While at a football game of my son Preston’s, I had a moving conversation with another team mom. It was the first time we’d ever dialogued beyond socially expected niceties. Between cheers that went up to our football-playing boys, she stumbled upon the fact that I was a Jesus-loving girl and was excited to share about how God has intimately drawn her heart to his over the past five years… of how He met her where she was and ministered to her through the hands of others. How He sparked life into her soul through His Son Jesus Christ. She was radiant and she spoke with excitement, joy in every sentence, praise on her tongue for the God who gives her strength and life. This dear lady opened her heart and told me of her grueling battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 35 – as a wife and mother to three small children. Initially, she was angry with God for allowing a disease to ravage her body, furious that her husband and children might have to live without her. Though she fought to understand the “why” of it all, she confidently testifies that God used the pain-filled journey on the broken road of cancer to lead her to saving Grace. She is now grateful for the broken way that God breathed new life into her soul as she battled death in her body.
As she spoke, the troubles of my life faded to a humble corner of my heart. Her words reminded me that God really can and should be glorified through each hard place we find ourselves in. I was freshly reminded to trust God.
This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I trust Him. (Psalm 91:2, NLT)
Life is filled with challenges. The struggles we endure often leave our hearts breaking and our minds aching for reprieve. I’ve not battled cancer, but I have experienced my fair share of times when I’ve been crushed by circumstances that are beyond my control … just like her. As a wife, mother, daughter, and friend, I’ve learned that hard times are inevitable and that they hurt.
Toward the end of our conversation about her cancer and faith, my new friend confided that fear still tries to invade her days. She said that she constantly has to choose faith and to trust God instead of dwelling on the possibilities of another future diagnosis. Every one of us doubts at times. We all fail to trust. But Scripture assures us that even when we are faithless, God remains faithful. As we walk broken paths that challenge our faith, the truth remains that God does deliver in and through the pain. Though there are struggles that we might take to the grave with us, God is still good and each hard place is an opportunity for Jesus to show His power in and through our lives.
Forgive me for the times when I try to navigate the broken path of life on my own. When my heart is heavy with burdens, please give me Your strength and remind my soul to trust You. I need Your guidance and power today.
In Jesus’ name, amen
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE:
Grab a journal (if you’re a journal girl). Spend a few moments contemplating the circumstances of your harder way. Then lift your eyes from your situation to your Savior. Call on God, and say to your soul: Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today…the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:13-14, NIV).
Today’s post is adapted from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House, Inc. Are you ready to begin a new faith adventure? Get a copy of the book!