This is my youngest, 4-year-old granddaughter. Since she was 2, she’s had a fetish with glasses. We would catch her running around in any pair she found. Be it my reading glasses, Opa’s glasses, or the antique family pair I have as part of a display, she would come giggling & grinning, to show her latest find. And if there aren’t glasses to be had, there’s always her swimming goggles! During a late spring visit, I popped out some scratched lenses & gave them to her for play. Unknown to me, her Auntie was giving her pretty, pink, play glasses too. So on their return trip home, when my daughter captured her beaming face adorned with both pairs, I dubbed the picture “double vision.”
The past 4 months have felt like an uncontrolled, constantly evolving “blob” of time. I’ve lived on 2 separate, but intersecting, tracks – my perceived normal busy life, & my life on the medical merry-go-round. I’ve lost count of appointments (stopped at 15), phone calls & bills. There were moments I felt absolutely stir-crazy, like I was having a brain freeze, physically & emotionally. Simply put, all the information overload couldn’t be processed at one time. That’s no doubt why when diagnosed, my wise doctor told me to go home, not make any decisions, & try take in that one fact. It seemed surreal & I felt vulnerable. Life’s demands & responsibilities don’t take vacations because you get a diagnosis. Initially, people are there for you. And I deeply appreciate that. But in the long run, life goes on for them too. So you ride a great deal of this track alone, in the practical sense of time. That’s certainly true physically & emotionally too. Yesterday after I got off the phone from yet another confusing we-already-paid-that billing discussion, I vehemently declared to my honey, “I think I’m gonna lose my mind!” That moment felt like “double vision.” Imagine putting on 2 pair of glasses like my sweet grand did. If they had had prescription lenses in them, she would’ve felt utterly loopy & dizzy!
Spiritually speaking, the Bible calls this same principle double-minded. Check out the parallels in James 1:5-8. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…let him ask in faith without any doubting…one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven & tossed by the wind…let not that man expect he will receive anything from the Lord, BEING A DOUBLE-MINDED MAN, UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.”
Translated from the original Greek, that last phrase would read like this: “being a doubting waverer, unsettled & unsteady in all his manner of life or actions.” Wow, & ouch! I know that wind-tossed, driven feeling. I know the confusion resulting from trying to blend, or live out, 2 mindsets at once. It doesn’t work. It’s a waste of time & mental energy. And oddly enough, it can make you feel physically tired. These verses were written in the context of trials. (See vs 1-4) The issue addressed is how you handle that testing of faith, that produces endurance, for the long haul.
How you handle it is - admitting that you don’t have what it takes. I can’t say it any more simply than that. If you are indwelt by Jesus Christ, through His Spirit, you know what I’m saying is true. Ultimately we all lack wisdom, on our own. I’m not talking about IQ here. I’m talking about a wise, discerning understanding beyond myself, that I can only receive from God. His wisdom is the fuel for the stable mindedness (faith testing) that produces endurance. Endurance is a spiritual renovating tool in our lives…over & over...day in & day out. The result is joy. Perseverance reaps eternal rewards. (vs12) Admitting your need for God’s wisdom ultimately brings peace to your mind & emotions. The pressure is off to figure out every jot & tittle.
I’m about to take another new ride on the cancer track. Monday, August 7, I start my radiation treatments. Even though the doctor has given me his knowledge & understanding & assurance of the actual process, it’s still mind-boggling to me. I don’t take anything for granted. When I’m in position & going through the scanner for the first time, my security won’t hinge on what the doctor told me. I’ll be counting on the wisdom from my Great Physician, freely given to me in the exact doses needed for the moment, to know exactly what’s going on in my body. I’ll be counting on the fact that the Spirit of Jesus will be making me mindful of WHO I belong to. “If God places me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure & trial, much strength? No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine & is with me & dwells in me.” (Hudson Taylor)