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.
The key here is “love!” Do we really love God or do we approach Him as a tool to be used, a genie in a bottle who will grant our every wish? One aspect of life threatening illnesses is that they give us a “wake-up call” that we so desperately need. They remind us that our life is really not about us, it is about us being created in the image of a holy and perfect God and being given the opportunity to choose to love Him or not. Love is a choice, or it can be an obstacle, but regardless we chose it. You would think that while struggling for every single breath in a hospital bed one would choose to seek God and to trust in Him completely. As my kids would say: “not!”
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
God is telling us that life itself rest in Him, there is no other way. If we chose to hold onto our lives without Him at the center, then we will fail. We will die in a state of absolute turmoil, suffering and hopelessness. But when we trust in God, and make Him our “life” we are rescued by Him through the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. “Win-win” as my kids would say!
If I approach God, cry out to Him, tell Him I love Him and ask for a miracle, I have to do that with a heart that is repentant, sorrowful, loving, trusting and submissive. If I cry out to God and tell Him what I think He wants to hear so that He will give me what I want, then it’s nothing more than manipulation. Sure, I can cry out to Jesus but if my heart says “I will trust You if You do what I’m asking” then it’s simply me deceiving myself. To love God, and to trust in Him, is to do so even when I don’t receive the expected results. In fact, He might not answer me at all!
NOTE TO SELF: Get real with yourself!