I walked outside as the sun was setting to have a little chat with the Lord. Nature helps me remember God is in control; He indeed keeps all things in order, which includes the lifting and lowering of the sun.
Two weeks earlier I had walked into my home and found my son, Jon, flat on his back. The lamp had been knocked off a nearby table, and my husband was kneeling next to him asking him “after-seizure” questions.
After a millisecond of stunned silence, I shifted into caregiver mode in order to meet Jon’s needs. In the week that followed, Jon endured continual migraines and doctor appointments, and I continued with caregiving needs such as paperwork, waiting rooms, more paperwork, phone calls, tests, and did I mention paperwork? And with all the paperwork came the rehashing of almost 17 years of unending struggles that have caused him pain and unrest. I was also reminded of the reality that I cannot fix or change what God has allowed in Jon’s life.
I know there is a purpose in it all, but when wavering emotions and shattered dreams cast their long, dark shadows across my heart, I need to talk with the Lord.
What Do I Do Now, Lord?
For years I have felt anxious, afraid, angry, and powerless to heal my son’s pain. I’ve been asking the Lord one question . . . one I bet you have asked a time or two: “What do I do now?”
If you have experienced some of the struggles below, maybe you are asking Him, “What do I do now?”
- You have lived with chronic pain, and just as it was getting better, an accident caused more pain than ever.
- After working at your marriage, you learn your mate has been cheating on you and living a double life.
- Your child is sexually assaulted and just as the healing begins, another assault happens, and she or he has even more trauma.
- You have been cancer free and just found out there’s a lump in your other breast.
- You lose your job, bills are due, and you have no insurance to care for the medical expenses of your loved ones.
- You pursue every form of therapeutic intervention for your child, only to watch him or her get worse.
- You are attending college, and a weekend accident paralyzes you from the waist down.
As I watched the sun set and talked with God, all was quiet for a while. Jesus has never been or will ever be in a hurry. I pondered what Moses, Joseph, Paul, David, Hannah, John the Baptist, Peter, and even Jesus had done when life was awful—they ran to God and called upon Him for help. Moses at the Red Sea, Joseph in the dungeon, Paul in another shipwreck, David in hiding from Saul, Hannah in infertility, John the Baptist in prison, and Jesus upon the cross.
They all ran to God and found the courage to trust His plan. Courage is not the removal of our pain. Courage is choosing to persevere and endure difficulties, dangers, or fears while believing that God will be faithful. It is the inner fortitude to call upon Jesus Christ as Lord and face whatever we must face without running or pretending it’s not there.
What Are You Going to Do?
As my dad has written, “Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much . . . quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking . . . like enduring pain when the room is empty . . . like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.”[ref]Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 369.[/ref]
So when we don’t know what to do, let’s run to the One who does know what we should do.
- Does that mean pain will go away? No.
- Does that mean your marriage will be saved? Maybe not.
- Will it keep your child from being abused or hurt or free from seizures? Not necessarily.
But it does mean that we will learn and grow and change and be able to help others when they don’t know what to do.
The sun finally set and it was dark except for a few stars. Nothing changed about Jon’s needs, but everything changed about how I planned to walk through the season with Jon . . . by clinging to Christ. That is the answer we are looking for: Christ alone!
Let Me Hear from You
Are you running from something or someone you need to face? How is your conscience these days . . . guilty or clear? Are you trying to fix what only God can change? All we are to do is run to Him. Do you need to run to Him?
Let’s talk about what that looks like in your situation today.
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