Today, we have a guest writer who will remain anonymous. This is a testimony of God’s help during a difficult time in life. I trust you find it encouraging.
– Pastor David
When I was a teenager, just starting out walking with Jesus, I was assured that nothing bad could happen to me; God was protecting me from harm and danger. This comforted me in those years as I was just starting the adventure of life as an adult and no longer a child under my parents’ covering.
I sought the Lord and studied what I thought He had directed and began my final training years. After 6 years of hard work and shortly before the finish line, I became gravely ill. The doctor said either I go home or go into the hospital. So I went home thinking all my hard work was gone. My professional life was over. God had not protected me at all.
I stood in the living room at my parents’ house and told God that I did not want to be a Christian anymore. He had failed me and I was seriously ill, something I had been assured could not happen. I did not want to have anything to do with Him, I told him.
I slept for seven days until my mother insisted I eat and drink. As I began to recover, I read secular books in protest. In one book, I read about a couple who struggled with having a bright but physically handicapped child. Their struggle and acceptance of their situation helped me. They were Christians but did not mention that aspect much. Then I remember, as though it were yesterday, standing in that same living room telling God that I did not understand why this had happened, but I wanted to go on being a Christian. I did not know how to be anything else.
What was dropped from my theology and has never returned was the expectation that the pains and sufferings of this life would never befall me. I no longer believed that I was protected from hardships. I no longer believed God was sovereignly arranging all the details of my life. I did not expect a life free of suffering.
Shortly after my recovery, we learned that my mother had brain cancer which took her life a year later. As my mother lay slowly dying, I sought no answers and asked not “why”, but cried out for comfort. His comfort was given on a scale that was unbelievable. He simply was with me in a deeper way than before during my illness.
Now, many years later, I do see why that illness was allowed to hit me. I do not say He sent it. The Bible says that He can work all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28) This is exactly what He did.
That suffering has enabled me to comfort others. It has taught me that when my theology does not match the crucible of real life, that understanding needs to be burned up and replaced with an understanding that is true – one that matches real life. God supervised my understanding by showing up the dross that needed to go if I were to be able to endure what was to come.
Jesus said if we keep his teaching, we will know the truth, and the truth sets us free. One of the freedoms is freedom from the fear of events or even sufferings of life being able to destroy someone. So even if I have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear evil overcoming me.
All sunshine and no rain only makes a desert.