This post was originally published on July 11, 2011. While of family vacation
I am reposting some of my favorite previous posts.
Yesterday I had a conversation with my friend, Joyce, who is a cancer survivor. A 3 time cancer survivor, actually. The cancer just kept coming back. Her doctor told her recently that she is his only patient to ever survive that. She has been cancer free for 6 glorious years now.
I asked Joyce what faith looked like for her during those dark moments. How did she approach her sickness not knowing whether she would live or die?
The reality is that, when you have a life or death illness, you honestly don't know if it is God's will to heal you in this life or to take you home to give you complete healing in Heaven. We pray for healing. We may claim verses of Scripture that talk about healing. We believe in the God of the Universe who is more than capable of healing. But unless God sends you some type of cosmic email, you really don't know if physical healing is His plan.
So what does faith look like in that moment? Is it my best attempt to believe really really hard that what I want to happen will come true? Is it keeping an optimistic attitude? Is it claiming victory and healing?
I have had my back against the wall in a few situations where I desperately wanted a certain outcome but didn't know the Lord's will. The most recent (and probably painful) of those times has been surrounding the issue of infertility. I don't know whether or not it is God's will to ever give us another biological child. I don't know if I should "keep believing" Him for that, or to close that chapter in my heart.
I don't know what you're faith shaking situation is. We all have them in life. Some promise or desire we'd like to hold on to, but not really knowing what God's will is for us.
Here's what I do:
- I remind myself that God is completely in control and has the power to do whatever He desires. His hands are not tied.
- I remind myself that His ways and His thoughts are higher, and wiser, and better than my own.
- I pour out my heart to Him, telling Him all about my pain and deepest desires of my heart.
- And then I end each prayer with, "Not my will, but Yours be done."
It is in those moments that my heart remembers my deepest desire is for God's will to be done. No matter how strong my longing for a given outcome may be, I know that if God's not in it then I don't want it.
My faith is in God, not in some promise, desire, or isolated verse of Scripture.
Our God is in Heaven,
He does whatever pleases Him.