People seem to think that saying yes to life is an invitation to live it up and party. “Eat, drink and be merry,” they say, “for tomorrow we may die.” On the other extreme are those who don’t feel they have any kind of life at all. Daily, they make the mistake of measuring their quality of life against a much higher standard than they should. Their house isn’t as big as others, they don’t make as much money, their social life isn’t as dynamic… The list of downgrades continues to the point they actually believe the lies Satan has filtered into their lives, regarding whether life is truly worth living.
While we don’t often like to admit it, our quality of life here on earth depends a lot on our attitude towards it. We can allow Satan to overwhelm us to the point we don’t feel like living; or we can take what we have and make the most of it, keeping our eyes on the Lord, using His standards and not the world’s measurement of what living is.
Years ago when I had epilepsy, people would ask me if I thought God did this to me, giving me the disease that left me disabled at the age of 20, told never to have children, even had my driver’s license taken away. From the very beginning, I knew in my heart God wasn’t out there picking on me, randomly choosing someone to strike down. No, to me life had dealt me the disease; it was caused by kids goofing around on a school bus in junior high, resulting in the injury that led to brain surgery, that six years later brought on the epilepsy, one month after I was married. I knew in my heart God was looking to see what I would do with this disease. Would I allow it to take over me or would I turn to God to conqueror it, resulting in a closer walk with Him?
I have to admit that for the first seven years, I didn’t do well. I was making the decision in my heart that life wasn’t worth living; in fact, I had no life. No matter what I did, I had seizures. I lost everything and had nothing, as far as my attitude was concerned. I refused to look past the wall of bitterness I had erected in my heart and mind. Finally, after years of my engaging in a long pity party, doctors discovered the cause and the possible cure of my epilepsy. The scar tissue from my brain surgery was the cause; the cure was getting rid of the 90% of what they called “stress caused seizures” in order to have the brain surgery to cure the remaining epileptic ones.
The doctors’ solution for me was to see a licensed psychiatrist. My solution was to take it to the Lord. I knew in my heart that if I was allowing stress to have that big of a control over me, then I wasn’t relying on the Lord as I should. God was giving me a choice to say “Yes” to a better life or stay where I was and go nowhere. The quality of my life was now in my hands and I needed to do something with it. Giving in to life wasn’t going to defeat Satan; giving up on myself would get me nowhere, either. I had to stand my ground, knowing I wasn’t alone. Soon, I would learn what it meant to pray without ceasing, as I constantly talked to the Lord, trying to figure out what was bothering me or what I was permitting in my life that was causing these seizures.
The biggest obstacle to overcome was the anger I felt toward the girl who contributed to my initial head injury. Being angry with her and blaming her for my disease was only postponing a possible cure for what ailed me. After all, she was only responsible for the 10% of true epileptic seizures; the other 90% I was bringing upon myself.
Five years later, the victory came when my stress seizures were gone and I was able to have the surgery that completed my healing process. Physical healing was mine at last; more important was the spiritual healing I received. God taught me a lot in the five-year, one-on-one course I found myself taking with a Teacher Who had more faith in me than I had in myself; Who patiently stood by waiting for me to make my choice on whether I was going to say “Yea” or “Nay” to life itself. I voted, “Yea.” Today, my vote is still to say “Yes” to life, no matter how rough the road, for Christ is my standard, the ingredient that makes my life worth living.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord, that we can have a life through You, one here on earth but more importantly the one we can have for all eternity: an excellent life in heaven with You, one full of quality. Forgive us, Lord, for the days we forget what life is really all about and live it as the world would. Amen.
Copyright 2007 by Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing