And He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From Connor's Mommy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

JOySuffering.  I've come to the conclusion that suffering is the hardest teacher there is.  Suffering teaches difficult lessons that are hard to understand; hard to grasp.  Yet, once you've learned them, they are not easy to forget - they are forever cemented in your brain, and forever imprinted on your heart.
I've learned to deal with what I felt was broken promises.  After Connor's second diagnosis, a friend gave me a book on Psalm 91.  This Psalm has many promises of God's protection.  It is beautiful.  I would read it every night over Connor while he was sleeping, hoping these words would stir God into action.
"He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.  He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection...
If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague come near your home.
For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands so you wont even hurt your foot on a stone...
The Lord says, 'I will rescue those who love me.  
I will protect those who trust in my name.'"    vs. 3-4, 9, 12
After Connor passed away, I couldn't even read these words.  To me, it represented broken promises.  How could I reconcile Connor's death with these beautiful promises?  I struggled with this for a long time, and my teacher, Suffering, has showed me the real truth behind these verses.  There is something more important to God than protecting us from physical harm.  His agenda is Kingdom advancement.  Nancy Guthrie explains it well.
"While he cares deeply about us and the physical pain we experience, he cares far more about our spiritual conditions.  He knows that these bodies of ours are wearing out and will someday die.  It's our souls that he is most concerned about.  Jesus knows we have a hard time grasping this more significant spiritual reality.  And, so in our everyday requests for safe travel and physical health, and in our more desperate prayers for healing or deliverance amid great difficulties, we try to apply to or bodies God's promises of protection that were intended for our souls.  And when we do, we're often left disappointed.  Until we value the eternal life of our souls more than the temporary life of our earthly bodies, we will continue to feel disappointed with God.  God has not promised wholesale physical deliverance in this life for those who place their faith in him.  But he has promised to protect our souls for eternity.  And really that is so much bigger, so much better."  
I admit that although I agree with everything Nancy said, I still struggle to remember it sometimes.  The pain of losing Connor often takes my attention away from the truth.  I'm wondering how many other people have been disappointed by these seemingly "broken promises", too.   If you have felt this same disappointment, remember Jesus on the cross.  When I think of his sacrifice, I can't be angry with God for not rescuing Connor the way I wanted him to - ways that are limited by my earthly perspective.  I can't continue to believe that His promises of protection weren't kept.  Everyday, I'm reminded that those promises weren't meant to protect me or Connor from anything that threatens our comfortable existence in this life.  They were meant to rescue our souls for eternity.
Always believing,
Joy Cruse

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