Sunday 4th March. The kids were in a crazed state. I spent the morning weeping at church. Samuel got up from his afternoon nap and somehow managed to get poo all over his fingers and all over me. Then, with a car full of kids, I noticed the flashing empty fuel light so got to the petrol station only to find all the diesel pumps were empty. I just about managed to free-wheel down the hill, whilst praying I didn’t have to stop at any traffic lights, to fill up at the next petrol station. And my husband was on a plane heading half-way round the world.
So, yes, as you’ve probably worked out, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.
And then came some perspective….
Ater I’d put the kids to bed I came across a post on a great blog which you can read here. But what really blew me away was a comment that one guy had put in response to the post. He’s called Cody Whittaker and he blogs here. I have emailed Cody to ask permission to post his comment on my blog, to which he has kindly and graciously agreed.
This testimony inspires me to follow Jesus to a deeper level, reminds me that my life is for the glory of God, and to keep an eternal perspective. Be prepared to be blown away too.
Thank you Cody and Maria for sharing this:
“We ourselves have felt like the carpet has been ripped out from underneath us BIG TIME. But it is true that as believers in Christ and His eternal promises, like Scripture says, we are “struck down, but not destroyed, persecuted, but not abandoned, hard pressed, but not crushed.” And we certainly have been all these things.
Having lived through the earthquake in Haiti where we are missionaries, then hear that our 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with stage IV terminal cancer, then to return to the states and live in hospitals and hotel rooms for the next ten months for treatment, then to have her called home to Heaven after all the fighting, then to return to Haiti a few months later, and now we are back in the states because last week our house was broken into at gunpoint and shots were fired through our bedroom door where I had my wife and children hiding behind as the thieves also had 3 guns pointed at me demanding that I give them all our money.
So, yeah, I totally get where you are coming from as far as the confusion or the frustration as to why this happens.
But here’s what I continue to say through it all…and trust me…this is not just some trite Christianese. In the words of Job, “though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.”
You see, the problem comes when we try to make sense as to why these things happen to us but only look at things from a temporal, and often self-centered, viewpoint. That’s where it doesn’t make sense at all and that’s where we can get very discouraged. But as Christians, we must remember the words of Jesus, “In this world you will have many troubles, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” So, I think our solace and our hope come not from a season, no matter how long or short, of trouble free, all your dreams are unfolding, life is good, but rather from knowing that no matter what happens, Christ has risen, is on His throne, and has promised to take us to be with Him. Here is where all of our hope lies. We can’t forget that.
The first comment written on your post came from someone who stated, For now- I console myself with this: At least I don’t have cancer! My kids are safe and not being abused! I have a husband who is right in this with me!” Again, I understand that we can always try to find solace or confirmation with thinking that you don’t have it as bad as others. But what does someone like me do with something like that. I didn’t have cancer, but even worse, my little princess had cancer and did not survive it. My kids were not safe…they were just shot at last week by evil men who invaded our home and violated us. I cannot find solace in a statement such as “well, at least I’m not as bad as someone else.” Even though I’m certain that that’s true. I’m sure that there are people who lost more than one of their young children to a deadly disease.
But that’s not where we can find our hope and solace. Our hope as believers comes from ONE thing. God is good. It is not trite at all to say this. I think by hearing some of what we have gone through it is safe to say that I am allowed to say such things and not sound fluffy duffy and trite. But it is plain fact. He is sovereign and is in control of everything. And He has a purpose for everything. Even our greatest sufferings, trials, setbacks, failures, etc. He will use it for His glory. We simply need to trust Him in this. I think we need to be careful when we talk about our dreams. Again, sometimes we have a tendency to become self focused when we talk in terms of our dreams. It can be dangerous. The Bible doesn’t call us to pursue our dreams, but rather to pursue Christ, to live for Him and make His name known. And this must be for His glory alone, not for ourselves, otherwise we are missing something here.
Trust me, I know the struggle. And right now, sitting here in an undisclosed location in the states after having to flee Haiti in a moment…again…we wrestle and ask the Lord what He is doing through all of this because we certainly cannot make sense of any of it. And often, the Lord has been silent when it comes to our questions. But we sense that still small voice deep within the core of our being that bids us come as we hear Him say again, “Trust me.”
I will end my “comment” with something that I wrote about after Susana was taken home to Heaven. Corrie Ten Boom writes, “Only Heaven will reveal the front side of God’s tapestry of our lives.” Right now, we can only see the back of the tapestry. It looks like a mess. Nothing makes sense. Colors are random. Knots are everywhere. There is no rhythm or pattern. That is what the backside of a tapestry looks like. But when that tapestry is completed and flipped over and hung out for all to see, the comments are no longer, “This does not make sense”, but rather, “Wow, how incredibly beautiful!” And this, I believe, is what Heaven will reveal.
But until then fellow soldiers…press on. God has a plan…and He does all things well.”
posted by Anna