The Call to Endure.

When we left the appointment with the National Institute of Health, I was confirmed of one thing: once the tests that they sent off came back, if an answer did not come from them, it was time to throw up a white flag. It was time for me to surrender this idea of having a diagnosis. To be truthful, I just knew that this would not be the case. For over a year now, I have been praying, begging God, to give us some kind of prognosis. Friends, God always answers our prayers; however, sometimes His answers do not line up with our personal desires. A “no” or “not now” is just as much of an answer as a “yes”. So, when we got the news this week that all the tests they sent off had come back normal, I knew I was left with only one option- to praise Him regardless of my own frustrations, disappointments, and other emotions. A call to endure.

As I sat and listened, even mustering out an, “Are you sure?”, tears welling up in my eyes then streaming down my face, anger began to surface. I hung up, and cried out to God. My question to Him was simple: “God, is an answer really too much to ask for? We have twins- two little girls whose needs are great- and all I am wanting is some kind of direction. Is this really too much to ask?”

Gently, I sensed Him whispering into my heart, “My child. I came down from heaven, died for you, and saved you from that which you could have never done yourself. In light of this, is it too much to ask for you to trust me?”

“Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.”- Revelation 13:10b

Nothing within me, outside of God Himself, is okay with this “no news” kind of news. Nothing. But God. He promises that, through Christ, He has equipped us with every good thing we need to do His will. And sometimes, His will is simply this: to endure. He calls us to continue to exist in the same state or condition, to experience pain or suffering for a long time, to deal with or accept something that we would have never chosen for ourselves, to undergo without giving in. But readers, do not miss this truth: He does not call us to endure without giving us the strength to do so. Sometimes, this strength is not felt, but is simply trusted. And in our situation, He has reminded me that I do not have to deal with the struggles and surprises that will come around the corner in the here and now; instead, I can look to Him daily, and believe not in my own ability to handle this calling but in His great ability to take care of that which He planned and detailed out. The raw truth is this: we do not need a diagnosis. We need Him. He has already provided us all that we need in His Son. We don’t have to feel excited about this to believe it wholeheartedly. As Francis Chan once said, “I believe a lot of things that I don’t necessarily like”. And, he’s right. God’s word says a lot of things that my flesh isn’t necessarily giddy about. But, I believe Him and I trust that what He allows is His best for our lives. Unabandoned surrender to the One whose faithfulness is breathed to life each and every day.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Friends, herein lies my weakness, my constant thorn. But, as Paul puts it, in it I will boast. I will proclaim to you that in as much as I desire answers for our girls, I desire God more. I will shout it out, from the rooftops of my soul, that obedience to His purposes is much more satisfying than anything else I desire on this earth. I believe with all my heart that through this weakness of the unknown, His glory is being proclaimed. So, we rejoice. We rejoice and praise, even in the midst of tears and earthly fears. When I am weak-and oh, how weak I am-when I am weak, then His strength is revealed all the more. This is one of the beautiful mysteries of God’s Holy plan for His creation. And, in the big scheme of things? Light and fleeting. All things on this earth, no matter how hard or how painful at the time, are light and fleeting compared to the glory that He is patiently waiting to reveal. ( 2 Corinthians 4:17)

The NIH will continue to seek out answers as science fervently attempts to catch up with God, and we will simply continue to seek Him, letting go of that which we so desired in order to grab on to Him and His purposes in our fleeting lives. He will not be surprised at the trials and joys that appear around the corner, and He will keep doing what He has already been so faithful to do. Beloved, I believe that we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). I believe that He has plans to prosper and not to harm (Jeremiah 29:11). I know this in our family’s life and I know this in yours. He will continue to do what He has done oh so perfectly since the beginning of time: carry us through that which we could not have carried ourselves through. It was proven on the cross and it is proven in our moments as He continues to do that which I would have deemed impossible.

Friends, what corners of life is He asking you to trust in that you are fighting? Where are you needing to let go and, as the saying goes, let God? I may not feel it today, but I believe He is greater than our emotions, greater than all other things, and I know that He will bring peace and healing to those of us who seek His face. My prayer for each of us today is that we would answer the call to endure, and with the power that only He could produce, that we would keep on keeping on, trusting the God that is bringing good out of all things. All it takes is a mustard seed kind of faith. May we offer our lives today and always; living sacrifices to the One who bought us back with the priceless gift of Himself. He is worthy.

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