I am writing to you today for several reasons. First, this may be my last post for a few weeks. Tomorrow I will undergoing a major and necessary surgery. This is the surgery that gives me a chance at remission – it is the thing that I believe God will use to give me a chance at a long life. But even with the gift of modern medicine this will be an extremely difficult recovery, taking weeks and months to get back to a new normal. Second, I want to remind myself and hopefully you that God will still be good no matter the result of tomorrows surgery. Whether I am healed or not, whether God’s answer to my prayer is yes or no, God will still be good yesterday, today, and forever. And with this thought in mind I would like to speak on how we deal with and view suffering in our life and our world.
I have been so blessed this week by many visits, messages, and kind words. People that are fighting this battle alongside me have been beyond faithful to encourage me in so many ways. And in many ways God has used the people I love to remind me of the vastness of His love for me. He has shown me that I am not alone and never will be! He has also been faithful to speak to me through His word. Through this journey I have stumbled upon a new-found comfort in the Psalms. Last weekend a friend handed me a note saying he had been reading the Bible and thought this set of verses would comfort me. And as God so often does, He used another member of the body of Christ to show me the depth and power of His love.
Psalm 17:6-8 says, “I will call upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show Your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at Your right hand. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”
What power is found in these verses!! How perfectly these verse represent my struggle right this minute! The most powerful part is that these verses echo a prayer I have repeated many times on this journey. My biggest desire is that in this trial I would continue to point to God and that God would be glorified above all things!! And verse 7 spells out that prayer in such a beautiful way! “Wondrously show Your steadfast love…” This is my fervent hope and prayer. That God would heal me in such a total and profound way that no one could deny the truth of God’s existence! Lord show off! Make Yourself known and undeniable in this trial!
And while this is my hope I know that this is not a certainty. We are not promised healing as a believer. We are, however, promised the comfort and hope of our Savior walking these paths with us. A commentary on these verse struck a special chord with me when reading through Psalm 17. It said, “God’s protection has far greater purposes than helping us avoid pain; it is to make us better servants for Him. God also protects us by guiding us through painful circumstances, no only by helping us escape them.” (NASB Bible Commentary) How true this has been in my life, and I suspect many of yours. My desire is that I would avoid pain all together! That I would have a happy and easy life, but how often does life work that way? Very rarely in my experience. And God’s love doesn’t mean He will save us from all our problems. It does mean He will walk with us through them! Helping us to live our lives in a way to show what true love looks like!
God doesn’t always save us from pain or sorrow, but He always uses these trials to teach us how to better serve Him. How to love Him a little deeper. How to yield to Him a little more completely. And maybe most importantly, how to abide in Him- living in constant relationship with our Savior. No matter my circumstance I am in the middle of God’s protection. It doesn’t always look as we expect it too, but it always surrounds us and helps us through our pain.
These greater purposes of God may not make sense in the moment. They can sometimes look like pain or sorrow. Some days it may look like we walking on the edge of a cliff sure we will fall. We walk what look to us precarious paths during trials, making us unsure of where God’s protection is. But there will be a day we will look back on these moments, days, years and understand why God asked us to walk these paths. What we will see is that on that cliff God had a safety net a few feet down. He allowed us to walk this path to glorify Him, but He never let us do it alone. These paths grow us. They encouraged and strengthen others! And no matter where God asks us to walk, He will always be with us!
Tomorrow, no matter the result of my surgery I know that God is good. He loves me perfectly and never leaves my side. God hears my cries, and He will always answer. We are praying for God to show off tomorrow, and I ask that you would pray that with us! I am asking that He would make Himself known in big and marvelous ways. We ask, in faith, for big things knowing we have just enough grace for today…