After we had just received the news about my wife's cancer my only response at the time was:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
In the instant this whirlwind of a storm came into our lives, my first response was, "What can I hang onto?" Where do I go for security? This is a real difficult circumstance in our lives. I've heard of many men leaving their wife or a wife leaving her husband during times like this. Many people ask this same question, "where do I go?" And some coward away or default to what they think offers them security or an illusion thereof. Grief, struggle and suffering is like a refining fire where we are tested.
When we face uncertain times and everything in life seems to turn upside down, where do we find our footing, our security? My first response was to turn to our Father in heaven and to His living word. Yes, there are times when I find coping mechanisms like Facebook, Netflix, eating junk food and so on. But when everything else is in transition and changing, I know I can hold on to God's promises. And unfortunately God does not always lead us down easy street but may in fact lead us down very difficult life journeys.
Jesus led his followers and disciples down some really difficult roads during his earthly life too. He challenged them to follow him as he healed people, and as he faced questioning from the religious leaders. He taught them things that challenged what they previously understood as the norm for living and challenged their interpretation of the scriptures as well. A large crowd of disciples were following Jesus and listening to him as he taught. In John 6, Jesus fed over 5000 people with just a few loaves and fish. The people were in awe! "Free food, we won't have to work," they may have thought. They wanted him to be there king! Jesus' twelve disciples then saw him walk on water. They were actually in terror and thought he was a ghost! Their emotions and thoughts moved from doubt, to awe, to fear and all the while learning to have faith in Jesus. "Who is this?" was often their question.
Then Jesus challenged them yet again with the teaching that he indeed is the bread of life. (Read through the whole section of John 6 for the details). But seeing many of his followers and disciples turning away at his statements, Jesus turned to his twelve disciples.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
This statement is all I can say during this trial. I hate seeing my wife hurting, uncomfortable and in pain. I hate that she has to go through these awful treatments. It's even more discouraging that the treatments haven't shown the improvement or cure that we are hoping for yet. But, "...to whom shall we go? Jesus has the words of eternal life." My wife has put her trust in him. I have put my trust in him. There is nowhere else to turn! Control is totally out of our hands. Modern medicine's best efforts may or may not work. No other person, psychology or religion can do anything. And we certainty cannot heal ourselves from our own will power or mindset. It certainly helps the day to day attitudes and enjoyment of life, however, only the Creator, our Daddy in heaven is able to heal my wife. He loves her even more than I do. I can trust that because God's word promises us this very thing.
Our hopes and dreams, our lives are but a mist in the greater panorama of God's vision and plan for us humans. From our perspective we see what is being taken away from us and the pain we are going through. From God's perspective He doesn't lose one of those that are His own. We just can't see how this all works out. But Jesus calls, "come follow me!" We follow. Many follow Jesus for the good things He gives like good food, prosperity, health, you fill in the blank. However when He says, "follow me up this hill, carry your own cross and come and die." Will we follow? He went to the cross and then to the grave. The only thing certain for all of us men and women on earth is that one day we will face death. When will we face it? How long will we live? Only God knows. But when Jesus calls, will you follow him? If we will follow him to the cross and the grave, we will also follow him beyond. He rose from the dead! Hope! Resurrection!
Follow him. Jesus is our hope and salvation. He took our penalty of death upon himself, so we wouldn't have to pay for our sins and be separated from God FOREVER! Do you believe?
How much God must love us that he sent Jesus so that we may not have to be separated by the second death. Perhaps this sting of death is to point us to recognize God's love for us so that we aren't separated from our God for eternity.
I'd love to hear your comments.
God's grace and peace to you today.
And keep praying for Laina!
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