Ezekiel 22-23

1 Peter 1

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour…”     —Isaiah 43:2-3 

I have a friend whom I have known since the day he was converted when he was a teenager; he is in his fifties now. Although nobody in his family was a Christian, his life was totally turned around. He met a lovely girl, married her and had three children. Soon after the birth of their youngest child, the wife was diagnosed with cancer and went through several years of suffering until she died, leaving behind three children aged 5, 7, and 10. At this turning point, my friend had to give up his job to be a single parent. He remarried again, but the woman he married had some serious and deep psychological issues, which made the marriage impossible to work out and it broke down. 

About five years ago, my friend was riding his bicycle down the road and a car failed to stop at a stop sign and went right into him, knocking him against a tree. He got brain damage from which he still suffers some consequences. Then, this past year, his whole house got burned to the ground and he lost everything. When I think of my friend’s life, I see him like Job from the Bible. 

My friend and I correspond once in a while and I would ask how he was doing. Earlier this year, he told me that his daughter got married a year ago to a lovely young man. Soon after their marriage, the husband was diagnosed with cancer and they buried him in April. My friend told me, “My daughter said this to me and I wrote it down because I found it profound.” He pulled out his sheet of paper and read what his daughter said to him on the phone two weeks before her husband passed away: “I prayed for mom to be healed when I was 7 years old and God did not answer my prayer. I am praying now that God will heal my husband but I have no reason to expect that He will because He rarely answers my prayers. But if my husband dies, I will not stop trusting Him no matter what.” My friend’s daughter is in her mid-twenties and she knows God in a way a very few of us will know Him.

The Christian life is not a stepping stone to everything being lovely, where the sky is always blue and the grass is always greener. Things do go wrong in our lives and we have many instances of them in Scripture. May we take some time to honestly ask ourselves this question: how do we approach God when things do not go our way?

Lord Jesus, my life is in Your hands. I do not know what it is You are going to be doing, but no matter what happens, I am trusting You. I am clinging to You. Thank You, Lord.

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