I am coming off a week of being sick. I don’t get sick very often but this one kicked my butt. I was running a pretty hard schedule with a week of work, traveling, Man camp and lots of meetings. It caught up to me; I spent the next week going to bed early and sleeping extra hours.
On top of that, I had enough life stories that were challenging. Relationships, attitudes, job situations – it adds up. Learning that a good friend’s 18 year old died in a motorcycle accident makes my head cold, work situations and unexpected house repairs pretty insignificant.
Before this gets too negative, I wasn’t getting discouraged. Instead, I was getting mad. I know we win the war – the Bible tells me “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28 NIV. I don’t like to lose battles. I don’t like to see good people die, people make bad choices, attitudes go south or life throw curveballs at us. But it happens.
I grew up watching M.A.S.H. with my dad. In one of my favorite episodes, Hawkeye is being observed fighting to save a dying patient in cardiac arrest. (Profanity alert) He yells at the patient, “Come on. Live, damn it! Live! Don’t let the bastard win.” When asking the Commanding Officer what he meant by that, he responded, “Who was he talking about? Death. When it comes to death, Pierce is a sore loser. It’s a part of life, part of war. And we’re soldiers. Maybe we are, but Pierce isn’t. He’s just humoring us by wearing that uniform. He’s one doctor who’ll never be nonchalant where death is concerned. He’ll always take it personally.”
I don’t like to see the Devil win and yes, I still take it personally. I implicitly put my hope in God that he can bring comfort and peace in the face of death, relationships can be mended, attitudes can be elevated, sickness can be healed and He will restore what is taken away.
When my hope and expectations war against the enemy and the challenges in my life, I am going to win some and lose some battles. I’ve learned it’s ok to get mad. I’ve learned how to pray though the anger. I know who ultimately wins the war and I choose to trust Him in it.