On one of his CD's, Christian vocalist Clint Brown tells of reserving a certain private Lear Jet plane and receiving a different one when he arrived at the airport. Since he believed in getting what he had paid for and the plane he reserved went 15 miles faster than the one he was given - he was upset and frustrated. Later that day, he heard a news report of a private plane, having left the same airport as he - and of the kind he had originally reserved - crashing and killing all 6 people onboard, one a well-known sports figure. Upon investigation, he verified that the plane involved was, indeed, the very plane he had originally reserved. This is an example of a seemingly minor situation which God used to protect the life of one of His followers. We never know how many small, frustrating, time consuming happenings of inconvenience in our daily lives are actually God interceding for our protection and well-being - because of His goodness and love for us, His followers.
But - have you ever gone through trial after trial and wondered if God was even hearing your prayers and cries for help??
This week I found myself reflecting on the whirlwind of sickness and death that has surrounded me since the first week of December. I came down with a bad case of the flu which left me unable to do anything for 3 weeks and giving me no time to leisurely prepare for Christmas in the way I had planned.
In the less than 30 days since Christmas: (1) a cousin thought to be in good health, died instantly, (2) another cousin found his wife dead (a nurse, younger than I, also thought to be in good health), (3) a friend, who had accompanied me to most of my doctor appointments and tests last year during my cancer diagnosis and surgery, was diagnosed with her 2nd cancer and had part of her lung removed; after being told the surgeon had removed all of the cancer - she was told 2 weeks later (last Thurs.) that yet another tumor of a totally different kind has been found on x-rays and doctors are to keep an eye on it for 3 months, to see if it continues to grow, (4) a church friend I have known since childhood went to be checked for memory issues (and seemingly, no other issues) this past Tues., was admitted to the hospital and 48 hours later - hospice was called in; testing revealed that her breast cancer of 15 years ago (which involved a double mastectomy) had returned with a vengeance and spread throughout her body, (5) 2 other members of my church passed away, one - instantly and also thought to be in good health, (6) another friend of 35 years was diagnosed with possible lung cancer and is facing serious surgery for partial lung removal - complicated by other serious health issues. Added to the sadness of these issues are the responsibilities of helping care for my mother (who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's - no longer able to monitor her meds, doctor appointments or numerous other things of importance, my brother and I are currently attending Alzheimer's seminars to obtain necessary info on her illness), my father who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer over a year ago, my aunt who is house-bound from a stroke and hip replacement in 2013 (and for whom I serve as P.O.A.) - as well as mobility and other health issues of my own and the continuous health issues of each of my sweet "sisters" on the OWG team. How much more (?) was the thought in my mind.
I was reminded that none of us are not only - not guaranteed tomorrow - but not even our next breath. We are here through the goodness and love of our God - to fulfill that purpose which He predestined for each of us. It is up to us to determine and meet that purpose through a continually deepening relationship with Him and make the most of the time He has given us - reaching out to help, show love and witness to as many others as possible, taking time to enjoy relationships with family and friends, appreciate the many blessings He bestows on each of us every day (even during those times of trial), and give thanks and praise to Him.
Jesus experienced trials also - the cross was no small thing, like us - He questioned and even asked God if that trial was necessary. When we're hurting, probably one of the hardest things for us to remember is that God is going to work it out for our good - even when our trials are caused by our own foolish mistakes or someone else brings pain and hurt into our lives, we can trust God to work it out. If God loves us enough to provide for and protect us during the lesser times/things of importance in our lives, will He not also protect and provide during those serious heart-breaking times?? If we love God and truly want His will for our life, we can trust Him to bring good from it - no matter what happens to us, just as He promised. Daily, we need to believe that when we go through trials, God will work it out - again and again. It's comforting to believe that things will work out OK and it's only through the trials that we grow because we go to a deeper relationship with Him - it's our only choice if we want to make it through. We have to endure the trial and outlast satan by remaining steadfast, not giving up and focusing on the victory at the end instead of the trial.
"Looking away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, Who is the Leader AND the Source of our faith (giving the first incentive for our belief) and is also it's Finisher (bringing it to maturity and perfection). He, for the joy (of obtaining the prize) that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising AND ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God". Hebrews 12:2 (Amplified).
Have you found comfort in your trials through your belief that He would work them out to your good??
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