Last night I saw ‘Miracles From Heaven.’
I won’t tell you too much because I want you to go see it. But a lot of the movie is about the mom questioning her faith, wondering if there was a loving God, how could her child be suffering so much? I can relate to her.
When times get tough, I don’t automatically praise God, I don’t always take joy in my suffering, I don’t right away drop to my knees to pray continuously. That is almost hardly ever my first response. My flesh takes over most of the time.
When I was 10 years old and my dad came home to tell me he was diagnosed with cancer, I had my childlike faith and I knew God was going to take care of us. I told him that. I remember that feeling. But when my dad died just six short months later after complications in the ICU, things began to change for me. I never saw it coming and since that day, things have been different. My childlike faith slowly faded, my eyes began to open to the suffering of this world, of sickness and of death. I had to grow up and fast, not having much of that carefree, faith filled life of a child.
Do I take joy in this suffering? Do I rejoice always? Do I pray continuously?
I would love to say “Of course, I do!” to all of that.
I believe every thing happens for a reason and I believe in miracles. I’ve heard about miracles and I’ve seen miracles. But not every thing I pray for happens the way I pray for them. I pray for healing and it doesn’t always come in earthly form. I pray for situations that don’t always work out the way I was praying. Does that mean I stop praying? No.
And yes, I eventually take joy in the suffering. I eventually rejoice. I eventually pray.
In August 2013, someone I adored my entire life was killed in a single car drunk driving accident. When she died, I got very sick and had a really hard several months. I was devastated. Something was seriously wrong with me and I didn’t know how to shake it. Her mom, who I loved very much my whole life, was sinking into immediate depression. I grieved by comforting her because the Lord had comforted me every day of my life. But eventually, it wasn’t something I could change. It had to be between her and God. We’ve struggled since then, we’ve won since then, we’ve had good days and we’ve had bad days. Almost three months ago, she passed away. I remember when she died thinking “If anything else happens, I’m not going to be able to handle it.” I felt like I was just going to fall over if one more thing happened. I wasn’t scared of it, I wasn’t angry, I was tired of it. I was honestly exhausted by it. I didn’t want to take it anymore.
About 2 months later, almost a month ago, my granddad was taken to the hospital. Diagnosed with cancer a week later, and stage 4 the next week. I have been thrown into this whirlwind of watching him suffer. I have not once taken joy in this suffering, I have prayed for his suffering to go away. And that hasn’t happened. I have not once rejoiced for this situation. I have prayed for it to go away. And that hasn’t happened.
Have I lost faith? Have I questioned God? Have I doubted His Goodness? Have I wondered where He is? What He is doing? Why is this happening?
Yes and no to every one of those questions.
Where I have lost faith, He restores it.
Where I have questioned Him, He has given me peace.
Where I have doubted Him, He has given me confidence.
Where I have wondered where He is, He has shown Himself to me.
Where I have asked what He is doing, He has given me comfort.
Where I have asked why is this happening, He has given me rest.
When this happened, I began to wonder if my faith was strong enough, big enough, ready enough to hold me up, to take this on, to carry me through. And I have realized it’s not. But through that, I have realized my faith isn’t what holds me up, takes this on, carries me through, Jesus Christ is who holds me up, takes this on and carries me through. I can’t do this on my own, not even my faith can do it. Nothing of my strength, will or power can do this but Christ’s Strength, Will and Power can and will do it all. All I need to do is fall into His Arms and trust.
My word for 2016 was REST. And 2016 has been everything but rest. But maybe this is what God means.. “Fall into My Arms, trust Me and REST, for I can handle this.”
Our God is big enough to handle our faithlessness, our questions, our doubt and our wonders. He is big enough to handle our anger, our fear, our sadness and our devastation. He is with us through it all. He knows our deepest thoughts and our biggest worries, and He died on the cross knowing it all. He died on the cross to give us grace and forgiveness of our sins- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. All of our sins.
Without my dad and now with my granddad sick, I have felt more fatherless than ever in the last few weeks. It’s a scary feeling. I feel like I’m back to being 12 again and lost without my daddy. But in those feelings, God showed me 2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.” He is taking care of me. Just like He is taking care of you. Whatever you’re going through, whether it’s your faith, your heart, your mind, your strength.. whatever it is, God is taking care of you and He will never leave you. You are not alone and you never will be. No matter what. Lean on Him. Give all your cares to Him because He cares for you. He’s the only one who will give you every thing you need. Even that which you never knew you needed. He knows what you need, so you can trust Him.
It’s not always about faith in miracles and healing. But having faith in Jesus Christ that He is what He says He and who He says He will always be and that you will be okay no matter what, even when you’re not strong enough to believe it all.
Because your faith might not always be strong enough but Jesus will always be strong enough.
I will boast in my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
“My Grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
He makes it all beautiful in His Time,