Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We Will Praise Him In The Storm

It has been a long time since I blogged and I must admit, I have missed it.

As with all of us, as time goes by things change daily.  Yes change, the one thing you can always count on.  Some are for the good and some are not.  And thus my need to blog.  

My sweet Mom passed away last May.  One of those not so good changes.  And my precious Dad came to live with us in October of the same year.  One of those good changes.  These changes to our life, while difficult at times, have been for the good, until this past month when we found out my precious Dad is dying from cancer.  This terrible disease has rapidly progressed and is taking a terrible toll on my Dad.  Yet through it all I know that God is still in control and I wanted to share the following thoughts with you. 

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

The book of Habakkuk ends with these beautiful verses, following two chapters of complaints about injustices around him. God’s solutions didn’t materialize like Habakkuk anticipated, but in the end, he learned to trust God’s wisdom. 

We’re like Habakkuk, aren’t we? At times, we’re convinced God has somehow gotten it wrong. After all, we’re faithful, go to church, give to the needy, volunteer, and forgive transgressions…We’re Christians…We deserve to stay on the mountaintop, right?  Mountaintop security is an illusion. True security doesn’t come from a paycheck that could dry up tomorrow or from a house current on its mortgage.  Our only real security is God himself. 

The Bible says rain falls on the just and unjust. Christians suffer just like non-believers, this side of heaven. Living in a fallen world, we’re destined to trek through valleys. However, many promises in the Bible point to God not letting the faithful suffer unnecessarily, nor for an indefinite period of time (though it feels like it at times).  

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12.

Some people appear to suffer more trials than others or more than what seems fair. I don’t have an answer for that, except to say our Father is sovereign, and we have to trust Him to do the right thing. He supplies all our needs, which may look different than we expect.

God is still on His throne. More importantly, He’s on the throne of my heart and never once has He deserted me. 

Does it feel like our Father has deserted you? Consider this:

The toughest thing He asks is for us to die to self and be willing to sacrifice everything for Him. Please hear what I’m saying. It doesn’t mean He’ll always take it. 

In the Biblical story of Abraham, he’d waited his entire adult life for a son, and what did God ask of him? “Put Isaac on the altar.”  God had no intention of taking Isaac, but he wanted Abraham’s whole heart and obedience. 

Out of our Father’s love, He points to whatever our Isaac is and says, “Lay it on the altar.” It’s difficult to do when we can’t see the end result. 

Job lost everything, and his wife said, “Are you still holding onto your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job’s answer was, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:9-10).  

The next 36 chapters of Job are filled with Job suffering and his friends giving him bad counsel. Finally, Job 38:1, says, “Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.” 

God answers all prayer—in His perfect timing.

In both Abraham’s and Job’s case, Father honored their obedience. This doesn’t mean we can’t cry out to Him, even when we have no words to express our pain and outrage (Romans 8:26). He can take it.  He will never forsake you. 

We have a choice. We can go through life with our Father or without Him. I don’t know about you, but I’d hate to try to live in this fallen world without Him, regardless of what He asks me to endure. I need His comfort. When I can’t trust what the world hands me, I can trust Him. 

Are you waiting on God for an answer to a difficult life situation?  We are!   And we know, no matter the end result, our Heavenly Father did hear and answered according to His infinite wisdom. 

Whether our precious Dad, Phil, Pop, or Pappy, is healed or goes home to glory, we will continue to praise our Him through the storms of this life.  And remember, it’s a WIN-WIN for Dad either way.  

We love you all and pray continued blessings over you.