There are things in life that we have no control over. Sometimes despite doing all the right things, we still get hit by trouble. Other times we are just going along minding our own business when we get whacked up the side of the head and get sent sprawling to the ground. It is called life and as my hustand says, "Stuff just happens."
While we cannot always choose what happens to us, we can choose how we respond to adversity. We can either allow it to dominate us for the rest of our lives or we can trust God no matter what.
Not all pain, suffering and grief will be alleviated in this world. There are times we will see the miracles but there are also times when we will not and when we don't, we will be faced with a choice. Do we continue to trust God or do we walk away from Him?
At the time of this writing, a 15 month old boy named Joshua is recovering from heart surgery. In addition to have Down's Syndrome, little Joshua has a defective heart. A little over a week ago, surgery was performed to repair a hole in his heart. Many prayers went up on his behalf but when they opened him up, it was discovered that the hole was larger than they had suspected. Also, the sinus node which generates the electrical impulse that controls his heartbeat for the two lower chambers of his heart is not working and after a week, they had to place a pacemaker.
Yesterday, I read a post his mother wrote on Joshua's Caring Bridge page. Yes, she is disappointed that her son had to have a second surgery but then she wrote that she was reminded that God has a hidden purpose in adversity. She was reading about the Apostle Paul in Rome. He had not planned to go to Rome as a prisoner and yet that is exactly what happened. Rather than allowing himself to have a "victim mindset", she wrote that Paul had a "Kingdom mindset". Yes, he was in a bad situation but Paul chose to trust God regardless of his circumstances.
We have four letters written by Paul during his time in prison. The letters which are now known as "The Prison Epistles" are Ephesians, Philipians, Colossians and Philemon. When going through my own challenges, I have often found myself turning to verses in Philippians in particular. Take a look at what Paul himself writes about his own suffering:
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. 1 Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV)
It is easy to say that you trust God when you see the hoped for outcome. It is another thing to trust God when there is still hardship, still sickness, still heartache, still broken relationship and even death. Are you going to choose to trust God for a moment or for all eternity?
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.