The past three weeks have been especially tough for my church family.
First, a delightfully sweet man was rushed to the ER with chest pains. A few hours later he had a heart attack and immediate surgery was necessary. Next, a young family had to rush their fifteen year old daughter to the hospital because she was in need of a transfusion. In an entirely different family, a young father was diagnosed with a “weakened heart”.
I believe that nearly everyone in my church have broken hearts for all these families.
But then today, another email from the mother of the girl I spoke of above was sent out. In addition to all the other sufferings she has endured already, she has now developed blood clots. And have I mentioned that she’s been in the hospital for a week and a half already?
Enough is enough!
I can’t take this anymore!
I fall to my knees, “Lord, please help them,” I beg.
I am reminded to dive into the Scriptures. I open them up to Psalms. Every emotion possible is captured in that book. Anger, despair, joy, love, hurt, grief, it’s all there.
I am pointed to Psalm 107. As I read it, I can’t help but to notice the recurring theme of troubles and deliverance. It is clear that yes, we have troubles, but with it also comes the peace that our Lord gives by knowing and trusting in His deliverance.
I wish I could make everything better for these three people. I really do. I wish I could wave a magic wand and restore all of them to health. But I can’t. I’m just not capable of that. I don’t have that power or authority.
And so I fall to my knees and petition the Lord on their behalf. I beg for His mercy. I plead for His goodness. I ask for the Great Physician to use His healing touch. I request His deliverance.
Please don’t get me wrong, just because I desire something does not mean that He is going to give it to me. He is not a genie in a lamp. He is way more powerful than that and is not near sighted. He sees the picture, the whole picture. Parts of the picture that you and I cannot see.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For 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.
As a child of the One True God, I take comfort in that. “Not My will, but Yours, will be done,” (Luke 22:42). I don’t always understand things going on around me. I don’t understand why such a loving man would have a heart attack, why a young girl would have such health problems, or a father would have a weakened heart. I don’t understand. And that’s okay. On this side of heaven, I probably won’t.
But I can take comfort in the certainty that these things are not happening outside of the Lord’s hand. They are not being done in vain. There is a purpose.
Does it make these things easy? No, not at all.
They are still hard. Very, very hard.
But we are Pilgrims on this journey together. There are trials and temptations that we will face. When these come around, we MUST keep our eyes focused on eternity. We cannot allow the temporal pains of this world to take your eyes off Jesus.
I know it’s hard. I know times are rough. Surround yourself with you brothers and sisters in Christ. Draw strength and encouragement from them. Allow yourself to be transparent enough to receive their love. Take comfort in knowing that they are lifting you up in prayer. Trust in His deliverance. And let that bring you peace.