Yesterday I was reading the three passages set forth in the daily lectionary, and one of them was the story about King Hezekiah falling ill.
I have read this story numerous times. Although I may have, on occasion, reminded myself that if I were told I was about to die, I would probably be upset, usually I just think, "What a whiner. He had led a good life and God had rescued the people from the Assyrians and everything, so what was his problem?" I'm not exactly sure what my problem is, to think such things about him, really. Because yesterday morning it hit me full in the eyes that I'm just like that guy.
When I was a kid, I listened with fascination to stories about missionaries going off to far-flung corners of the earth, and I wanted to join the ranks. And I guess I still do. But the thing is, back then I thought that if I were doing that, I would really be doing what God wanted, and then I wouldn't have any doubts about anything anymore, and I wouldn't ever be upset about anything because I would have reached total selflessness or something and everything would be caught up in the Grand Scheme of the Kingdom of God.
So . . . either I've never actually found what God wanted me to be doing at a given point in time (which may be arguable, but I have to disbelieve it just to maintain my sanity, I think), or that whole thing about "arriving" in this life is a bunch of hooey. Which doesn't really help me in the whole knowing-what-direction-to-go-in-next thing, but it does help me relate to Hezekiah a whole lot better. The dude was feeling terrible and plus he was going to die and he knew it, and he found that a little upsetting.
Hezekiah threw a fit, and then surprisingly (in my cynical view), God actually listened to him and gave him another fifteen years. He was probably okay with dying at that point, because by then he had undermined national security and the Bible makes it pretty clear that he didn't want to be in the vicinity when the whole thing fell down around everyone else's ears.
So yesterday when I read this story, I realised I've been getting all Hezekiah lately. I've been acting like (and therefore undoubtedly thinking like) this story's all about me, and it's turning out to be a tragedy. And there are things that are happening (or not happening) right now that are a little less than lovely. But the Story isn't about me, and it is about God, and whether He enacts a reversal or not, He cares in some way I probably don't understand. I will get through this time. None of the situations may actually change. But hopefully, if I'm open (and getting enough sleep), I will.
Meanwhile, there are lots of great things happening, too, if I'd just open my eyes to see them.