And if not, He is still good….
I know and understand what that means.
• I lose my job; He is still good.
• Paul loses his job; He is still good.
• I get sick; He is still good.
• Paul gets sick; He is still good.
• I wreck our car; He is still good.
• Paul wrecks our car; He is still good.
• A family member gets sick; He is still good.
• A family member suffers a terrible disease; He is still good.
Above all, the Lord is still good. And yet….it’s so hard.
On Sunday night, October 11th, my brother-in-law, Jeff, suffered a severe stroke. On Tuesday night, October 12th, he had a life-saving surgery to remove part of his skull because of the swelling in his brain. (Without that surgery, he would’ve died). He is completely paralyzed on his right side and has permanent brain damage, but to what extent, we do not know.
But through it all, He is still good.
Jeff’s life will never be the same. He may never surf again. He may never sail again. He may never paddle again.
And yet, He is still good.
In the fourteenth chapter of Exodus, as the Israelites were fleeing Egypt, the Lord brought them around the desert road by the Red Sea. As they were traveling, Pharoah was in pursuit.
“As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.” (vs. 10)
Not understanding that God was in control, they cried out to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (vs. 11-12)
The Israelites, the very people who had just escaped slavery from Egypt, were now crying out, pleading for their lives, wishing to go back to the familiarity of Egypt, willing to go back to slavery, instead of trusting in God’s Way. They were so afraid of what was to come; they were not even willing to trust in the One who had brought them out of their place of despair. The Israelites wanted to stay in their comfort zones. For fear of something bad happening, questioning whether the Lord would come through for them, they wanted to stay where they knew they were safe.
But….great things never come to those who stay in their comfort zones.
Am I saying God allowed Jeff to have stroke to pull him out of his comfort zone? Absolutely not.
Am I saying Jeff’s stroke happened because he was too comfortable? No.
But, am I saying Jeff’s stroke can and will be a way for our family to draw closer to God and strengthen our faith, pulling us out of our comfort zone to learn how to completely rely on Him? Yes, I am.
I don’t know what He’s doing, but I know who He is.
I know He is a God of Love.
1 John 4:8- “…..God is Love.”
I know He is a God of Compassion.
2 Corinthians 1:3-“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”
I know He is a God of Healing.
Psalm 107:20-“He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”
I know He is a God of Restoration.
Romans 8:18-“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
I know He is a God of Miracles.
Psalm 50:15-“and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
I know He is a God of Deliverance.
1 Samuel 17:37-“And David said, ‘The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you!”
And I know that even if things don’t go our way, He is still good. And, He is still God.
As the Israelites were complaining, Moses responded, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (vs. 13 and 14)
• Do not be afraid.
• Stand firm.
• The Lord will fight for you.
• Be still.
See, in one verse the Lord promises come through.
Every fear. Every doubt. Every concern. Every question–Can all be wiped away with one verse.
And the Lord continued to stay with them. Despite their grumbling and complaining, the Lord still provided a way.
Exodus 14:19 promises the Lord will always be with us….“Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.”
This verse is a promise that Darkness can never overcome the Light, as long as our faith is in the One who goes before us to provide a way.
As Moses was growing old and no longer able to provide leadership to the Israelites, he commissioned Joshua to lead. In his last charge to the Israelites Moses commanded them to “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble…for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
When all else fails and the world closes in around us, the Lord is still on His throne.
Still providing a way for us. Despite our circumstances, He is still there, lighting our path to a better tomorrow.
And in Jeff’s situation, tomorrow is all we have. Small victories. Baby steps. We don’t look at the future beyond tomorrow. And, in some moments, we haven’t even looked at the future beyond the next hour. And, that’s OK. Living in each moment and celebrating every small victory is proof that God is still on His throne.
And, because He lives, we can face tomorrow.