I’m lying in bed next to Shelby as I watch the rise and fall of his chest. A beautiful sight considering just a couple of weeks ago I found him barely breathing on our kitchen floor in a pool of his own blood. And while I am so grateful that he is home now, a part of me knows that there are so many others whose story didn’t have the same happy ending. Their loved one never made it out of the ICU, their prognosis ended up being cancer, their child was never cured.
Why does it seem like God answered our prayer and not theirs? Why did He spare my husband’s life and not theirs? Did we figure out the magic formula to get God to finally answer our prayers? Did we have more faith, more righteousness, more Jesus “brownie points?”
What was it that made our Christmas a celebration and others another painful reminder that their loved one must continue to suffer or is gone?
Yet, this past year hasn’t been all moments of rejoicing. We’ve had our share of heartache and sorrow. We’ve prayed prayers that seem to have gone unanswered. We’ve had our moments of doubt and anger. Our lives have been anything but the ideal of a faithful follower of Christ. At least to my knowledge, we haven’t prayed any differently this time around than with the other trials we have gone through. In fact, I know of others whose faith is stronger and lives more righteous than ours who have been touched by unspeakable tragedy far worse than anything we have gone through.
So why did God give us this undeserved gift of having our daddy and husband home in time for Christmas this year?
The only thing that keeps coming to my mind is that God is sovereign.
Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.1 Chronicles 29:11
He sees and He knows all things. To some He grants life; to others death. To some sickness; to others health. To some fruitfulness; to others barrenness. To some riches; to others poverty. Both are for our good and His glory. Both are still God’s will. Both are still Him answering prayer, maybe not in the way we want but He sees our tears and He hears our cries. He continues to work all things for good, even though how we feel seems like the farthest thing from good.
I’ve learned so much about God’s glory in the midst of suffering that to be on this side of things is unfamiliar territory. I keep wondering, “would I still be able to rejoice if the result was different?” Would I still say that God answered my prayer if the surgeon came out with a different report? Would I be able to say as Job did, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Oh that those words would be true of me whether the Lord gives or takes away. I don’t flippantly want to say that the Lord is good all the time. I used to think that the only people who said that were those who hadn’t gone through trials in life. But I’ve had my share of trials this year and through it all I can undeniably say that God is good. all. the. time. He is sovereign. No matter what my circumstances are, He never changes. He is forever the same. In Him, I can rest in a God who is who He says He is. . . because He is sovereign.