It is well with my soul…
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
I talked with my husband this weekend about miracle healings that I had read about, not specifically to do with cleft (I have actually only found one instance of a misdiagnosed cleft in utero, and believe me I have scoured the internet for such instances) but I shared with him stories I read online of other illness, and a story someone shared with me of complete healing by God of her own baby. I told him how those people said their faith grew with the answered prayers. My husband’s first question was where would their faith be if God had not provided the healing, would their faith have still grown ten fold? The question kind of took me back, I expected him to say wow those stories are awesome and begin a conversation with me about God’s power to do anything, but he didn’t, our conversation took a route I did not expect. We talked about what happens to people’s faith when God does not give them the desires of their heart, where does their faith stand when the pain and suffering are allowed to continue? I don’t know what that would be for those people, it did not even occur to me to think of that. My husband reminded me that as a believer, the growing of our faith in God does not depend on healing, success, good fortune, and God granting us our prayers. When miracles happen, when things that are supernatural happen, it absolutely will grow our faith, because God is the only explanation – BUT – what happens to our faith when God’s plan is to allow us to endure trial for a greater purpose; what can happen to our faith when He takes the young husband or wife from a family, what happens to our faith when babies die or children are diagnosed with serious illness without healing, what happens to our faith when a man walks into a church and shoots the congregation, what happens to our faith then? Where will my faith stand if God’s plan for my life includes hardship, sadness, and pain? Will my faith grow in the misfortune or will it wither?
God mentions at least twenty times in the bible that trial will occur to those that follow Him (maybe more, I am not a theologian or biblical scholar). God puts a man named Job through what all of us would consider the worst pain imaginable. God allows Job’s children to be killed, all his possessions to be taken, his health to diminish, at the end Job is left with little. All but one of Jesus’s twelve disciples dies a painful and what we would consider horrific death. Each of these men had spent direct time with the savior himself, yet was killed. God sends a piece of himself to earth as Jesus and He sends Him to a cross to die a painful death to bear the weight of all the sin each of us have or will ever do. It is all a part of God’s will, to show us that our hope, joy, and praise for God does not exist in the happiness we find in this world. It exists in the life we hope to have in the presence of God in Heaven.
So often I fail God here, I seek His glory and His goodness in the happy times here on earth, I rejoice in the prospering He brings me, but I fail Him by doing only this, because in times of trial His glory is no different than in times of prosper. I have to rejoice in both, the pain and the joy, and that can be so hard. It is so easy to ask, why me? It is harder to say ok, God you choose me to endure this hardship, I will follow you and thank you for what I am about to endure. Honestly few can do that, who can sit in pain and suffering of a cancer diagnosis, of the death of someone the love, in the pain of watching your child suffer, which one of us can sit there and say to God, thank you for this trial as it will grow my faith as I endure it, even if the outcome is opposite of what I ask of you. I will be honest and say I have never been that person, I have not been one to praise God for the trial. I always certainly praise Him when He brings me out of it, but do I ever stop to thank Him for the pain, nope. Maybe you do, but I certainly fail Him in that aspect. During a time of hardship my prayers are always pleading to Him to bring me out of it, I certainly fail Him by not sitting with the pain and asking Him, what should I be learning from this Lord, how I should I be using this hardship to serve you? My prayers certainly only tend to focus on asking Him to please remove the pain from me, please give me peace with it, because pain is hard to endure. The darkness can bring us down to low places where the enemy is waiting to whisper in our ears. We have to stay focused on God in all circumstances, remember we live in a fallen world, and remember that at times His plan for us may include trial.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
The song below really hits me, and I cry every time I hear it. Sometimes my faith is small in the midst of pain, when I am broken will my faith grow or wither? What will I say to God, when I am held to the flame? If He doesn’t bring me out of the situation as I desire, if He lets me suffer as a part of His plan for me, will I have the strength to say it is well with my soul? Even if He lets me suffer, lets my family suffer, even though He has the power to remove every pain and every tear but chooses not to for His greater plan, I pray my hope will remain in Him, I pray my faith will remain, I pray I will STILL LIVE FOR HIM.