Prayer, for me, can be like a full contact sport. Often it's merely like a one-on-one wrestling match over an issue I'm carrying around with me or some request a person has asked that I remember. I'll be quite honest when I say that there are a lot of things I pray about but don't really sense any urgency about them. This is either because those things are not that urgent or because I'm learning to trust that God will really do what I ask Him to do. I choose to believe the latter.
Lately, though, there have been several issues that have made my prayer life feel like a no-rules game of capture the flag with no pads and perhaps swords or something like that. Somewhere in there, I think someone is carrying a sledge hammer, but that someone isn't me. Hours have been spent defending that flag (flags...multiple games going on here) and wrestling with enemies.
There have been many players on the field, with regard to one issue in particular, all fighting their hardest with great commitment over a long period of time. We were warring just this morning when suddenly our flag, that thing we've so desperately been praying for, evaporated. And now here we stand bloodied and panting bodies shaken and shocked. Just staring at the spot where the flag used to be. When you pray for something, you can't hold back your belief. You have to believe that God will do this thing that you are asking Him for. It's like jumping off a cliff. You can't do it half way. The caveat there is that He doesn't always answer in the way that you expect--or the way that you request.
K died this morning. It was a merciful thing, if you ask me. That doesn't make the fact that a husband is now without a wife and three kids are now without a mother any more palatable. It does answer the request of healing, though, in my book. Not in others, I realize. I've always had a different book in that respect. But regardless of how I see it, my mind and my heart still seek some sort of cosmic justice when it comes to suffering and death. We all seem to have some notion of "fairness" about it because she was "so young," or "she was a mother" then she should have been spared. In favor of who?
And now comes the hardest part, I believe. Resist the temptation to leave the field of battle altogether and, instead, remain there to fight for those left behind. This is when attrition really wreaks its havoc. Can we keep it together when the thing we're fighting for is not quite so dramatic? Can the siege continue if we perceive no change or if, perhaps, we never see the outcome? Is it not more important--now more than ever--to ask for guidance and support for that family? I would think yes.
On another note, this cancer...stuff...is really starting to get to me. This makes, I think, a grand total of eleven losses with four still fighting. I watch gpa deteriorating more and more each week and wonder if we'll make it until Christmas. Easter? Next year this time? I'm the only one that leaves and comes back each week, so the others don't see the decline. It's the little things, really. He's no longer outdoors a lot. He's sleeping more. Eating less. In pain more. Talking less. Working less. Thinking less.
I'm not even really sure how to pray on that front anymore and today there isn't much fight left in me.
But maybe a little.