Sunday July 14, 2019
There is a story in Matthew 12:41-44. Jesus is sitting there in the synagogue watching people. He watched many rich people drop large sums of money into the offering box. Then a poor widow came and only dropped in two small coins. Jesus called His disciples to Him and explains the faith of the widow. He says, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Maybe it’s a jump but I think it relates to faith. This morning I heard the miracle story of a young man diagnosed with stage four cancer. Sounds familiar, says my entire memory. This man and his wife loaded up their newly renovated camper van and headed to Issels, the exact same place that Glen and I went for our healing miracle. They had the same faith as us. They went all in and trusted in God for healing him. The cancer was in his liver, a mass on his lungs…It looked dire but they were still trusting in God to their last penny. So far the story is ours – mine and Glen. The similarities end there, thankfully. The treatment is working for this young man and he is granted more years with his wife and family – and praise God for that! I am super excited for them! The man relating the story continued on saying that this young couple was glorifying God no matter what the end result would be.
I concur. How many times in our story have I reiterated that no matter what we will continue to give God the glory? It just seems harder when you’re on what feels like the losing end of the battle… and I continue to choose faith. Faith that God did what had to be done in order to fulfill His plan. Faith that though I don’t like the seeming “no” answer we got to maintain Glen’s life here on earth, that God is in control and we are continuing to live out our lives according to God’s ultimate purpose, plan and story. Faith that our little thread of the story line will become a part of the greater whole creating that beautiful tapestry, that never ending story of our gracious and loving God. So who has the greater faith? The one’s who gave all and got the answer they wanted or the one’s who gave all and got the “no”? I don’t think that question can be answered in full or even in part. I do believe that perhaps the faith is the same and it is in the continual choosing that it grows.
My mind goes a million miles an hour on many things. One of those things is prayer and faith. I have poured over what I thought was from God and concluded that it was indeed from God – but my interpretation was lacking. When God said, “I will heal Glen fully, trust” (paraphrased from the many conversations from God) I heard what I wanted to – that Glen would be healed here on earth. I do believe that my mind, though knowing that Glen could die, refused to believe that a good God would do that to us. How can a good God take a good man who is doing good things for God here on earth? How can a good God leave a faithful woman who is in partnership with the good man as a widow? If God equals good then the resulting emotion from the actual turn of events doesn’t add up.
So here’s the real scoop. God is a good God. Period. I have reminded myself what I have taught others for years – that God always answers prayer. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no, and sometimes it’s wait. With Glen we got a clear answer. The answer was a resounding, “Yes! I’m healing Glen! I’m bringing him home to fulfill the greater plan!” Though the answer of “yes” feels like an answer of “no” here on earth, the answer is still yes – and no in a way. Either way, Glen is healed. Either way, God is a good and loving God. God is pure love. Radiant love. Shining love. God made a way for us to come home. Yes, I want to go home. No, I don’t want to leave my boys as orphans. Yes, I want to see Glen ASAP. Yet, the Lord tells me there is more for me to do here. Yes, I am exhausted with fighting my body and grief. No, I will not give up the fight. Yes, I still choose faith – and maybe it’s a stronger faith because it is definitely a faith without sight. I didn’t get the answer I want yet I know that God is a good God who is suffering with me. God is not a God who is just standing there watching me suffer. He is all in. How do I now this? Jesus died for me and took everything on himself so that “everything” includes the suffering I now endure living without my beloved. That “everything” included the suffering that Glen went through with his body being wracked with cancer. That “everything” includes those victories the young couple is experiencing. That “everything” includes all that is good and all that is bad. God does not delight in making His children suffer and cry. He is a good Father who gives good gifts.
We are in a world that is filled with evil yet Jesus has overcome the world. We too have overcome the world if we believe. That’s the bottom line. Belief. I believe and I give God glory for healing my man more completely than I even realize. I believe and I give God glory for sustaining our boys and me as we continue to sojourn in a foreign land and wait for God to call us home. We will all be called home at some point and we know not when. In the meantime I believe and continue to do the work that He has prepared before hand for me to do for His glory.
I believe. Our sincerest desire and prayer for all who bear witness to our journey was just this – that no one would walk away from our good and loving God if Glen went home early. Don’t let what you may consider unanswered prayer stop you from believing – even if you’re basing that unbelief on our story. Choose today to believe. God is worth it. This life is brief and hard, yet still filled with joys. We can endure suffering because HE is suffering with us and holding us. Eternity has already begun here on earth. Lord, let your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven…