As a young girl in a strict thinking church denomination I can remember hearing of the illnesses or challenges in the lives of people in our church. Conversations involving these folks would inevitably be followed with questions like, “I wonder what God is teaching them”, “they must have sin in their life” or “satan is really attacking them.” Now, It isn’t my place to say whether those statements had any truth in those situations, yet as I watched my life and the lives of so many others I am much more reticent to attach those thoughts to someones life challenge.
I have seen hurtful and unkind people soar, while kind, giving people face challenge. I have seen careless people experience financial blessing while frugal friends have faced financial loss. I have seen folks who have a passion to have a large family experience pregnancy disappointments while others who are irresponsible with the children they already have appear to have a seamless time having more children. I have watched people who focus on their physical health; making good choices in both food and exercise, face cancer or heart disease while others without concern for their health live to be 99!
“LIFE” happens to everyone.
We all face challenges in this life~ we have all looked toward heaven in wonderment asking God “but Why Lord? “. Those who would be honest might speak of feeling abandoned by God, over-looked somehow, or perhaps have even questioned whether God exists at all.
As I interact with so many precious people on a regular basis I hear heart wrenching stories of loss and challenge. I remember last year when my nephew was so brutally taken from us all…I spent weeks crying out to God and asking “Why?”. However, I am learning more and more that God never promised that we would be untouched by the challenges in this life. He never expressed that an unchallenged life is proof that we belong to Him, nor that a challenged life is proof of His abandonment.
I address this simply to set the “plumb line” straight again. The Word says we will face trials and challenges, we will not always be in favor with people, we have bodies that may not be in perfect health in this life….BUT…………..
John 16:33 says; “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Romans 14 says ” Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. ”
Hebrews 13:5 says ” I will never leave you OR forsake you.”
Just those few verses alert me to the fact that He knew our questions would come; He is not surprised when we don’t understand the challenges we are facing. Yet, I imagine in those times that His compassion is over-flowing on our behalf.
As I again reflect back on those questions that often overshadow our judgement of one another as we watch each other navigate perilous waters; let’s be grace filled and slow to judge the circumstances as a “sin issue” or a “teaching opportunity ” for God.
Because….as we all know….”LIFE” happens to everyone.
If today “LIFE” is happening to you~ then I wish you His strength and grace today.