I am nearing my 2 year anniversary of being paralyzed. It will be March 12. The “paralysis” statistic they tell you is that whatever you have gained back at your 2 year mark is about where you will stay the rest of your life. Hearing these words at this point of the game can almost hit that giant red panic button that exists somewhere in our brains. You feel like you are racing a giant clock and that your life depends on winning! Of course, that is one perspective. The other perspective is one that I find much more comforting and have chosen to take.
When you have lived your entire life trying to serve God, following His Word, and even giving your life to full-time ministry teaching others about Him, then you grab on to all those verse of promise that you shall prosper, He will bless you, and you assume from that that life will be peaches and cream. Sure, trials can come, but God will get you through them and all will be fine again! Well, that is fine, until you feel that you didn’t get through that trial. That loved one is sick, you are in God’s will so you prayed and they died anyway. So many people choose to kill their babies, not wanting them, but you want your baby and you will raise it to love God, but your baby dies. You have been told that you have very little time to live and you know God can heal you but what if you die anyway? You are paralyzed and you see people who recover and are walking around but you aren’t – and they aren’t even trying to live for God!
These are all very real thoughts and maybe are afraid to utter lest anyone would then accuse us that our faith isn’t strong enough and that is probably why we haven’t experienced healing. There is nothing that can upset me more, then for people to tell me to just have more faith. The reason it upsets me is not because it makes me mad at them. It truly upsets me for them. I fear for their own thoughts if they ever have to go through something major.
I assure you, if you love God, then know one has more “faith” than the person who is in the midst of their trial. No one will pray harder for their child to live than the parents. No one will pray harder to live then the one who knows they are dying. No one will pray harder to be made whole than the one with the disability. You know how much faith you have in what God can do and when the outcome happens, that is against what you prayed, the strong faith that you had in God to answer your prayers, turns to strong doubt in this God that you had trusted. You feel betrayed, let down, forsaken and although you dare not say it, you wonder how real this all is. Why didn’t He help me when I needed Him the very most?
I think that one of the greatest things that I have learned, is that my faith is not in what God can do, but in Who He is. God is God and I do not know the way that He chooses. I do not understand why these things happen. I know He is able to do whatever He wants but that is not where my faith is. My faith is in Him and that involves trusting Him when the outcome doesn’t go my way. It involves trusting Him that He has a much bigger plan and He has invited me to partake of His plan by using me in a role that I had not counted on.
One of my favorite Bible stories is that of the three Hebrew children. They were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not worship the king’s idol. The King warned them again to bow or they would die. Here is their reply “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” This sums it up so beautifully. We know our God is able, but if not, in other words, if He decides a different way to bring Himself glory though my life, or through my death, then that is okay. We will stay faithful to Him anyway.
For me and my situation, I know that God can heal me. I know that He can make me walk again or not. But it isn’t my faith or lack of it that decides this. Surrender says “It is not up to me, it is up to Him.” Do I have my own desires and wishes? Well, of course. But my deepest desire is that I can be used of God. If He thinks He can use me better in this chair, then who am I to pray otherwise? When my thoughts go away from this, then that is the time that I re-evaulate if I am truly yielded to God’s will or not. Some days I am, and some days I am not. It is a daily choice to choose God.
My dear friends, this is such an important key. We cannot answer the hard questions of life but we can trust Him. We know we serve a God that can, but if not, we serve a God Who is and we can rest in the fact that He is working in our lives to bring Him glory. Do not beat yourself up for “not having enough faith”. It is not the quantity of our faith that matters – it is that our faith is in God alone, in Who He is, the Master and Creator of the universe, and He knows. We just trust Him no matter what.
He has an individual plan for every life. Trust Him with yours!