© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen
I can’t make it through another day! The pain is unbearable! I feel like my life is over! I have no hope! I can’t keep up this façade. Why did this happen? It’s so unfair! These statements have been uncovered during many coffee times with precious women that are going through difficult times in their lives. And some represent the cry of my own heart. The older I get the more I realize that life is mostly hard, but…..God is good. There are days when I am so saddened by the burdens that family and friends are walking through that all I can do is – cry out to Jesus for a miracle. Some may wonder where God is, and why does He allow so much pain? Does He really care? It seems the hardships appear to be escalating whether it be financial, physical or emotional. So what are we to do with so much pain? What do we say to one another as we face the daily challenges that come our way? Can we trust that God’s got it? Or is it easier to worry and wonder? Is there comfort found in resting in the goodness and faithfulness of God, or is it more assuring to try and figure it all out?
I remember the day that I found out my daughter was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Waiting for the MRI results had proven to be agonizing. I spent hours online looking up the possibilities of what it could be based on her very abnormal eye activity. The doctor suspected a brain tumor. And while the wealth of information afforded us online is truly amazing, in moments like these it can be overwhelming. At my fingertips I found every imaginable thing it could be. By the time we went to the doctor to get the results I was convinced my daughter had a brain tumor.
“Well,” said the doctor, “I have good news. It is not a brain tumor.” “Yes!” I was overjoyed. But I have other news.” continued the doctor. “ Your daughter has MS.” What? It was like someone punched my stomach and knocked the air out of me. More like the life out of me. I wanted to scream. Amidst the turmoil quickly brewing in my heart I thought, No this is my daughter! It can’t be! I just brought her in because her eyes were doing strange things. She will be fine. She does not have MS. This is just like the other visits where she has a virus and she will be better in a few days. But the stark reality of the moment seized my attention, and I was forced to face what was unfolding. I was overtaken with crippling fear. What did this unexpected turn mean for my daughter? How would we face this trial?
The doctor waited while I gained my composure and my sweet daughter sat there staring at the wall wondering what in the world just happened. Thinking, “ Im 12 years old and you are telling me that I have an adult disease.” I always knew she was an extraordinary girl but it was completely confirmed on that day. She sat there with the poise of a champion listening to her doctor explain what her future held with this invasive disease. Only 2% to 5% of children have MS. And my daughter was now calculated in that small percentage. Like an arrow striking her out of millions of children.
I am thankful the trials that come into our lives don’t come with complete enlightenment, but only with what is needed for the moment. For if on that day the window to the future would have been opened, unveiling what was ahead for my daughter it would have been seemingly too much to handle. But that is the gift of grace provided by our Lord, that He only gives us the strength we need for each day to get through whatever may come – moment by moment.
And while it is often hard to understand why the hardships come, I am moving into a deeper understanding that the storms of life truly do point us to a loving God who holds our lives strategically in His care. Nothing goes unnoticed by Him. And while the doubts shout with potency throughout our minds, there is a calm in the storm that can be counted on. There is a peace that settles in our hearts like a trusted friend. While our situation may seem to be coming undone God is anchoring every broken piece with certainty. A surety that no matter what… “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall ABIDE under the shadow of the almighty. Psalm 91:1
My darkest moments have been drenched with the radiance of a nurturing and loving God who not only holds us, but guides us through the unexpected storms of life.
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
Most of life is sprinkled with uncertainty and lacking the WHY answers. We are not to know everything. And I imagine there are profound reasons why our view on this side of eternity is limited. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 And so while we may not have the answers we do have the assurance that the God who fashioned this world can and will most certainly bring us through anything that comes our way. One thing is for sure and you can bank on this – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all…Psalm 34:17-19a
Somehow I can visualize God declaring from heaven….Don’t worry…I GOT IT!!!
More to come on RisenDreams…as always I welcome your comments….
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