Consider this scenario… You have a beautiful family. You are a wife to the most amazing man ever and a mother to three of the most handsome young men you could ever lay eyes on. Ages 9, 12, and 14. And then one night everything changes in an instant. Your husband of 27 years passes away in his sleep from a heart attack. You are left with three young boys to raise on your own. You are doing your absolute best to be a supportive and loving mother, while juggling everything life throws at you. No doubt, life is difficult, but you’re surviving day by day and then….BAM…you get hit with the news that you have breast cancer. Wow! Another blow you never saw coming. You might think God really has it in for you.
Let’s fast forward…This is the true story of my husband’s family. His mom did in fact have cancer and found this out shortly after she became a single mother. She must have felt overcome with anxiety and fear. How do you have faith in a moment like this? I can’t imagine the defeat she must have felt. And the feelings of abandonment. She ended up passing away after a grueling two years of painful and debilitating sickness. She was leaving three boys to be orphans. Can you even fathom that?
Let’s take a moment to interweave the word of God into this dreadful situation…
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I realize this seems like a terrible verse to interweave. How could this tragedy work for good? I hear you! Hang in there. Let me continue. My husband is the youngest of the three boys. He believes to this day that had the circumstances of his life not played out as they had, he would not be the Christian man he is today. After the cancer diagnosis, his mom gave every fiber of her being to Christ and her three boys saw this. My husband cared for his sick mother until the very day she died in her bedroom. Because of my husband’s dedication to serve God, he has led so many to Christ…me being one of them, along with our children, as well as many others. Had his mother not had circumstances unfold as they had, would she have dedicated her life to Christ? Would she be in heaven right now at the throne room of grace? Would my husband have become the Godly man he is today? I suppose we will never really know the answer to these questions, but let’s consider this….
What if our goal in life isn’t even about this life? What if our goal is to serve God like crazy and fall madly in love with him while winning others to Christ and then our reward is to live with Him for eternity in heaven FOREVER on glorious streets of gold? To have every tear wiped from our eyes. Where all things are new and there is no more sorrow or pain, but joy and peace and love. A paradise unlike anything we could ever imagine on this earth.
Do you look at the situations life throws at you as an opportunity for God to use as a tool for drawing you closer to Him? Do you find your measure of faith increasing with each trial because you search to find His hand in it? Do you look at difficult moments on this earth as opportunities to build your faith? Can you even imagine at the end of this life to hear,
“Well done my good and faithful servant?”
and then, Jesus reaches out his hand to lead you to your magnificent and beautiful mansion situated perfectly on the streets of heaven? Stick with me here… what if we were to keep our eyes fixed on heavenly things and allow God to work in ALL situations, for His glory, rather than for our own comfort…
No doubt, my husband experiences deep sadness, sometimes sadness that consumes him for long periods of time. He often laments how his mother and father have never had the opportunity to meet his wife and children and that he has had many missed opportunities to share life with them. I am not by any means downplaying this dismal situation. If you are going through something similar, please don’t be hard on yourself for your feelings. I encourage you to seek God to fill that void. My husband would love to see his parents again. In the end though, by the grace of God, Steve has developed a faith in the understanding that his mom gave her heart to Christ as a result of this cancer. From that experience she was saved and, therefore, he came to know Jesus as his savior as well. Because of this, Steve has been able to lead many others to Christ. As sad as it is, he sees the good that has come of this terrible tragedy.
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
How is God working in your life? Are you seeing a situation through a lens of earthly defeat or are you willing to see your situation from a different perspective? A perspective that illuminates God’s hand working things out for those that love him in an exceedingly, abundantly-awesome, heaven-bound, living-forever kind of way?