By Max Lucado
Do you recite your woes more naturally than you do heaven’s strength? If so, no wonder life is tough. You’re assuming God isn’t in this crisis.
He is. Even a famine was fair game for God’s purpose. For example, there is the fourteen-year-old in which they discovered a tumor was behind the boy’s spleen. The discovery led to several months of strenuous prayer and chemotherapy. The son recovered. He is now playing high school football, and the cancer clinic is a distant memory. But the discovery of the tumor is the part of the story I find fascinating. When the boy was seven years old, he was horsing around with his cousins. One of them accidentally kicked him in the stomach. Acute pain led to a hospital visit. An alert doctor requested a series of tests. And the tests led the surgeon to discover and remove the tumor. After the cancer was removed, the father asked the physician how long the tumor had been present. Although it was impossible to know with certainty, the form and size of the tumor indicated it was no more than two or three days old. God used a kick in the gut to get the boy into treatment.
Then there is the story of Isabel. She spent the first three and a half years of her life in a Nicaraguan orphanage. No mother, no father. No promise of either. With all orphans, odds of adoption diminish with time. Every passing month decreased Isabel’s chance of being placed in a home. And then a door slammed on her finger. She was following the other children into the yard to play when a screen door closed on her hand. Pain shot up her arm, and her scream echoed across the playground. Question: Why would God let this happen? Why would a benevolent, omnipotent God permit an innocent girl with more than her share of challenges to feel additional pain? Might He be calling for the attention of Ryan Schnoke, the American would-be father who was sitting in the playroom nearby? He and his wife, Cristina, had been trying to adopt a child for months. No other adult was around to help Isabel, so Ryan walked over, picked her up, and comforted her. Several months later when Ryan and Cristina were close to giving up, Ryan remembered Isabel and resolved to try one more time. This time the adoption succeeded. Little Isabel is growing up in a happy, healthy home.
A kick in the gut?
A finger in the door?
God doesn’t manufacture pain, but He certainly puts it to use.
God… is the blessed controller of all things. — 1 Timothy 6:15 Phillips
His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). His judgments are unsearchable, and His paths are beyond tracing out (Romans 11:33).
We can’t always see what God is doing, but can’t we assume He is up to something good?
|Excerpted from You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.|