“Wrestling with Alligators”

Written Sep 24, 2013 2:11pm by Cindy McMurry

“Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24b

My husband uses the term “Wrestling with Alligators”.  I always had some sense of what it meant, but these days it’s taken on a whole new meaning.  Have you noticed that with one significant challenge, there are many others that will  hitch a ride?  Some are easier to work through than others… but challenging they are.

This recurrence of chondrosarcoma has given us many opportunities to shout out to God, “Lord We believe!”  But help us when we our faith grows weak.  There are spiritual, emotional and physical battles.  I remember a book from years ago “Man on Three Dimensions” which addressed the body, spirit and soul.   This book helped me to see that wrestling in one area, affects all areas.  Overcoming a physical challenge requires the body, the spirit and the soul.  A spiritual or emotional battle also effects all three.  I don’t believe we can separate or divide that which God has made to work together.  But try we will… Lord help our unbelief.

Some days it feels like we’ve got it all together… Easy Peasy, no problem.  But then there are days when the alligators seem to be getting the best of us… and we cry out… “Lord, Help my unbelief.”

Our girl Bethany has had many struggles lately.  She’d been doing better, but me having another chondrosarcoma seems to have set her back a bit.  Trying to help her sort out her pain and be grounded is difficult in itself.  Add to that fear, loneliness and frustration and she becomes unhinged.  Wrestling this alligator never ends, for her or for us.  Sometimes it’s more difficult than others… Lord, help our unbelief.

Dressing, reaching, cooking, laundry… all are some big ole alligators.  I will wrestle them… yes I will.  I’ve learned that if I stand on my tip toes and brace my right arm with my left hand I can reach a bit.  I can dress myself, but wrestling into clothes has aggravated a hemangioma on my left elbow so I’m trying to only dress myself in a crunch and relying on John otherwise.  (He’s been wonderful, by the way.)   Thank the Lord for frozen meals… you may not call it cooking, but right now, it’s what I can do.  This is a huge departure from our normal… but we will survive it.  I can do laundry, yes I can.  Well, sort of.  I can wash and dry… it’s the folding and hanging that requires creativity, twisting, turning and using my tip toes.  Thank God for clothing that does not require ironing and for strong legs and feet.

We’ve hired a housekeeper.  Believe it or not, hiring someone to clean my home was very difficult.  Don’t misunderstand, she’s doing fine work.  It’s just hard to ask for help.  I’ve always adapted and managed in the past.  My parents are “Can Do” people and are not afraid to tackle jobs that seem bigger than them.  They taught us to be self sufficient, and to be “Can Do” people too.  Now, there are times I find myself saying “I can’t” and I don’t like it.  I feel less than whole… Less than able… Just less.   “Lord, Help my unbelief.”

In my adult life I’ve never had to be as physically dependent on others as I am now.  Trust me, it’s not easy.  When I had cancer before, I still had my right arm to cover everything I needed to do.  There was very little I didn’t work out someway.  Changing a ceiling light was one of the few things I could not do… now it’s a different story.  But how can that be?  It was just a couple inches of bone and cartilage, not much in the big scheme of things.  But that little bone being removed has added a lot of alligators to my daily routine.  Will it change, I sure hope so.  In the mean time, I’m committed to learning whatever it is that God will teach me through this.  And today it would seem that I need to learn to trust that God’s not too small, that God is able… that in my weakness God can strengthen my faith.  While “I believe”… it’s a great comfort to know that when I grow weak, God is willing to hear me when I say “Lord, help my unbelief.”

Many of you are wrestling alligators today too.  Some of you are facing health crisis, some are facing personal, financial, relationship and/or spiritual challenges.  God hears your cry, he knows.  He’s willing to hear your word… “Help my unbelief.”

We are lifting you up to God.  May the peace of God reign in your life.

We love you,
Cindy and John


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