Monday, November 09, 2009

How To Answer, "How Are You?" When You're Really Not So Great...

This is a note from my precious friend Janan, referring to a conversation we had last night.

It's so perfect! 

I hope you'll take the time to read what she has to share. 

I love you so, Janan!

I woke up this morning contemplating our big question we talked about last night - how do we answer people when we just don't feel good and they keep asking, etc.
As I thought and thought, I kept remembering how for me, complaining can become habitual.  And when I don't feel good, I want to complain to someone.  It's the only way to make my loved ones understand that I don't feel good - help me - I'm sick, etc.  And I know that complaining like that is a sin. 
Then I started thinking about being honest in telling someone how things are really going, and my mind went to Job.  (Yesterday at church we sang Blessed be the Name of the Lord - He gives and takes away - so Job was on my mind - I am particularly sensitive to that song because several years ago, it was sang by the congregation at a Catholic funeral service I went to for a 7-year old boy who died.) So I thought about Job and how through it all, he didn't sin. And how his friends gathered around him - and he could have really gotten into some complaining/gab sessions with them, but he didn't.  In the end, Job said, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away - blessed be the name of the Lord. 
And I thought about Satan before God wanting permission to wreak havoc on this earth and God saying, Have you considered my servant Jesica?  The thought went through my mind that if you have MS, it is because God has entrusted it to you.  That through it all, even when you don't understand it, you can be assured God does.
And just now as I am remembering this, I want to share with you my memory verse from a few weeks ago - it has been a tremendous help to me and I hope it can be of help to you too.  I have mine written on a spiral index card and I sit it up at my kitchen sink for a reminder.  Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inhritance."  Psalm 16:5-6 NIV
I guess the bottom line is when we are being honest about our grief and pain, we must not sin.  And we must continue to praise God, because we know all of his judgements are right.  Hope these words can motivate you somehow. 
Oh, one more thing. I talked last night about "going to bed"  - I don't mean that going to bed always has to mean going to sleep - I mean that more in the way of "escaping" - getting out of the mainstream of things.  "I'm going to bed" can mean I'm going to meditate, I'm going to study, I'm going to watch TV, I'm going to knit - but it is happening in my bed. 


Win said...

Jes - another side to this question must also be honesty. If someone ask "How are you?" and I answer "fine" when in reality I am not fine and could really use their prayers then this is also sin.

No only have I lied but I am also depriving others of the opportunity to minister to me.

I think we all find it easier to minister to others than to receive the service of others. But if no one allowed us inside our walls of "I'm fine" then we would all be poorer because of our deceitful "self-sufficiency."

As with so many things in our Christian lives it is a matter of balance and of seeking His path for me and what He requires of me -- which may not be what He requires of someone else.

Laura said...

"I guess the bottom line is when we are being honest about our grief and pain, we must not sin."

That's such a great line. I am so conscious about not sinning in my ANGER but I forget about other emotions (sad, happy, frustration, etc) which are also God given and are good. But this reminder to watch for sin in those emotions... powerful and convicting.

I continue to pray for you, sweet friend.

Love you.