Life is but a mere breath—like the grass that fades or the flowers that wither away. James tells us to consider it “an opportunity of pure joy” when we experience troubles of any kind.
A friend of mine passed away unexpectedly Sunday. Although I had only met her a handful of times, her life—her spirit—profoundly impacted me.
She suffered from two terminal diseases and was hospitalized countless times. She endured surgery after surgery and every time she praised God and thanked Him for another day. Her strength and resiliency inspired me.
Two days before God took her home, she wrote on Facebook, “I don’t understand why God has decided to keep me in so much pain when I’m battling two terminally ill diseases that give me pain and problems every week. HOWEVER, I don’t question it. I wake every day and live my life while I praise God.” Amazing!!!
A few weeks ago, I was led by the Holy Spirit to read the Book of Habakkuk. I never even knew this tiny book existed in the Bible. It’s only three chapters but within those short pages held lessons to fill a lifetime.
Habakkuk, [huh–bak–uh k], was a prophet during the time when Judah was at war, and the Babylonians were threatening to take control. He questioned God about why He would let turmoil and evil fall on His people. Habakkuk wanted to know where God was in all of this pain and suffering. He believed God was nowhere to be found and had removed Himself from the earth.
Habakkuk demanded to know why and expected God to answer. God gave him an answer, but it wasn’t the one he wanted.
God told Habakkuk that He would use the Babylonians to wipe out Judah and that Habakkuk was to trust God because He knew what He was doing—allowing evil to spread so good would prevail.
We may not know why God does what He does or why He allows evil things to happen but we, like Habakkuk and my friend, are called to trust in God’s sovereignty and to praise Him regardless of the situations we face.
Remember—God is greater than all our giants.
Recently, the city I in live experienced extreme racism and hate. Protests and violence filled the streets. People were afraid, and I asked, “Where are you, God? Why do you allow such evil to happen?”
He answered me with His words from Habakkuk— “Trust Me no matter what. Praise Me and do not be controlled by or even be anxious over your circumstances. Move from doubt to faith and from fear to hope. But above all else, love. Love your neighbor as I have loved you. Fill the earth with love. When you love, you have wisdom, and through wisdom you have everything.”
I may never know why my friend had to suffer like she did in this lifetime. Or why there are so many who are homeless, hungry, lost, and alone. But what I do know is I am called to have faith and to wait with a patient expectation for God’s answer.
God knows what will happen and how these circumstances will further His purpose to spread the love of Christ throughout the world. He even knows who on which end of the crazy spectrum will become President in a few weeks and I have to believe He’s got it under control. No matter my trouble, “I wake every day and live my life while I praise God.”
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the life of Lori and for all those who suffer. Your mercy is endless and your grace abundant. Even though we know Lori is dancing with you in heaven and her suffering has ended, her absence—the void and the emptiness left behind for those of us who knew her and loved her is devastating. Please fill us with Your Comfort, Love and Peace.
Lord, we commit our lives to You as we choose to believe that You are greater than all the giants in this world. May we have faith that Your goodness will conquer all evil and help us to love one another the way You love us. In Jesus name, Amen.