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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What a mighty God we serve

Wow. My friend Marie and her family just never seem to have normal health related things happen. They never get a cold, a cough, or the flu, but they get IPPT or Glycogen storage disease number 9, or as of yesterday, a "routine" procedure for a gall problem that lands her husband in an ambulance being rushed back to the hospital mere hours after his original procedure and a now ongoing stay in the CCU for pancreatitis. Through all of this though, God's provision has been amazing. Marie's parents were able to come over the day of the procedure to stay with the kids, and so they were here when her husband started to go downhill. Her dad had today off, so they were fine to stay the night with the kids as Marie spent the night in a WAY uncomfortable hospital waiting room chair (CCU doesn't allow overnight visitors). All of our friends were able to drop their lives and pitch in to take her kids to and from their activities and we watched them while Marie's parents drove back to the coast to get the things they needed to stay as long as is necessary. At least 5 people have volunteered to do meals. Marie has developed enough of a relationship with the CCU nurses that they may actually let her sleep in her husband's room tonight despite the rules. Her husband is feeling amazingly better, and she is relieved beyond words (although not as relieved as she will be when he can come home).

God is totally in the details, and we overlook it so often, but it has been demonstrated time and again in the logistics of this latest trial. As my pastor's wife would say, it's chickensnot to think that the Bible somehow promises a life of only prosperity for believers. In fact, we are baptized into Christ's suffering and it is meant to be a privilege to suffer as He did. God uses our trials to perfect our faith. James tells us to consider our trials JOY when we encounter them, not if we encounter them. If you are a believer, and you don't go through trials, there is something wrong. It means essentially that either a) you are a perfectly the person God wants you to be already (and the Bible is clear the Jesus being God made flesh was the only person to fit that description) or b) you just aren't even at a place in your relationship with Him that He can give you those sorts of tests yet. You are still on milk when He wants so much for you to partake of the meat. Be assured we all have dross to burn off, reprobate to give up. And if you can't give it up, well, then the refiner is limited in what He can do with you. Like silver, which is proofed in the fire to be purified, if it won't give up its impurities, the refiner can't use it for his original intention. So too are we to consider trial JOY because the testing of our faith produces endurance (hupomano-to ABIDE UNDER...we abide under God's protection) and let endurance have its PERFECT reward, that we will be found WHOLE and COMPLETE, lacking in NOTHING. God wants us to be spiritually mature, and that maturity is developed by weathering the trials and abiding in GOD during them. He WILL take care of the details-all of them, if you just abide in Him.
And what a pleasure it is to serve such a mighty God as we reach out to people in their distress. The question is, is it just as pleasurable when the person in distress is not your best friend. Would you still rearrange your life for them, or even more, lay down your life for them? THAT is how we are called to live. Wow...I still have so far to go with that, but I'm so thankful God loves me enough to give me the trails and continues to perfect me. I'm proud to be a work in progress-it is so much better than the alternative.
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Clunn Family said...

Ugh, you'll NEVER know how much I needed that right at this very moment. K peacefully sleeping and me pacing the floors missing J to the point of feeling crazy and worried about everything. I know this truth well, thanks for the reminder...I am sure I will have to come back and read it often over the next day or two...the middle of the nights are hard for me!

Lady G~ said...

Well put. I came to know Christ due to a tragedy, my baby brother's death. He was 19. Once I got saved (a year after his death), I realized God has used his death to bring me to Him.

Through the years, it's been evident how He can be glorified through all circumstances. You are right... What a MIGHT God we serve.