I take pills obsessively. Six times a day. Every day. At the same time. Sometimes three pills. Sometimes 15 pills. I’m not a drug addict, my body just depends on the little tablets to function. Wait, isn’t that the definition of a drug addict?
I usually carry 4-5 pill bottles in my backpack. They are all stacked on top of each other in one pocket. Sometimes I organize them incorrectly, with the one I need at the very bottom. In class, I end up pulling out one bottle after another. Snobby glances from the smart kid. Curious looks from the pothead in the corner. He wants me to share.
When I first received my diagnosis, I was overwhelmed by the amount of medication I took every day. Fistful my fistful, I would send pills down my gullet into my ever-shrinking stomach. It seemed so foreign. My life had been restrained to these pill bottles, as if every long “placanoxintrapahar” name were now my describing attributes.
Now, the bottles are just a part of the motions. I take ten prescription drugs. I counted the other day. My kidneys have been counting them all the while, the sharp pains in my lower back won’t let me forget. God has a tendency of using scary situations and making them beautiful. Gee whiz, way to sound cheesy.
I was recently reading a passage of scripture contrasting the strength of sin and death to the grace and life Christ brings. Romans 5 describes the great power of sin and death with scary accuracy. I remember reading this passage as a young mind and being fascinated at the many levels behind the words and the logical construction of the argument. As my brain used to mull over the complexities, my mind now enjoys the passage in its simplicities.
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
No matter how strong the darkness is, no matter how much it takes, the much stronger light brings more and far greater things.
This is how my current mind functions. Simple. Concise. To the point… wait, what? Where am I? What was I discussing?
The same book, Romans 4 discusses Abraham, the founding father of the Israelites. The verses discuss how he had faith that God would give him a son, and his faith stood unwavering despite his circumstances. Though being old as dirt (the bible says as good as dead) can be scary and confusing, God used the darkness in Abraham’s life to bring about a powerful light, so great that Abraham could have never imagined what that light looks like today.
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[d] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
I bet you as soon as Sarah gave birth to Isaac, being old wasn’t so scary to Abraham anymore. It was custom, it was the ordinary, he was used to it. He was used to that arthritis in his hips, the hemorrhoids, the muffled noise of Sarah’s nagging after he turns off his hearing-aid. All of the sudden, the entity that held so much fear became the vessel through which God would build a nation, and eventually, bring about the Savior of the World. Being old was just a “thing.”
In the same way, God uses the inconceivable and impossible in our lives to bring about the best. It’s not to say those situations or things aren’t frightening, and it’s not to negate their menacing shadow. God likes to use the broken things to bring about the best.
One of my favorite rappers says:
“I know that you like to fix things with them tools that are broken.”
Whatever that scary, dark, menacing, painful, and impossible thing is in your life, just know that God will likely use it to yield things you could never comprehend. Just like those fistfuls of pills from those countless pill bottles seemed frighting at first, I am getting stronger daily by the effects of those prescriptions. I have made astonishing strides in my health. Plus, I’m building a nifty igloo out of the empty containers.
Abraham was a pill bottle. He was a vessel for something so much greater. I’m a pill bottle, my weak body is the vessel for something bigger.
You’re a pill bottle. You’re full of side effects and unknown causations, but you can believe in God for something so much better.
So, those orange pill bottles? They’re a lesson. Crap dang it, I sound like my mother.