing process takes, I find myself slipping at times to feelings of frustrations, anger, and fighting emotions that are not healthy over my mobility issues.
I fully believe that God allows everything in our lives. After all he could have prevented this from happening if he had of chosen. And as a believer I know he will use this experience to refine me for a more effective ministry to the disabled community. He is teaching me lessons and understanding that can only come from being disabled myself, even if just temporary.
And so I know deep down just how deep the depths of his love for me are and how much he believes in my potential for disability ministry by virtue of the lengths he has gone to with my illness to teach me. Only crazy love that we as humans can't even grasp would go to such lengths to prepare me and burden me even more in my calling to be his ambassador to the special needs community in this fashion, by becoming disbled myself for a period.
The other day I decided to stop praying for a quick recovery. Yes I want to be healed, don't misunderstand me. I still pray constantly for complete healing. But if God is using this experience for his purposes, his honor and glory, and to bring more people into his kingdom, then I don't need to be praying for a quick rapid healing. Instead I need to be praying for perseverance and strength as he uses my circumstances for his purposes and he pours into me.
The experience this summer has not been easy. The day to day struggles are hard, and it's easy to lose focus and slip over to the dark side.
The experience has been challenging for Becky as well. My wife who is also now my nurse, cook, care-giver, driver, and everything else has the burden of caring for a special needs son and a special needs husband.
The other day she made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and brought it to my chair. Now Becky isn't the peanut butter freak that I am, so her "idea" of peanut butter is to just put a scoop in the middle of the bread with a tablespoon of jelly. So the sandwich arrived pretty puny and thin for my taste.
I made this elaborate, sarcastic production of pulling the bread apart and pretending to be searching for the peanut butter inside, saying, "I'm sure there's some in here somewhere."
This is the woman who does everything for me. From the moment she gets up until she goes to bed- she serves my every need. And here I was complaining about a peanut butter sandwich!
In that instant God spoke to my spirit convicting me that I (we) do the same thing to him.
He gives us life, he provides our every need, he sustains us, he died for us, he saved us- and he offers grace like a hurricane, and he has prepared a place for us to live forever in his presence. that we can't even fathom or imagine
And how many times do I approach him to complain about the "peanut butter sandwiches" in my life? With all he does for me, how dare me approach his thrown of mercy and grace with the petty, trivial complaints or things that don't satisfy me.
He gave me life and pursues me with a crazy overwhelming love, and yet I can seem so ungrateful and unsatisfied some times.
I hope you will join me in never waving our "peanut butter sandwiches" at him anymore.