"Lo, I am with you all the appointed days." Matthew 28:20
Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear. Rather look at them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto; do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, He will bear you in his arms.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow, and every day.
Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Dear friends of ours are walking with their daughter through a similar situation to what we have been through with both Caleb and Claire...a mysterious illness that has taken months to diagnose.
Yesterday, after 10 months of pursuing answers, they finally got a diagnosis. And it wasn't the one they hoped for. Rather it was a difficult one that is most likely a life-long (though prayerfully and hopefully, manageable) disease.
What do you do with that? How do you respond to news like this?
We all had prayed. We all had trusted God. And yet the unimaginable happened.
How many times I have been faced with this point of a crossroad, faced with a decision.
One choice is to take the bitter path and curse God.
The other choice is to believe God in spite of the pain and suffering.
And where does each path lead?
Years ago I did a Beth Moore study called "Believing God". It was life changing for me. We were in the midst of Caleb's first health situation (where he ended up having having emergency intestinal surgery and a long year afterward of recovery) and I was wrestling with God about it.
Every day of this study of God's Word felt as if it had been written for me. The pages are covered with my thoughts, tears, and prayers for God to change me as I knew I wasn't in the place I wanted to be.
I can't find the exact spot in the study right now, but I remember the essence of one of the things that Beth said that changed the course of my life. Essentially she said:
"I would rather die believing God, than to have lived questioning Him."
This was one of my crossroads. Would I be a "believer" or a "questioner".
I wrote on the pages of my book: "I want to be a person with a feverish pursuit of God."
And so I've chosen to believe Him, even in the face of unexpected diagnosis, painful news or sufferings.
This is not an easy road for the faint of heart! And life certainly didn't become a bed of roses after that.
But in laying down my questions, seeking to know God and HIS heart, and believing Him for His BEST...I have been changing inside ever since.
I don't like a day like this when I hear news of a difficult diagnosis. But I'd sure rather walk with God through it than turn the other way and leave Him because of it.
No. I choose to BELIEVE. Even when it's hard. Because in the midst of the suffering, He is there.