Do you ever find yourself asking, “Why?”
What an utterly useless, silly question. Of course, you have.
Right now I am faced with two why’s.
The first is: Why don’t the Japanese drink more water?
Seriously. It’s like they’re cacti. They take two sips, and they don’t need any more, while I sit in my chair, swigging down three glasses of refreshing aqua. During the day, I find myself at the strangely, but oddly conveniently placed drink machines. Oh, and when I say “strange” and “odd,” I mean it. For example, I’ve seen more than one vending machine in the middle of a rice patty (a.k.a. a rice field). Now you know. (I was told that the machines are around so that people won’t dehydrate. But, what ever happened to taking a water bottle with you? Uuuuuuuuummm…That’s not popular here. I’m bringing it into vogue starting now.)
Back on topic.
When I go out into society for longer than a couple of hours, I usually end up at one of these blue-call-box-like machines more than twice a day. If you tally up how much a drink costs, I can end up having spent between just ¥110 to ¥660 a day because I need to keep from dying of thirst. You may say the $5.40 is worth it, but, every time I go out? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
The Japanese somehow survive on just one of those Coke Mini’s full of tea or water and a couple of sips at dinner, but not this girl. I’ve gotta have that 64 oz. of sweet eau lest I perish. Case in point, yesterday. We had only been out of the house for 45 minutes when I felt the need to quench my thirst, but I had to wait for another 2 hours before I could do so. When we reached our destination, I took a well timed opportunity to buy a drink while no one was looking. I swear, it’s like it’s a crime to admit that your “mortal form has grown weak” and yell, “I need sustenance.” Naturally, I knew that I wouldn’t get another chance at water for a while, so I made that bottle last as long as I could…two hours. That took some serious self-restraint on my parched part.
At lunch, three hours after my last sip of water, I was portioned only one child-sized glass the life-giving beverage. I did my best to make it last.
Our friend only took three, tiny, polite sips from her glass, requested tea for us, and then said she had had too much to drink and excused herself.
Charlotte and I looked at each other and both said the same thing. “How is that too much?!”
I am still baffled. Even with buying an extra drink on the way home, I was still so dehydrated that I had to go strait to bed after I finished off a huge tumbler of water.
I suppose this opens the opportunity for me to say, “Not ‘cool.’ Not cool.”
The second “why” on my list has to be this: Why is my asthma acting up?
For those who don’t know, I’ve had asthma since birth. Let’s not be overly dramatic…Hahahaha. For those of you who know me personally, and some who’ve figured it out, the latter statement is a joke.
I haven’t had a serious episode since well before I left home, and I honestly thought I would be able to get all the way through my first three months without one. But, asthma is funny and sneaky. It likes to wait until your nice and comfortable with your routine, and then, BAM! It jumps out of its dark corner and punches you in the gut.
This couldn’t come at a worse time for me. I need to be practicing. I need to be singing. The first performance of the concert we’ve been working so hard for is coming up in three weeks, and all I can do is sit here and ask God, “Why?”
Maybe I’ve been too complacent about my practice. Maybe He wants to spur me to work harder. I don’t know. I’m just a bit confused. Maybe I need to rely on Him more. What if it’s all three? I’ve been earnestly seeking His counsel and praying for His help. Is this what I get for that?
I’m sitting here chuckling at my own helplessness. Have you ever met a severe asthmatic, who sing’s for a living? Well, now you have. Hi. This happens to me sometimes, and each time I’m left wondering if I didn’t learn my lesson the last time.
And, now, I’m reminded of Paul.
It could be the influence of having a bajillion Paul’s in my family, but I always liked Paul’s testimony, but at this moment it seems a little more real. He asked God three time to remove the thorn in his flesh, and each time God refused.
WHY? Without it I could serve so much more fully, freely, frequently! I could sing without any worries that my next breath might trigger an attack. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing my voice so often. I wouldn’t have to stress out whenever a little humidity struck. Would I?
Actually, I probably still would worry about all those things regardless of the asthma. Such is the life of a singer. Should I worry? No.
Because, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
Even if I didn’t have asthma, I know that there would be something else reminding me of my weakness and helping me remember to rely on God. It’s not by my might nor by my power but by His spirit. (Zechariah 4:6) I have no power of myself. If God so wished, he could easily rid me of all my worries by simply taking my voice. Certainly, then I wouldn’t have to worry if my asthma disrupted another practice or performance. But…
He is gracious, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. He will guide me and protect me despite this thorn in my flesh that makes weak. I am blessed because I will trust in God. (Psalm 84:11-12)
So, though it is hard for me to experience the hoarseness, the dizziness, and the hacking, I will trust that God knows what is best for me. He knows what will bring Himself more glory, and I would rather be sick than to bring shame on His name because of my own pride. Like Paul, I desire to have glory and honor and praise heaped upon me (I am a performer after all.), but I will not be a fool and will tell you the truth. You should not think of me any more than the next person. (II Cor. 12:6) I just want to serve Jesus. I just want to please Him.
So, I shall say with Paul, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Cor. 2:9)