I don't know about you, but I am just SO ready for Jesus to come back. Anytime you're ready, Lord. People ask, "Don't you want to see your son grow up and have a wonderful life and have grandbabies?" Gee, if it's that or heaven? Nope, I don't really care if I have grandbabies if I can be in the presence of Almighty God with no more night, no more crying or pain, or sickness or loss.
Within the last 24 hours I have received news from the Phillipines that things are getting worse there instead of better as far as the flooding, landslides, and spread of disease. And this isn't even monsoon season yet. We sent some money, which is definitely helping, and for which Pastor Alex and his people are extremely grateful. It just feels so awful being so many thousands of miles away, knowing you have MORE than enough to help hundreds of the poorest of the poor, and yet short of flying there (which would probably kill me) I just pray. I shouldn't say JUST, because it is the most powerful thing to do, but most of you know what I mean. I just feel so helpless sometimes.
Then this morning I learn that a very dear, old friend lost her baby yesterday. She was at four months, and now has to go through a procedure to remove the baby from her womb. This is her third miscarriage, and she is devastated. She has had a really tough time getting pregnant...they did in vitro like 5 times, and then after they quit all that she got pregnant on her own, and has a beautiful little girl. This pregnancy was also a surprise, and she just found out about 6 weeks ago. Her husband is also struggling greatly, and they have to figure out a way to tell their 2 1/2 year old baby girl that she's not going to be a big sister.
WHY is ping-ponging through my head. Why would God allow such devastation to some of the poorest people on the planet? They already had nothing. Now they have less than nothing.
Why would God allow my friend to even get pregnant only to lose the baby and have to go through a horrible process to remove the baby?
Why did my best friend on the planet have to suffer and die from cancer at age 40?
I may NEVER know the answers to these questions. Not until I get to heaven, and then, honestly, I don't think I will care. I will just be so relieved to be away from all the hurt and suffering of this broken, crippled world.
The hope I have is this: God's Word says that ALL things WORK together for GOOD for those who love Him and keep his commandements. To know that the God of the Universe is WORKING for MY good, even though it seems as if there is nothing but horror, pain and devastation. He has a plan, my friends. And his thoughts are higher than my thoughts, and His ways are better than my ways.
I do not feel especially optimistic right now. But I know if I do not have hope, if I cannot cling to something I know to be True and Right, I will not survive. God is the only One who has kept me going through 8 years of chronic illness. Let me tell you, it would have been SO much easier for me to just lay down and die. But there is something that God has put in the human spirit that raises up through the most dire of circumstances and says, I WILL SURVIVE.
"I WILL SURVIVE!!"
It's the flower that pushes through the concrete because it must bloom.
It's the parent who refuses to give up hope on their rebellious child because love is stronger than despair.
It's the 2 pound baby, born way too soon, that fights for every breath, and survives, and thrives, and lives to be old and gray.
It's the broken heart of the widow, that is carefully sewn together by the hand of God Himself.
It's the quiet strength of a best friend who, even though she lost the war, fought the good fight.
So if you're broken, if you're ill, if you're suffering, BELIEVE. I know you don't want to. I don't want to sometimes. But I'm telling you from experience it's the only thing that will keep you going.
Push through that concrete...fight for that breath. It WILL be worth it.