Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Thousand Times a Day

I was sitting in church recently when a man I didn’t know approached me, and asked if I would pray for his wife who is in her early 50's. She had had an aneurism, and then a stroke during a brain operation, and she is now permanently in a convalescent home. He said that she is a Christian, and she is stuck in a room for 24 hours a day, paralyzed down one side. He was heart-broken, lonely, and financially strapped.

Think of it. You are a happy wife, taking life a day at a time, when suddenly this happens to you. Suddenly, everything is ripped from your hands. Everything. She loved the Lord, so how could God let this happen?

The real question is, how could God not let this happen? Imagine if being a Christian meant that God stopped you from having aneurisms and strokes. Imagine if He stopped you from getting cancer and heart disease. In fact, if God loved you He would make sure that you don’t get any diseases, right up until the day you die.

It would be nice if being a Christian meant that we didn’t get diseases, or the flu, or colds, or dandruff. But we do. When we stub a toe, it hurts us as much as it hurts anyone else.

The Bible says that the same storms that came to the man who built his house on sand, came to the man who built his house on rock. One house fell, and one didn’t. Being a Christian means that we come under the stormy trials as the non-Christian. If we didn’t, our churches would sure be full. Very full. Who wouldn’t want to become a Christian if it meant no health problems, and no pain? Sky-divers would pack the pews. So would the obese fast food folks. The only unhappy people would be the medical profession. That day will come, but in the meanwhile we all get the storms of life.

But the key to this dilemma is the foundation upon which we build. If we are Christians, we build upon the sold-rock of the person of Jesus Christ and His teachings, and the Book of Peter tells us that we shouldn’t be surprised when “fiery trials” come our way. But we are told that they “establish, strengthen and settle” us. They reveal our foundation.

A non-Christian who has an aneurism then a stroke and ends up in a convalescent home staring at the wall for 24 hours a day, will more than likely become bitter and angry at God. But the Christian knows that “all” things work together for his or her good (see Romans 8:28). Fires cause the dross to rise to the top of the gold. It purifies it. Storms cause our roots to go down deep. Whatever the analogy, the principle is the same. Trials are for our good.

So horrible though this case may be (and it plays out a thousand times a day), God knows the outcome, and for some reason He has permitted these seeming terrible things to happen to this lady. Her husband is praying for God to heal her, and He may. We could do with some evident miracles nowadays. But even if He doesn’t heal her, He is still with her, and He promises to work this for her good.

In the meanwhile, you may like to pray for this dear lady, and even drop her a note or a gift to let her know we care. Her name is Patricia Dobos, C/o Living Waters Publications, P.O. Box 1172, Bellflower, CA 90706