Monday, August 20, 2007

Only God knows

Yesterday, my sister called me to tell me that her friend, a 32 year old mother of 4, had passed away after a long fight with cancer. It's difficult to find any words that would even begin to express how sad it is to know that those 4 children have lost their mother. I am praying that God will comfort them, and guide them through this season in their lives, and that their father will have the strength that he needs as well. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that I have experienced this. I have presided over and attended several funerals in the last few years of lives that were cut short by disease or tragedy. For those who are left behind, there are all kinds of questions that come up. Why did it happen? Was there anything I could have done? We prayed for healing, didn't God hear us? In most cases, we just don't have simple answers that can make it better. But for those of us who know God, it's important to understand that He still hears and answers prayer. He still has the power to heal (Isa. 53:5), but He also knows more than we can fathom about how these circumstances will affect others in the end. I have heard numerous accounts of family members coming to know the Lord through these events. We know that God is working for our good (Romans 8:28), even if we can't see how right now.

Today I was reading in the book of Genesis the story of Joseph. At the end of the story, in chapter 45, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them. I have always marveled at Joseph's attitude when dealing with the circumstances that faced him. Here he was, with incredible power, and the opportunity to take revenge on the brothers who had sold him into slavery so many years earlier, but Joseph chose to forgive. In verse 5 he says, "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you." Joseph could see how God had worked all of these circumstances together for the very day when he would be able to help save his own family from becoming destitute. It makes me wonder about the loved ones who have left this life and gone before us. When we see them again in heaven will they say to us, "Don't be distressed, it was for this reason that God sent me ahead of you." In the meantime, keep praying, keep believing, and keep hoping.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michelle from GFC Tampa checking in...How is your mom doing? My journey has been home email is
Thanks for updating me.