The ARM of St. Michael
Have you ever been convicted by the question: “Is God healing you the way you want Him to?…”
Recovery may bring us to the help of experts and knowing friends who comfort us with the message that while the cycles of passions may not disappear altogether, with each recurring episode they will become less acute.
Yet the diminution of symptoms never seems to progress fast enough, right? The human desire for liberation seems to always include fixation on a particular outcome or an absence of a particular pain. Then, and only then, is it permissible to announce, “I feel I am healed”.
But this is to find only relief, when the more daring quest is for healing. Healing is hard, it demands change and transformation. Author Freda Emmons calls healing a flame.
Recovery is submission to The Doctor, Who is working the remedy without ceasing. Who is so thorough that His creature cannot keep track of all He is doing nor perhaps endure it with enough patience. Just like our marvelously made creature life, our recovery is beyond us.
We simply cannot reach by ourselves the place where the pernicious, disagreeable source of the problem ultimately seems to hide. We cannot sift our own depths to find how to construct the wise fearless choices of virtue.
While I am attached to my desired outcome, the Lord extends His greater lesson of obedience. If Christ learned obedience by what He suffered, are we the needful frail, less eligible?
Supernatural trust, simplicity, surrender to the Divine Will; are not these the marks of full human submission, to redemption, bowing to the unimpeachable sovereignty of God in all things?
What mercy to see and say “OH! that’s what’s going on in my long walk toward health!” In order to get there I have to stop standing in the doorways. I have to let go, of sin or the past or the flesh, or even my recovery, impossible though it may seem.
Passing and illusory, flesh and sin give way to spirit and faith, the solid reality. Along the way will also disappear “understanding everything”, fearful presumption, all or nothing expectations that are too small and too ideal.
Submission gives something greater than can be humanly requested: divine serenity. Jesus did not eschew the sinful world ‘as it is’, but brought the only peace in the midst of what is. Thereby, vanquishing the Enemy. Does not the Cross set out the example with the holy and all conquering silence of endurance?
We can apply “What would love do?” to the dilemma, to our weakness, to our fear, to our intractable self –reliance, to our deep guilt, to our limitations, to our creature impatience, to our what-am-I-doing- wrong pleas.
Does it all come down to the heart yet? A love that tries, at least once, self-forgetfulness, self-denial, resistance, manly effort without resentment, costly suffering. The saints sing “love alone accomplishes everything”. Love alone can do anything. There is a supreme reason why recovery goes slow.
God of all, give us hearts to try the unthinkable, the heroic daring to mean no to our dead past and stupid-persistent affliction, in our search for freedom and peace. We ask with faith and hope, in Jesus name. Amen.