Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Squeeze

Disclosure: Post recommended for ladies only... :-)

Well yesterday was the mammogram.
I was to be at the hospital bright and early for my 8:30 appointment. I walk in and sign in on the info sheet. And I sit and wait.
After a short moment I am motioned to come back into the office. I am then told that because of the way my doctor's order is coded my insurance will not cover this screening.
I immediately become indignant.
Then I take a deep breath and remember my lesson from my Father yesterday about my attitude adjustment.

"Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors"
(Isaiah 46:8)

I do not want to step back into the ick of yesterday so I just breathe.

Then another woman comes out to explain again. To show me the order. To point out how the insurance world works. She tells me they can do the mammogram, but my insurance will kick it back and it will cost me over $900.00.

Now I can't breathe.
Indignance rises up again.

My first thought is to just leave and show my insurance whose boss by leaving and then, well, hey if I end up having cancer then next year I'll guess they'll pay for the chemo. Then it hits me how absolutely insane that is. Then my next thought is, well maybe I really don't even need this. I'll just leave, and this is my excuse to not deal with this until I'm 40 yrs old. But what if it's too late then... 

So I breathe again. And I remember my lesson from yesterday and I pray.
And then, after I pray, I call my doctor that ordered the mammogram to see what is going on.
As I sit there listening to an automative recording telling me "please hold, all our receptionist are busy at this time, we will answer your call as soon as possible" my thoughts are racing.

After about 5 minutes of holding (which was God making me hold, because I am the person who just hangs up and calls back later) tears are welling up in my eyes as I am brought face to face with one of my greatest struggles. My putting trust in money instead of my God. This is hard to swallow, because Jesus said we can't serve two masters (Matt 6:24), and I only want to serve my Savior.

You see I sat there in that chair with that phone to my ear dealing with my indignance and trying to come face to face with the reality of what was behind it. I had really just seriously thought that the $900 cost of the mammogram was worth more than my life. I literally had planned to just leave.

But God just would not let me get up from that chair. I felt almost foolish just sitting there, but I could not move. He physically kept me planted. I had to sit and be still and work all this out with my God. 

(Have you ever considered how you never really have a clue what might be going through someone's head at a particular moment? To those looking at me from the outside. I was woman waiting for someone to answer the phone. But on the inside I was having a get down and serious conversation with the Creator of the Universe. My heart was being laid open and bare before my eyes at that very moment by the One who formed me from birth and no one else had a clue.

Not only had I became indignant. But I had counted what my God said was precious as worthless. I had counted my girls' mother, my husband's wife, my parent's daughter, my very life, not to mention my Savior's blood that was shed for this life as not worth $900. I was ready to get up and walk out and say (excuse my language) "to hell with it."
For what? $900
I sat there trying to weigh which was worse. Paying for the test to find out that there was no reason to need it or not paying for it and discovering to late that if I had of known at this test... well. So my thought process was that I would rather pay $900 for really bad news then $900 for really good news. Exactly how does that make any sense?

God is teaching me.
What God had to show me was that one of my greatest struggles is that my peace has been connected to my bank account and not Him. I've got peace like a river and love like an ocean when the numbers are high like the incoming tide but the minute the tide rolls out for a while I'm in a state of panic.

Romans 6:16 says 
Do you not know
that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience,
you are slaves of the one whom you obey,
either of sin resulting in death,
or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Who was I obeying?
What was controlling me?
What determined my emotions for the day?
What decided whether or not I was happy?
What pulled my joy string?
What determined whether or not I went through with a possible life saving test?

Money? Really? I almost walked out without even asking God what I should do. Letting money control me and not my God. How ludicrous of me.
Why on earth should I put my life in something as changing as money?

Had I set up an idol in my heart?

What God had to show me was that I was putting my trust in money and not Him. I depended on this bank account to fix everything. I was in fact about to let money decide my future. My security was not resting in my Mighty God, instead my security rested in money.

It's amazing what God can work out in your heart and mind in such a short amount of time. As God is laying bear the iniquity of my heart as He is putting to shame the idol that I was trusting in... the receptionist received my call.

It was indeed a coding mistake. The doctor re-sent the order for the mammogram. My insurance would cover. I had the test.

Yes God knew I needed this test.
Not necessarily the mammogram, but this test of faith.

"Behold, I have refined you,
but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction"
(Isaiah 48:10)

I have learned that sometimes we go through trials that are meant to refine us and develops the image of Christ that is already at work in us. And sometimes we go through trials that are a furnace of affliction that is meant to destroy anything in us that has been set up as an idol in our heart and mind.
Both are from God. Both are needed.
I give thanks to God for them (1 Thess 5:18) and I consider them all joy (James 1:2). 

This afternoon as I continued to study in the book of Isaiah as I worked on my precept homework, I was encouraged through the study to turn to a passage of Scripture.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money,
being content with what you have;
for He Himself has said,
so that we confidently say,
(Hebrews 13:5-6)

This was no coincidence. My God has me in this study at this time for His good pleasure, to accomplish His purpose in me, His will, not mine.
I know that it is God's will that I be conformed into the image of His Son.
From glory to glory He will do this, because I cannot.  
I do not want to be controlled by anything other than my God.
I desire to only be the slave of righteousness and the willing bond-servant of Christ.

But thanks be to God
that though you were slaves of sin,
you became obedient
from the heart
to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 
and having been freed from sin,
you became slaves of righteousness. 
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.
For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness,
resulting in further lawlessness,
so now present your members as slaves to righteousness,
resulting in sanctification
 (Romans 6:17-19)

I am so thankful that God never forgets the weakness of our flesh and I am also grateful that He also keeps me reminded of the weakness of my flesh. I am in the process of sanctifiation... the act of squeezing all the gunk out of me so that all that is left is the glory of my Savior.

The squeeze of sanctification is alot like the squeeze of the mammogram.
Unless you have had one, you just don't realize how your chest is connected to your head.
When the chest is squeezed, the head is connected to the pressure and can't move either.

In like manner our hearts are directly connected to our minds. As a man thinks within himself so is he (Proverbs 23:7). When our hearts are squeezed, the seed bed of our emotions and feelings, then our decisions will be made according to what state our mind is currently in because usually at this point we become immobilized.

Trials and tests and affliction are part of our sanctification and it is preventive and emergency care for sin. It is a squeezing process to show us the depravity of our minds, to reveal the iniquity of our hearts, and to remove it by the renewal of our mind.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Rom 12:2) 

The squeeze is always worth it, no matter the cost, when abundant life is involved.

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