Yesterday, we walked. We breathed in the fresh, cool, fall air and attempted to breathe out the suffocating hards that have reared their heads. I stared at creation, glared it in the eyes as questioned penetrated my hurting heart. I did not get in His Word yesterday morning; partially intentional if I am honest. So much of me felt numb, and I wanted those parts to feel. I forgot that His throne is the place in which my feelings can be felt without fear.
Three deer appeared from the woods; and I watched as they tried to make their way to the cool waters in order to quench their thirst.
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.”- Psalm 42:1
They reached the water’s edge, and then noticed our presence and quickly ran away; never to touch their lips to the waters that could bring them life. No! I thought to myself. You were so close. Don’t be afraid of that which is not going to harm you- just drink.
Them panting; myself panting. Both of us in front of the one thing that could heal yet not willing to step out in faith and drink.
We received the results of the genetics test back on Wednesday. This test is the most thorough genetics test known to mankind; and while I had been informed that the results could be messy and not concrete, I wanted to believe otherwise, so I did.
As the genetics counselor read me our results over the phone, my heart pounded and my hands clinched, not only in posture but also in emotion. So much power was put into this conversation with man; man who can kill the body, kill the expectations I had for our life, kill my so-called plans, but who cannot destroy the very thing that matters-our souls. She read me the inconclusive news, and talked to me about our next steps. She told me about the mutations that had been found, and let me in on what that could mean. We now stand at the edge of determining whether or not the girls have a particular disease that, from a worldly perspective, will not go well. I stand vague before you, dear reader, because I do not want to pour empty words out onto a screen; and without confirmation through more testing, those words would stand empty on our behalf. Ahead for our family are more MRI’s, more researching by numerous physicians, more appointments with doctors across the country, and more waiting. My heart hurts on a level I did not believe it could hurt. I hurt for my husband, who is trying to carry the burden of a wife who waits for the devastating, while also trying to process his own emotions. I hurt for our families who have been on a roller coaster with this journey as well; and who stand on the outskirts in their own helplessness in the situation. I hurt for our friends who are attempting to support us in these challenges. Mostly, I hurt for our girls and for what the future hards could hold. But God.
As our church is reading through the Bible, we have landed in 2 Kings in this season and time after time, God continues to show His provision. In 2 Kings 4, a certain Shunammite woman was given the gift of a son in a time period in which her husband was old and she no longer had expectations for this. As the chapter unfolds, the son becomes sick and appears to have died. The Shunammite woman bitterly says,
“Did I ask you for a son…didn’t I tell you, don’t raise my hopes?”- 2 Kings 4:28
Bitter because the very thing she did not ask for was dangled in front of her face as good and then taken away in an instance. The Lord goes on to raise her son from the dead, and while healing on this side of heaven does not always end this way, how we can all relate. So often, the things that we do not ask for seem to be taken away from us, and we are left wondering why. It can be an actual person, a job, health, material possession, a relationship… so many things. In our case, these precious girls came along as somewhat of a surprise and turned our world upside down. We began to know love in a way that we had never grasped; and suddenly, the journey took a turn and here we stand, broken in some ways. I see myself in the Shunammite woman, doubting God’s plan in the midst of my own pain. But God.
2 Kings was written before Christ came. This woman did not know of hope beyond this life, and there God’s provision came in immediate healing. But God, through Christ, has offered us something that much better: His Son. Ultimate healing and ultimate provision by the blood of Jesus Christ.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!”- John 16:33
The Word spells it out so clearly to me, yet how often I miss the mark. In this world we will have trouble. In this world, God promises, we will have trouble. When hardship comes along, so often we shake our fists at the sky and cry out, “God, if you are good, then why? Why are you bringing this hard into my life, my friend’s life, my family’s life?” We stumble along the edges of the temporary, forgetting that this world is not our home; not remembering that in a blink of an eye this will all fade. And God, as He sits with His Son triumphant at His right side, patiently continues to pour out His love and promises to us in the midst of our doubting panic. Take heart, my friend, He has overcome the world. Take heart, my soul, He has overcome the world. Take heart.
I am standing at the edge of the stream, and cool, healing waters await. This healing may not come in the form of easy; it may not come in the form of immediate relief of our present pain. But God. It offers me the assurance that God Himself walked this circumstance down the road of Calvary and nailed it all to the cross that He bore for you and for me. He has overcome. His offer stands for us in this moment to drink in deeply the promises He has given us; not promises of comfortable or safety from pain on this side of heaven, but promises that He is with us and that He has already righted all the wrongs. As we await whatever news our particular piece of the story will unfold, I find comfort knowing that He is Sovereign in it all. This is His plan, and it is good. No matter what the ending is on earth, rewards like we have never known await in Him, namely Him. Nothing here has power over you, over me, over our girls. He is writing this story until the very end, and He is writing it with His very own merciful pen. He is here. He has not promised us good news from the eyes of the world; but He has offered us His very own life and that is enough. Eternity.
Friends, I beg you to view your current situation in light of His love. Drink deeply of His purposes and His goodness poured out for you through His very life. He brings beauty from all of the brokenness, and His waters bubble out His glories for all eternity.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”- Ephesians 3:20-21