My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:26 NLT
Cancer, Mental Health, Tragedy, Dementia, Alzheimer’s etc… In one form or another illness and suffering has made its way into our lives. Although I may not have all the answers as to why, please allow me to share and instill some hope into you today.
A few years ago cancer hit close to home. First with my youngest brother who was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and then a couple years ago with my older sister (in picture on left) who was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. It was a hard season, not only in their lives but in the lives of those who shared in their suffering. We prayed them through like you wouldn’t believe and yes friends, Jesus answered. To the glory of God both live great, healthy, cancer free lives. Yes, Jesus still heals!
Today illness and suffering has yet again peeked its ugly face into our lives. We are currently walking through a hard season of watching such an amazing woman of God, my sweet aunt (in picture above), fade slowly in mind as she battles the horrible illness of Dementia (amongst other things). What is Dementia?
de·men·tia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
The highs and lows, the mood swings, the confusion, the tantrums, the unpredictability; all come with this horrible disease. You hope and pray that it would get better but when it doesn’t another creepy monster tries to peek in. Doubt!
You are probably wondering or even thinking! Girl. Get your praying, declaring warrior suit on like you did for your siblings. Believe me when I say, we are praying and believing. Not for our will to be done but God’s will above all.
When we see/experience disease, tragedy, suffering and/or evil in this world, doubt is ready to take center stage on making you doubt against God. You might say things or have thoughts that sound a little like…
- God if you are all powerful, why (fill in the blank)?
- God, but I declared, believed, fasted and prayed and still (fill in the blank)
- How long God? How long?
- Why God, Why?
My friend, we’ve all been there. Don’t feel shame because those questions pop up in your head or are uttered from your mouth.
Again, allow me to pour some hope in to your weary soul today. Instead of doubting God, how about we doubt toward faith! Doubt towards faith? Yes! How about we lift those thoughts, questions and doubts to the obedience of Christ?
God has not lost His power, authority or Sovereignty all because I didn’t get the answer I believed, declared, fasted and prayed for. The psalmist David was all too familiar with such a request. Come with me to 2 Samuel 12. (For the story in its entirety begin at verse 15 through 25)
16 David prayed to God for the baby. David refused to eat or drink. He went into his house and stayed there and lay on the ground all night.
18 On the seventh day the baby died.
19 David saw his servants whispering and understood that the baby was dead. So David asked his servants, “Is the baby dead?”
The servants answered, “Yes, he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the floor. He washed himself. He changed his clothes and got dressed. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship. After that he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate. 1 Samuel 12: 16, 18, 19-20
Though we can come up with many religious or even theological answers as to why we believe David’s baby didn’t live, please don’t lose sight of David’s attitude in verse 20. The bible says, “David got up washed himself, changed his clothes and got dressed. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship.” (Italics mine)
What was David’s hope in his suffering? He never lost sight of WHO God was!
For you it could be a suffering like that of David’s, the loss of a child/ loved one. For others it could be an illness/disease, a financial rut, a failed relationship.
Today! For me! It’s seeing such a beautiful woman of God live in such a state of confusion and at times helpless and lost due to this horrible illness called dementia.
But just as David I choose to not lose sight of WHO God is (daily). How can I lose sight of my GOD, when I see him all around me?
I see him in the times we get to serve her by bringing her dinner.
I see him when we get to bathe her because she can’t do it herself, lathering her with lotion afterwards and spraying her with her favorite perfume.
How do I not see God in those moments when her mind and health are failing but as we read His word to her she’s reciting the Psalms right along with us because her spirit if forever connected to His?
The question for me is no longer WHY the suffering. The question for me is, “How will I choose to respond in my suffering?” Please don’t misunderstand me. To everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3). So Yes! Grieve, cry, shout, scream, ask, but beyond that…PLEASE, DON’T ever lose sight of who GOD is! He IS GOOD!
Oh that glorious day when she will forever be healed in the presence of our Savior Jesus! It doesn’t get better than that! This is my hope!
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).