You run into someone... could be an acquaintance, could be a very close friend... and you ask, "How are you?"
And, they reply with the super vague, "Fine!"
It seems the closer you are to the person, the less likely you are to be happy about such a flippant answer.
But, let me give you something to consider.
As a mom of a child who has had a long battle with epilepsy, sometimes "fine" is all I've got.
It's really no disrespect to you.
It doesn't mean I don't trust you or that you are not close enough for me to be honest.
I'm not purposely withholding information from you as some sneaky judgment against you.
Often times there is just not a simple answer to that question. Kids with long-term health issues have such complicated daily lives that, especially in a store or a restaurant where I've run into you, I don't know what to share and what not to. I never know how many details people want.
Every parent with a kid who needs extra care has seen that look of terror in people's eyes when you start to share too much too soon and you realize too late that they were actually hoping things were just "fine."
And, do you want to know how she is or how I am or how our family is doing? Because none of those are mutually exclusive and ALL of those can be loooong answers.
If you really want to know, I'm happy to share. It's always a relief to have someone truly listen. I can put on the tea kettle or a pot of coffee. Just give me a 10 minute heads up so I can make sure my kids are also ready for a guest. (and bring donuts... or muffins... *wink*)
And, there are times when "fine" is the truth.
Every moment my daughter is not seizing on the ground, I am fine.
Every moment my phone is not ringing with school on the other end, I am fine.
Every day we get her out of her morning clusters in enough time to get to school
Every day the red-tape isn't an issue and all the paperwork goes well, I am fine.
Every time I get to hear her giggle, I am fine.
Every day there isn't a new procedure or test or medicine to try, I am fine.
Every moment that her brother and sister are happy and feeling loved despite all of this, I am fine.
It doesn't matter what is going on with me most of the time.... I AM fine.
But, I'm fine.
The truth is, life is hard. We live in a fallen, pain-filled world. God didn't promise that life would be easy. He NEVER promised that He would protect us from more than we could handle. The exact opposite really. He confirms over and over in scripture that this life would be hard and full of challenges and He encourages us to face these things with courage and bravery, knowing He'd be right there with us, every step of the way...
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." Jesus speaking in John 16:33So, I'm fine.
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith,..." 1 Peter 5:8-9
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
*See? It's our responsibility to actively resist the enemy.*
"I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalm 27:13-14
God is with me.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9Therefore, I'm fine.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
I am fine.
So,... how are you?