If I have a resolution for 2012, it is this:
Stop praying for things I'm not willing to work for.
The usual phrase is "be careful what you wish for: you might get it." For me, it's "Be careful what you pray for: you might have to work for it." For all of the miracles in the books we call the Bible, I don't think life works like that very often.
If one were to pray for stronger muscles, would the expectation be that one morning the muscles would just be stronger? More likely, opportunities would present themselves for the muscles to be exercised.
One story I have often heard is about a person praying for patience, and then getting stuck in traffic and stopped behind freight trains.
My mistake was asking to trust God more.
Of course I didn't wake up trusting God more.
Instead, as a condition of my starting Clinical Pastoral Education
, I had to have a Measles
, and Varicella antibody titer test
, which required a routine blood draw.
On Tuesday, December 27, a nurse and a physician made three attempts to come up with a single vial of blood. They came up with two partial tubes.
On Thursday, December 29, I got a call telling me the tubes were insufficient and I needed to come in for another draw, either Friday (December 30) by 4:00PM (I work until 5PM), or Monday (January 2) before 5PM.
I had Monday off, so I arrived at 1:45 PM to find they had closed at 1:00PM.
On Tuesday, January 3, a doctor and nurse made two more attempts to draw blood and failed. They told me a previous titer test would be ok.
On Wednesday, I called my physician's office. They couldn't find the records, but would search elsewhere. I got a call back that the records - from a previous physician - had been destroyed.
I'm starting to panic. [see that lack of trusting?] All of this HAS to be done by the 16th.
I look up my previous doctor on Google and it looks like she has relocated to Ohio. I'm hoping it's another doctor with the same name, but when I call her listed number, AT&T helpfully offers to connect me to a similar business as this number is disconnected.
This doesn't seem to be helping my trust.
I look up the physician who shared a practice with my prior physician and call her office. They have the records, and can FAX them to the place where I'm doing CPE. This gives me hope, but I still stop by the CPE site after work. They tell me it's not what they need and I will still have to give blood.
I'm losing hope. I share my worries with my spouse and with my friends on Facebook. I start to wonder if this isn't some kind of message to stop.
Thursday I have another appointment at the CPE site. Yet another doctor is going to attempt a blood draw, and he's going to try a little squiggly surface vein that has failed many times before (including one of the first draws in this saga).
I feel a pinch, and I hear and feel a little movement, and he mutters something and pulls the needle out. I know he too has failed.
The nurse shows me the full-to-the-brim vial.
of little faith.
We don't get magically stronger. We get stronger by exercising. Runners push themselves another few hundred feet. Weight lifters add a couple more pounds to what they're lifting.
What we often call "tests" might more properly be called "exercises". Our faith isn't tested so God knows how much faith we have. It's not even tested so we know how much faith we have.
Our faith is tested so that our faith may increase.
I'm going to try to remember that, when I'm praying for God to strengthen me, I'm really praying for tougher exercises.