Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why is it taking so long?

A question from Victoria, 'Why is it taking so long?'

If you know something of our daughter's life, you will probably know what she is asking, why hasn't God healed in my body yet? I've been waiting a long time

Big question! Hard question for a parent to answer, especially when you watch her process her disappointment when she hears of others who receive healing. 

I remember reading some commentary from Joyce Meyer regarding 2 Corinthians 4:17,18 ...

For our light, momentary afflictions (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], since we consider and look not to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 AMP

Some of the commentary ....

If you have had a problem for more than six months, you probably feel as though your problem has lasted for an eternity. But our years on earth are only a little drop of nothing compared to forever. 

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17,18 that the seasons of trials pass. It is tough when we are going through trials, but Paul learned to keep his eyes on the prize of heaven and trusted God to prepare him so that God's glory was revealed through his life.

What a challenge it is to keep your eyes on the prize of heaven in the trials. Last night when I put Victoria to bed, she snuggled down with a heat pack around her neck, two cold packs (one for each knee), a night boot on her left leg and a silicon plaster on her port scar (with has become a keloid scar). I walked out of the bedroom, thinking no wonder some days she struggles emotionally with this body. A little more than six months... six and a half years there have been on-going issues with some part of her body, that is two-thirds of her life. It is hard to keep the perspective that this life is brief and fleeting.

But I have found that when we ask, God is always very good at giving us perspective, His perspective. A couple of years I was rostered on to pray for people after a church service. While we were waiting for people to come for prayer, I was talking to the person I was rostered on with about the challenge of keeping faith alive when prayers don't seem to be being answered. She suggested I read the devotional book, Beside Bethesda, by Joni Eareckson Tada. So I purchased the book and started to read it. Now Victoria is reading it. 

An aside, about nine years before Victoria was born, Ken and I were living in Sydney and we had the privilege of meeting Joni and her husband Ken. It was a humbling experience, and another small example of God going before us.

Anyway, here is some of what Victoria and I read in the recent school holidays,

"One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time ..." John 5:5-6

A few months from now, I will mark an anniversary that is at once a heartbreaking story of loss and an incomparable testimony of God's faithfulness. As of July this year, I will have been in a wheelchair for forty-seven years.

Victoria's first reaction to reading this was anger and tears, something like, What? will I have to live like this for thirty-eight years?

Another big question. But it does bring some perspective. There are people who are waiting for a bigger miracle and have been waiting for a lot longer. And in the waiting they are finding greater something than physical healing, a level of intimacy with their Heavenly Father that is greater than most of us will ever experience here on earth. Joni went on to write,

It may be difficult for us to wait, but He waits with us, offering His own presence and companionship to see us through. (Beside Bethesda; page 9)

This is something we can talk to Victoria about, but until she experiences it herself, it is just words. Thankfully God is completely aware of what she needs.  On Sunday night we saw a glimpse of her experiencing His presence during the worship. She was fully immersed in the worship, having her own encounter with God, it was beautiful to see. And it was re-assuring to me, as if God was saying, It's okay, she's going to be okay

I understand that that His okay doesn't necessarily mean that she will experience physical healing this side of heaven, (even though that is our heart's desire and we continue to believe for it), but it means that she will live, focused on the things that are unseen, the everlasting. There will be more times of faltering, but she will be okay.

So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making a new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 The Message 

Question for today, is there something in your life about which you are asking 'why is it taking so long?' Why not ask God for an encounter with Him today, that will fill you with the patience you need to continue, and the reassurance that you are loved, and that is it going to be okay.

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