“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
The following is nothing new. It’s not an epiphany I’ve just had, or anything I conjured up—just age old truth that gets me through my days.
God is for me.
All things that happen to me are for my good. There is nothing that has ever happened to me, and nothing that will ever happen to me that has not ultimately been for my good and for His glory. Nothing. My Father in Heaven has known every hair on my head and every step I would take since before the beginning of time. Nothing catches Him off guard. Nothing surprises Him. There is nothing that is out of His control.
Most days I don’t know what I would do without that knowledge.
A week ago, I got water stuck in my ear after an, apparently, unfortunate morning shower. I was disheartened to discover that no matter the length of time I lay on my side pleading, it wasn’t coming out.
I decided I was going to try my very best not to complain about it. On this side of the world, problems like getting water stuck in your ear just seem rather petty. No one feels good, so you’re not to be singled out as anything special.
As the week progressed, the health of my ear regressed.
It’s funny the little things you take for granted back home, like the ability to run to Walmart or CVS and pick up whatever you need for whatever is ailing you. Something goes wrong here, and you feel, for lack of a better term, well, screwed. I tried various supposed remedies, but, all ended in more pain and lessoned hearing. By Saturday morning, I could barely hear anything out my right ear. The pain, especially when sleeping, was excruciating, I started to become dizzy at points, and every morning I would wake up, frighteningly, with less hearing than the day before.
I had a few minor panic moments. I choked back (quickly and determinedly) tears once. I grew frustrated. I was frustrated nothing was working. I was frustrated it was getting worse. I was frustrated that I couldn’t hear anyone talking to me. I was frustrated that it made me think about myself constantly. I was frustrated I didn’t know how to bring it up without sounding like a complaining obnoxious brat.
Life is hard here…I was frustrated that on top of the difficult and the hard, I was unable to hear, and my roommates were plagued with lice.
But, my goodness, the Lord is so gracious to me. Instead of being weighed down by the frustrations that arose, He quickly and repeatedly brought me back to the truth mentioned above.
On the 23rd, I wrote in my journal:
“…ALL things that happen to me are for my good. If I had not gotten water in my ear, that would not have been the best for me.”
I know getting water in my ear isn’t a huge deal. And the above statement would be both true and most likely much more meaningful if “water in my ear” was replaced with “cancer” or the death of a loved one. But, even something seemingly so small, brought me to my knees in desperation and led me to the Cross where there is hope and grace.
“…You are for me. You are for me. You are for me. You are for me….And if God is for me, who can be against me?”
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole
earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless
toward him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” Jeremiah 32:40-41
“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
God is GOOD. He will never cease to be good for in that moment, He would cease to be God.
No matter the circumstance. No matter how hard it may be. No matter how devastating. No matter how painful. God is working it for my good and for His glory. Always.
“God is ruling the world. He is ruling history. And it is all for the good of his people and the glory of his name.”-Piper.
Last night, when I felt I could no longer endure the pain, all I could think of was the following verse:
“Rejoice ALWAYS, pray without ceasing, give thanks in ALL
circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thess 5:16-18.
I wrote in my journal:
It is God’s will that I rejoice always, and that I give thanks even in circumstance of pain and discomfort. For God is in control My Father in Heaven loves me.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Jeremiah 31:3
So, yeah…life is good. I may never know why it was the best thing for me to be unable to hear for a week…but, maybe it was so I wouldn’t be so distracted by all the India noises…and take time to listen to the still small Voice…to meditate all week on the goodness of God…and to learn to rejoice always and pray without ceasing.
He is so gracious to keep working on me.
Shara—A.K.A. Always a mess.
“Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”