Friday, March 28, 2014

Even If

Welcome to those of you joining me from the Encouragement Cafe today...thank you for stopping by! In my devotion titled, "Not What I Expected" I shared a bit of my heart and as I reflect on all that lead to those words tears come to my eyes. I wrote about my prayers for my grandma and God's answers. Answers that even now, 9 months later, still leave me sitting at the keyboard with tears streaming down my face.

Jesse receiving his 1st and last chocolate Easter bunny from B last Easter.
 I find myself thinking about my grandma often and missing her too. My children talk about her quite a bit and the other day my four year old even asked to go to her house. We'd all love to see her again, hear her laugh and feel her love, but for now we must wait until we're reunited in heaven.

And while we wait, what do we do? Honestly, sometimes we still cry and typically we thank God for the memories, but we also try to thank Him in the memories. And sometimes that is hard...I don't just want to remember the good times, I'd still like to experience them. Like my son, I too would love to go have ice cream with Grandma B, but since our prayers weren't answered like we wanted that won't happen.

That fact could leave me angry, and it could have caused me to turn my back on God, but instead it's drawn me closer. In His Word, God tells me (and you) not to lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). I don't understand why my grandma's time was up and perhaps you're confused by pain in your life, but friend that's OK. We don't have to rely on our own understanding, instead we must trust our faithful Father, the One who has a perfect plan and works things together for our good and His glory.

Our circumstances will change, but God never does! He is good, He is powerful and He is sovereign. As my grandma walked through her battle with cancer, I can remember hearing Kutless sing, "Even If The Healing Never Comes" and thinking that could be true for Grandma. The reality of her not being healed was something I needed to face and share with my children. As I thought about this, questions entered my mind - "If the healing didn't come, would I still say God was good? If the healing didn't come, would I still trust the great and mighty One?"

Nine months have passed since I told my grandma, "Good-bye" and friend can I encourage you today by saying I still trust the One who gave answers I didn't want, who worked in ways I don't understand and comforted me with arms I don't see. The peace that Paul talks about in Philippians 4:7 is real and it does guard our hearts and minds.

Can I encourage you to trust our heavenly Father, run to our Lord and find comfort in the One who saves even if? Even if your loved one passes away, even if the relationship is not restored, even if your plans fall apart, even if ______ fill in the blank.

Friend, let's keep seeking God, asking Him to fill our needs and praying for the miracle! May we also remember we are the one who does the asking, but God does the answering and sometimes those answers aren't what we want. In those "Even If" situations we will hurt, we will cry and we may even be discouraged, but may we cling to Him in our desperation.

If you are on the other side of an "Even If" situation may these words from Isaiah bring you comfort and hope.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:28-31)

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