Just before my husband and I got engaged, we went to a christian conference at the time (Soul Survivor UK) and there was a fantastic talk on “The kingdom of now and not yet” which we took great comfort in, especially as my father-in-law was very ill at the time.
The talk encouraged us that God’s will will be done. That when we seek and petition Him with our prayers He always answers, whether we hear and see a yes or a no, or a not yet. He is invested in our situation and His will will be done in our lives and our healing, even if that manifests as a “not yet” because His healing can come in death when we join Him. He always gives an answer, even if it’s not the one we want or expect.
We took comfort in this when we lost my father-in-law, we took comfort in this when we had our eldest son and then when I was hospitalised because my gallbladder ruptured. We have continued to take comfort in this with the trials and tribulations life has thrown at us.
When we had our second son his health was never quite right, from irregular stools from 4 days old, to eczema following his vaccinations which turned out to be symptomatic of an immune hypersensitivity triggered and exacerbated by them. This began a challenging voyage into identifying why his immune system was haywire, and how we could support his healing. Then came identifying the dozens upon dozens of food and environmental triggers that can causing anything from flushing to anaphylaxis.
There are few things in life as scary as holding your 18m old in your arms as their lips turn blue because of respiratory distress, triggered by a dust-mite allergy.
Before that reaction we had felt God speak to us as a family and assure us that this would not be to the death, but for the journey.
Though, when your child is being starved of oxygen before your eyes the fears slip in…
…what if I misunderstood God.
…what if our journey includes caring for a child that is neurological or otherwise damaged from oxygen deprivation?
We don’t know what our journey’s will hold. But we can trust in God.
For we know He works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
Which brings me back to the kingdom of the journey…
God has gifted us with free will, and the responsibility of stewardship of the dominion He has put us in. As a global scale we have neglected and abused this responsibility, now our collective health is suffering.
We live in a world plagued by illnesses, autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions and mental health disorders, cancers and so much more. Our bodies don’t function in the way they should because our environment, stressors, medications and nutrition have manipulated our genetic expression to make us more prone to being ill. We have entered the first generation that predict children won’t live as long as their parents.
This is not progress.
So, it’s our responsibility to bring the kingdom in our journeys.
People share testimonies all the time of salvation and healing, which – Hallelujah – is worth rejoicing over; BUT we need to bring our testimonies of the journey.
That salvation isn’t the end of our transformation, that miraculous healing isn’t the only kind worth talking about. We need to share our lives testimony. Through the ups and downs, battles with the normative practices that have played such a huge role in the condition of our world and health. We need to bring God’s glory back and rejoice in His kingdom where we are.
Be the change you want to see in the world, is a cliche for a reason. But we are called to lead by example, in our faith, which should include our stewardship of our health and our environment both close to us and on a global scale.
The Kingdom of the journey, to me, is trusting God’s will and plan for our lives, because even though miracles do happen, the bigger witness can be to bring glory and healing through the trials and stewardship of our lives.