Monday, March 1, 2010

Embracing the Bullet

Here is my FaithWriter's entry on the subject of "phew." This was my first entry at the Intermediate level - the one that received a "Highly Commended" rating. I'm not entirely happy with the title, but it's the best I could come up with at the time.

Embracing the Bullet

The phone rang and I nervously answered, “Hello?”

“This is your doctor’s office” chirped the voice on the other end. “Your test results are back and I’m happy to report that they all came back normal - no cancer!”

“Phew!” I thought to myself. I sure “dodged the bullet” on that one! Things hadn’t looked quite normal at a recent visit to the doctor and they felt it necessary to rule out the possibility of cancer. Being the pessimist that I am, I was already mentally preparing myself for a negative diagnoses. What a relief it was to then get good news! “God is good!” I breathed to myself.

But what about those times that we don’t dodge that bullet? What about those times that it hits us right smack in the chest - is God still good? We will all face those moments. It may be a devastating diagnosis from our doctor. It may be our spouse deciding that they no longer to wish to be married. We might be placed into a situation where we will have to bury our own child. Financial ruin could be lurking in our future. Natural disasters occur all the time - perhaps one day our own home might be swallowed up by a roaring tornado or consumed by a fire. We don’t know what’s in store.

It’s so easy to praise God when the news is good. But can we lift our hands in praise when it’s not? That‘s not usually our first response, that‘s for sure! As humans, we seek answers when things don’t go our way. We also like to be able to assign blame. But when we have an understanding of just who God is and how great He is, then it will be easier to still praise Him, even in the midst of trials.

I like to look at Job when I am tempted to question why God is allowing a certain tribulation in my life. This entire book addresses the age- old question of how can a good God allow His children to hurt. I especially like chapter 38. Verses 4-7 tell us,

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?”*

I definitely feel “put in my place” after reading this, as well as awed at the immense greatness and power of God.

When times of testing occur, I also appreciate the promise found in Romans 8:28,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…”

It’s assurance to me that God is using this hard time for something good! I may not be able to say, “Phew-missed that one!” But I can say with certainty that God is good - no matter what happens and no matter what my circumstances are. That’s a relief far greater than even my doctor’s office can offer!

* Scripture quotations from New International Version of Bible

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