In the summer of 2002, Shira and Joey Arnold were delighted to learn that they were expecting their first child. They excitedly shared the news with family and friends as they began to plan for their new family. Weeks later, however, Shira and Joey got dream-shattering news. Routine tests at the doctor’s office revealed that their baby was not developing correctly. The couple was advised by medical professionals to consider termination of the pregnancy.
They adamantly refused.
Though Shira and Joey grieved deeply when they heard the news, they determined to trust in God and prayed for a miracle. Little Cayden was born blind, deaf, lame, and with only half a brain. The doctors had expected him to live only minutes, but Cayden defied all odds by living just shy of five years.
Five broken years.
Five beautiful years.
Five years filled with one struggle after another.
Five years filled with one miracle after another.
Five glorious years.
During his short life on earth, through the wonders of modern medicine, technology, and prayers, Cayden learned to see, hear, speak, and walk. Those five medically complicated years were a constant challenge for the Arnolds, BUT GOD brought them through every difficult moment in His strength and allowed them to experience His joy, peace, and hope in spite of their challenges. He strengthened them with His all-sufficient grace.
Cayden’s life was a beautifully broken display of God’s glory. And though God’s answer to their prayers for the healing of his tiny body here on earth was “no,” He provided both Cayden and his parents grace that was sufficient for each moment. For each day. For each weakness.
The funeral was a bittersweet, joy-filled celebration of Cayden’s life. Shira and Joey honored God as their grace-giving, strength-supplying Strong Tower. The Arnolds spoke of their trust-journey. They testified that they had had to choose to trust God and readily admitted that it required constant choosing. They boasted in the Lord as David did in the Psalms when he delighted in God’s all-surpassing strength: From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings (Psalm 61:2-4).
One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.” (Psalm 62:11-12).
Your life is purposed to bring glory to God in and through everything. There are times – hard times – when the answers from Him are “no.” When those times come, we need to choose to trust that He said no for a reason.
God is all-knowing. All-powerful.
We are not.
This is not simple, but it is true. When we surrender to His sovereignty, God strengthens His children with all-sufficient grace, and His power is made perfect in our weakness.
Help me to trust You in the challenges and the “nos” that I face today and every day.
Shine your glory through my life-cracks today.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: Are you facing anything now that could be an opportunity for God’s grace to be all-sufficient in and through you? Have you chosen to trust Him, despite His answer of “no”?
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Thanks for doing life with me,
You want to grow closer to God, right? Without question, reading the Bible helps make this happen. If you’d like to read and study the Bible, but at your own pace and in your own space, then this is for you!
I have several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.
These inductive studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudy to learn more.