Does it ever feel as if God is ignoring you? That he’s not listening to your prayers, or flat out saying “No.”? When things aren’t done in our own timing, or the way we see fit, it can often feel that way.
Our family has gone through quite a bit of heartache over the last 10 years. Three miscarriages, painful marriage issues, past sins that we will live with for the rest of our lives, as well as having a child that over the last three years has developed food and medicinal allergies that get worse with every new diagnoses. Our most recent frustration was, going on our 4th week of children sicknesses, my 10 year old daughter, with all her allergies, developed a sinus infection. She was already allergic to 2 different antibiotics, so they prescribed her a different one that hopefully wouldn’t have any side affects. At first she was fine, but come Monday she developed a rash on the back of her head and neck. We had to stop the antibiotic and start her on Benadryl. Each day her reaction progressively got worse and the dosage went up. Thursday evening, right after I fell asleep, my daughter woke me up informing me that she was severely itchy. After I gave her Benadryl, I lifted up the back of her shirt. She had welts on her back from top to bottom, a wet cough, and she was wheezing. I grabbed the emergency-action dose of steroids and gave it to her. Panic began to set in as I realized one set of her EPI pens were expired, and her brand new ones just had been recalled. Over the next 20 minutes her symptoms got worse, so I packed our bags, scooped up my sleepy 3 year old, and headed to the ER. Thankfully she was okay. Her symptoms began to subside as they monitored her over the next couple of hours. They sent us home with a weeks worth of steroids and told us to keep popping those Benadryl’s until the symptoms subsided. (Keep in mind, this was all happening during tornadoes, and my husband being out of town.)
The next day we needed to run a few errands. As we headed to our next destination, I looked over to my daughter and she had tears streaming down her face. “I feel like God wanted me to have these allergies! I’ve been praying for Him to take them away and He won’t!”, she cried. My heart broke. I feel like this is one of the hardest things to explain to your child, aside from the question, “How did God get here?” I calmly explained to her, “I know this sucks. Having allergies is no fun. Bad things happen in this world. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this when God first created the world. Sin came into this world, and now crappy things happen. One day, we will be in heaven, there will be no allergies, no sickness, no pain, no mean people. Just beauty, goodness, and happiness. We always see bad things happen to other people, and never question God’s goodness, until it happens to us. God is always there for us, and He is always good. We will have feelings that do not align with God’s truth, but scripture tells us to take captive every thought that challenges the knowledge of God, and make it obedient to Christ.”
Whether or not we believe in God, we will still have heartache in this life. I would much rather go through trials with the One whom will carry me through it, than without Him.
“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19
If you look in the book of Daniel, you can read the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. During that time, King Nebuchadnezzar had issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego wouldn’t have it and were summoned by the King. The King said, “If you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” The men replied, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from your Majesty’s hand. But if not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
That is some serious faith! Trusting that the Lord will deliver you from a blazing furnace, and even if he doesn’t you will still love and worship him?!
After 2 of my miscarriages, I was so mad at God! I didn’t want to talk to him. After all, I had begged him to give me a healthy pregnancy, just to find out this baby had died too? But I eventually got pregnant again, and it was a healthy pregnancy. I was forever thankful to God to finally have my healthy baby girl. Yet, I got pregnant again, and surely God wouldn’t allow me to have a third miscarriage right? But it happened, again. My struggle ever since the first miscarriage was, “I know my God is capable of saving my babies, but will he?” God really worked with me over the last 6 years. Although it’s gut wrenching pain, I can now say, “I know what my God is capable of, but if not…but if not… I know He is still good.”
I want my daughter to continue to pray and ask the Lord to deliver her from her allergies. I want her to have intense faith and trust in God, yet know that IF NOT….he is still good. That she still loves Him. That she knows He is still faithful.
God CAN heal your cancer. God CAN save your marriage. God CAN protect your children from harm. God CAN stop the disease. But IF NOT…even if you get a bad report, even if your spouse walks out on you, even if harm comes to your child, even if the worst thing you could imagine, actually happens…sweet friends, God is still good. He is still a faithful and loving God. He will never forsake you in your times of trouble. We live in a fallen world. We should expect heartache, but know all the while that God is still good.
I know there are many of you that are hurting, and questioning God’s intentions. My prayer for you is that you would hide in His word and let him cover you with His wings. That even in your pain and your fears, that you would have a peace that you cannot understand. That you would feel his presence in the midst of all the pain. That you would still trust in Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and that your faith would never waver. That even if the outcome isn’t what you had hoped and prayed for, that you would still, with wisdom and understanding, know that your Almighty God is still good.