Aside from some of the other things I dabble in, I also run a Facebook page supporting awareness of childhood cancers. When I saw this post today it set me back and made me truly reflect on my own faith and inner strength. At the end of the day I can turn off my computer and retreat to the den. Or I can go crawl into bed and leave reality. But the daily struggles that parents of children with cancers face is their reality. This post was very humbling. I invite you to read her story, then visit and “LIKE” their Facebook page, Pray for Grey – The Journey Continues
I’ve stepped away from this page for a while, searching my own heart, seeking God and trying to make sense of life in general. I am human, I am weak and my faith falters at times. It has always been my desire to keep this page positive, uplifting, encouraging and hope filled… but in doing so, I sometimes wonder if I have created a false view of who I am as a person and as a mother to a child with such huge health challenges.
Our life is filled with ups and downs, strengths and weaknesses, rejoicing and heartache, trust and fear… It is a roller coaster ride of emotions that one cannot fully understand until they have walked this road themselves. Faith is built up and torn down, sometimes prayers seem to fade into the distance and silence seems to be their answer.
It is amazing how loud and overwhelming silence can be when that silence seems to be coming from the God in whom we believe and trust. Have you been there? Have you ever felt that God had walked away for a while… taken a stroll when you needed Him most? Have you ever looked up and asked, “Where are You and what on earth are You doing?”
When we find ourselves drowning in adversity or overwhelmed with heartache and brokenness, it is human nature to desire… no… to demand answers as to our sufferings.
When it comes to heartache and suffering there is no greater example than the man, Job. He had everything… God’s blessings had been upon him and he prospered immensely. But one day events unraveled and all that Job had was taken from him; all of his possessions, all of his livestock, all of his servants, all of his children… and then, even his own health. In his suffering, his friends accused him of wrong doing and turned away from him.
Who would have blamed Job for crying out in anger against the God that he had loved and served? After all… what kind of loving God would allow such heartache to fall upon one who had served Him so devoutly?
How many times I have heard this question posed… “What kind of God”… or “Where is God when…” It is Satan’s snare to trip us when we are weakened emotionally and spiritually… when life has beaten us down and we find ourselves worn and completely overwhelmed and we are at our most vulnerable… It is then that the enemy attacks and places doubts and questions in our minds and hearts.
This snare trapped Job’s wife. In the book of Job, chapter 2 and verse 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” I can imagine that Satan was never so close to a smile than at that moment as he leaned in to hear Job’s reply, confident that Job would fall to his wife’s words and his current circumstances. Everything hung on Job’s reply to his wife.
Job’s reply is both magnificent and astounding. Job 2:10 records Job’s words… “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks”.
I’m certain that is not the reply she was expecting. How magnificent and inspiring that even in all of his misery and brokenness, as he sat there covered in sores not knowing if his life would ever change, Job stood firm and even posed a question back to his wife. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity”?
Isn’t that our way? Every single day there are blessings in our lives. Some are huge and we cannot deny them, others must be sought out, but they are there. But how easily we accept those blessings, and even feel entitled to them or we credit ourselves for their existence… but the very second something doesn’t go our way we begin the blame game with God.
“Why? Why me? I live a good life; I go to church, tithe, I give to the poor, feed the hungry, care for sick children, help the elderly, and protect the animals; donate to a worthy cause… I’m a good person… I don’t deserve this!
But Job acknowledged that he served a God who had every right to do whatever He wanted to do, to allow whatever He needed to allow without obligation of explanation. Notice… I said ALLOW. I do not believe God to be the author of pain and suffering… these things come from Satan, but they are ALLOWED into our lives to shape us, mold us, grow us, restore us and even break us for the glory of God. God has no obligation to step into a hospital room and say, “Now let me offer you five reasons why this has happened to your son.” God is full of compassion and His heart breaks with ours as we face adversities, but His plan is beyond our comprehension.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. Isaiah 55:8-9
So we say, with Job, “God… I trust you. I don’t begin to know why I am going through this. But You see me, You know me, You know this hurt and Your heart breaks with mine. If I must walk this road, if there is something that I can learn, reveal it to me. If there is something someone else can learn, help me be what they need even in my brokenness. Lord, I give this to You, just get me through it. Hold me close. Deepen me. Change me and restore me”.
Job knew God was God, and that someday all that was mystery would be revealed. When we leave this life for eternity and we step into God’s presence… for the first time we will be given the panoramic view… We will see from beginning to end and then (and not until then) we will respond, “So THAT’S the reason! Now I get it!”
God is totally and completely and absolutely in control.
If you lose every single member of your family, He is in control.
If your marriage crumbles and you find yourself alone, He is in control.
If you finances crash and lead you into bankruptcy, He is in control.
If the test results are not what you had prayed for and things could not be worse, God is in control.
There is a greater plan behind it all. One day, that plan will be revealed and we will see beyond the pain and suffering and find purpose. How absolutely amazing and magnificent to see those who choose to trust Him to the very end of this vale of suffering saying;
“May His name be praised… I don’t understand it. I can’t explain it. Nevertheless, may His name be praised.”
May God enable us to raise our faith to such heights.
Covered in grace,
As you know, Lord, our culture glorifies youth. Nobody welcomes the passing of time and the aging process. May I say, though, that you make aging more enjoyable? The older I get, the more I see how I was never alone, how you were always there watching me, ready to catch me, intervening at just the right time.
I panic less these days. I still can see only a few feet in front of me–the fog of life hasn’t lifted much, but I have grown in my certainty that you are ahead of me and will watch my steps. You will reveal to me what to do when it is time. You will provide resources when I need them. “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” (Psalm 73:23,24).
I feel safe in you, Lord. You are the One I can depend on. Your love for me is rock steady. Your purposes never waver. You have given me tastes of hardship and prosperity and benefited me with both.
I am comforted by the absolute certainty you have given me that through your Son, Jesus, through his obedient life and innocent death and splendid resurrection, my life is already victorious. Through Jesus I am forgiven. Through Jesus I am immortal. I know you will take me to glory.
In the aftermath of the shooting event at the theater in Aurora, Colorado where over 70 people were wounded and 12 dead including a 3 month old, there was no doubt the discussion about gun control laws would raise its ugly head. But even though the lone gunman carried four weapons, a smoke canister, and gas mask into the facility and opened fire on innocent people, it is not time to start the ban on guns conversation again.
As Americans we tend to have this need to “fix” things right after something like this happens. The rest of the time we just point fingers, make a big stink, and do nothing. It’s all politics. The far left says, “See. If we had more control on guns we may have stopped this. The far right says, “See. If we relaxed the gun control laws more there may have been some gun-toting citizens in there to fire back on the killer”. But I really don’t think a “shoot out at the OK Corral” would have ended much better.
The time now is not to have the gun debate. Let’s talk about it another day. Today, as one nation under God, let’s pray for those who have suffered injuries, Let’s pray for the souls of those who lost their lives for no apparent reason. Let’s pray for the families of all involved. Let’s pray for those who witnessed the carnage of the event and had to live through something that no one short of our wartime military should ever see.
Tonight many of us will sit in the comfort of our homes. We will look at our spouses and children a little differently. We will appreciate them a little more. Again we are reminded how fleeting our time is on this earth, and that it can end at any moment in time. Even at a movie theater.