God and Diabetes.

The Live-In Niece’s parents were in for a visit this past weekend, and we did something that I don’t do much anymore. I went to mass with them on Sunday morning. Since I was in church, and since my awareness of diabetes is at a peak during this month and this year, I couldn’t help but look for a connection between the two. Or an explanation, at least. It was hard to find.

I’m not one of the people who uses the curse of diabetes as a way to explain why God doesn’t exist. I’m also not a person who believes that God has somehow “blessed” me with this disease, or that it’s part of “God’s Master Plan”.

My beliefs lie in the middle somewhere. I’m not sure that it’s a phrase that’s actually in the Bible, but I do believe the Lord works in mysterious ways. I also believe that diabetes is mysterious. So they have that in common.

I don’t believe that God willingly gives us a disease like diabetes. I know that I haven’t been perfect throughout my life, but to me, God didn’t smite me with something, and he didn’t let the devil come into my body and break my pancreas because I was somehow living my life wrong. Just like your father won’t push you into the path of an oncoming car just to teach you not to play in the street, I find it hard to believe that my Heavenly Father would willingly allow something like diabetes to invade someone’s, anyone’s body just to prove a point.

On the other hand, I always cringe at the phrase that goes something like “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. Really? Seems to me that with diabetes, I have a disease that has no cure, with a laundry list of possible complications, that’s with me all the time. Unless we find a cure, it’s a fact that at some point in my life, I won’t be able to handle diabetes anymore. So what about that?

And I’ve had so many twists and turns over the years with this disease. We all have. Times where we eat right, exercise, manage our glucose well, and the A1c results show it. There are also times where we eat right, exercise, manage our glucose well, and our body rebels on us, and the A1c results show that too. How do you explain that?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I rarely deal in absolutes. As far as I’m concerned, very few things can be explained with a simple blanket statement. There’s always a little gray in there somewhere. For me, right now at least, there is no absolute explanation.

I don’t know God’s take on diabetes, and I doubt that I will until it’s all over for me. I also don’t know what’s going to happen with my diabetes over the next few decades, assuming I have a few more decades left. Right now anyway, I think I have to get comfortable with not having all of the answers.

You know what? That’s really frustrating. But despite the frustration, my faith gives me a certain comfort, putting me in a centered place where even though I don’t understand, I’m comfortable. Before you ask, there’s not an answer for that either. I can’t explain it, but I know what I feel. I also feel like God has helped me at various times during my life with diabetes when maybe it wasn’t apparent to the naked eye. Like when I passed out on the subway home and my friend from the gym happened to be on the same train, saw me having problems, and informed the transit police, who were surely ready to arrest me for being under the influence of something. Very mysterious. I have to be careful to not let my beliefs lead to complacency, but there are times when I feel I am protected, and helped, and pointed in the right direction.

I don’t have all of the answers, but I’ll keep looking for them. In a simple Sunday service, I found plenty of questions.

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  • Scott K. Johnson  On November 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Very thought provoking post, Stephen. I am a man of faith, and I often find comfort in the thought that the Lord uses all things for good.


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