Suffering seems absolutely out of control right now. Thankfully, we can be on the praying end of it and not at the suffering end right now. I can think of so many things going on in people's lives that are just heartbreaking, which makes me know God is up to something.
I watch my best friend Holly and her husband Aaron struggle with the deep pain of making life and death decisions in regards to the next step of treatment for their daughter Kate.
A family from church had a baby girl born with Down's Syndrome only to find out that the doctors say she only has a week to live. Praise God she is still here two weeks later.
Another family from church lost a child in a snowmobiling accident last weekend. The are clinging to God to get them through this, knowing that their daughter loved the Lord and where she is.
Josh got the most random call about 2 weeks ago from an acquaintance from college who wanted to talk. He and his wife had lost their three and a half month old the day before. I had the opportunity to talk to his wife last week. All I hear is agony, frustration at the road ahead...and then hope that God will sustain. Faith.
I hear about all the pain going on in Haiti and then see on the news people singing praises to God with their hands held high.
Josh's cousin and her husband are missionaries in Jos, Nigeria where there is so much unrest and Christians are dying. They were spending the night in a safe place, praying for protection over others and their family all while hearing gun shots. They have a 7 month old baby, and I can only imagine the fear of knowing what is going on and wanting to protect your child.
Yet, all these people are clinging to faith. Faith that our God knows what He is doing. That nothing goes unnoticed by Him, that He knows, that He will sustain, that He will protect.
Suffering leads to unimaginable growth, if only we allow God to do it. He wants to grow closer to us, to protect our hearts and our minds, to grow in a love relationship with Him.
For me, it was a choice. I knew that I could choose to become bitter, turn my back on "this God" who had the power to save my daughter, to stop Josh from diving into the ocean and breaking his neck, and yet He chose not to. Not because He doesn't love me. But because He knows what is best for me. Yes, I want my daughter back. Yes, I want Josh to be able-bodied. But the growth and faith that has been born of tragedy is a blessing. Maybe a blessing in disguise, but a blessing all the same.
Our God is in the miracle working business. I have watched Him restore a marriage (mine) headed down a road I never imagined possible. I have experienced His strength when I thought my heart would break from the grief. That is a miracle. I have seen a baby who was supposed to be in heaven by now, continue to baffle doctors as her vitals grow more stable not less.
And yet, God could still choose to take any of these people to be home with Him. We live in a fallen world. Yet, I continue to hold on to the hope that does not fail, my Father who will never leave me or forsake me (even when I don't feel Him near), knowing that when my life on this earth is over, it will only get better. Waaaaay better.
God is definitely up to something. What it is, I have no idea. What I do know is this- it WILL be for His glory.