Our Problems in the Hands of a Known God

Over the last four months, we have received a hands-on education in suffering, trials, and difficulties as a Christian (If you don't know what I'm referring to, you may want to catch up by reading this article.) After traveling to the best and the brightest minds in several places around the world, they still don't know what's affecting Doug's body.

If we had our hopes in the god of Islam, a capricious, spontaneous, unpredictable god, there would be no hope. There would only be uncertainty, and we would have no idea
what god would do. He could be angry with us for some unknown reason and our lives could be at stake. Constant fear and shame would be the theme of our lives right now.

If we worshipped Buddha, as do so many of the people we saw in Thailand, we would have to hope we were praying to the right spirit/god. There would be so much fear and anxiety, and we would spend our days saving money to buy expensive offerings in hopes that we could appease whichever spirit we might have angered. Superstitious fear would be forefront in our family's life.

If we claimed no god in particular, but just tried to grasp at happiness or whatever else we could "get" from this life, what a tragedy this would be. To have the one I love be sick, to be "homeless" for the last four months, to have our family of five living in a state of limbo... all these things would be devastating. Our lives would be characterized by depression and despair.

But as Christians, we serve the True and Living God, the Great Physician, our Counselor, Healer, Redeemer, and Friend. There is not fear or superstition. There is not the shame of feeling that it is something
we have done that has caused this bad thing to occur. We do not despair, because it is not ourselves, or even the medical specialists, in which our hope lies.

There is hope in what God will do. There is a written promise that He will take us through these difficulties and produce maturity and steadfastness in our character. There is a constant Friend to Whom we can run with our concerns. There is faith in His ability to do exactly what needs to be done: whether that means healing or not, and wherever we end up. We have total confidence in the Creator of the Universe that our "big" problems (1) are not too difficult to Him, (2) have not escaped His notice, (3) have not taken Him by surprise, and (4) will be a part of His maturing process for us.

What a MIGHTY God we serve! There are not enough words to tell how grateful I am that I was introduced to Jesus early in my life, that He pulled me back to Him out of rebellion, and that He has given us this great adventure. What He has given me is so much more than I would have ever asked for myself. A husband who challenges me and grows alongside me, loving and serving and chasing the God Who has captured our hearts. Three beautiful children who are so vastly different and so brilliant and curious and fun. And this exciting path He has us on, full of joy and exhiliration, challenges and obstacles to overcome, and yes, even sorrow and problems!

I can honestly say that I am so grateful for these struggles- as James 1 tells us will happen, I can feel my heart becoming more knit to Jesus, more steadfast in my trust of Him, and more dependent upon Him. He is more than capable of doing more than just "handling" our petty human problems! He will take what seems bad, or may be meant (by others) as bad, and use it for good in your life. Let me encourage you to run to the Only One worthy of our trust, no matter what human problem you're facing right now.


EmmyJMommy said...

Praise God!!! Your strength and steadfastness are amazing...and we do serve an AWESOME GOD who will bring you through amazing trials with both arms around you.

We are still praying for you...and Doug and your beautiful children!

Your web-friend,

Bobbie Diaz said...

Hi Jess
It's me, the night owl. :)

As we were praying for your family tonight, I kept praying, Lord, please let them be able go back to China. I know it's their hearts desire. Lord, you are the Great Physician. You can manage Doug's care from anywhere. A little humor!

God will reward you both for your steadfastness.

You know we are in a similar trial, being homeless. A guy came up to my husband, and told him that our situation has blessed him and his family, and others. Our situation and your situation is blessing others.
Imagine that!!!


Christina said...

Jess, thank you for your testimony of God's goodness to you amidst your trials. That you are grateful for your struggle because it draws you closer to Jesus points to how infinitely wonderful He is.

Thank you for your encouragement. We are having a difficult time right now, looking for a church home. Not quite the "homelessness" that you are experiencing, but a struggle none the less.

You are in my prayers. It is a blessing to see God's work in your life through such a difficult time. He is so faithful.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I came here via Musings of a Housewife. What you've written is True. I will pray for your family, and believe. Because anything is possible. And what the enemy had meant for evil, God will turn for good. And he already has, as I read your words. Look at you. We went through some very hard times not finding medical answers for our child. I *knew* how it ended- so that made me stand stronger and fight harder, because you know that He has already done it.

I love this verse, too- Proverbs 10:25 When the storm is over, there's nothing left of the wicked; good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren't even fazed.


Anonymous said...

Jess, I'm so encouraged by this post. And yet, heartbroken to hear of your struggles. I hadn't read back far enough in your blog to know your husband was facing medical problems. Having just come through some scary and unknown medical problems of my own, and still not confident that they are resolved, I know a little bit what you guys must feel like right now. But I just can't imagine going thru all that overseas. Your faith and trust in God during this time is a wonderful testimony of His work in you, and He is glorified through your faithfulness and joyfulness in these circumstances.

Rocks In My Dryer said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. This is beautiful, and so true.

Julie-Anne said...

I'm adding to the "thank you"'s you have received already for this post. What an encouragement. We need to be reminded of this everyday. I love Genesis 18:14 "IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son." When we come to Him, we can believe this wholeheartedly... nothing is too difficult for our God! That's peace that makes not sense! I love it!