We live more than 2500 miles from one another, but I only have to think of her, and I could wretch, thinking of her deep grief. I mean, how do you get out of bed the day after your young daughter has died of cancer? This is when emojis work well, believe it or not. I can send her a heart and praying hands emoji, letting her know I care and I’m praying, right then in real time. Then if she wants, she can pick up the phone and call, text me back or ignore it; any response is on her terms. Many people were praying for Rachelle’s healing, but God had other plans, hence my last Morning Briefing, “When God Says “No” to your prayers” - https://conta.cc/3zvbC68. What I wrote was risky but I am keenly aware that when God does not do what we ask him to do—especially a prayer that is in keeping with what he told us to pray—such as prayers for physical healing, restoration of marriages, etc., then, we hurt and we struggle; some wrestle with doubt, some stop praying, others abandon their faith, ‘how could a good God allow this?’ they ask. In looking for insight as to a biblical, godly response on dealing with God’s ‘no’, besides searching scripture, I looked for sermons by people who have experienced God’s ‘no’ and are still actively trusting God. That, my friend, is faith in action—when God seems to make no sense, and yet we trust him. Case in point. Most people do not know about this guy’s situation. He comes across pleasant and easy going in his sermons, steady as she blows – even when addressing thousands, and preaching six times in a weekend. For years, I’ve known he had a rare physical ailment from birth that causes his brain to run really hot, accompanying adrenaline and emotional exertion making public speaking very painful, sleep difficult to come by. For more than 50 years now, he has asked God to heal him, and God has said, ‘my grace is all you need.’ Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, Southern California. And then, Rick said, “Every day I prayed that God would heal my youngest son of mental illness . . . that didn’t happen and four years ago1 at the age of 27, he took his life. And God said, ‘my grace is all you need and I will use this to help other people in pain.’” “Everything I’ve learned in life I have learned from pain; I have learned nothing from pleasure!” Warren passionately expressed.2 Powerful inspiring message - link below. This morning, in response to my text message of encouragement to her, my friend texted me back. This is what she said: “Christine, please remind me often of God’s goodness.” Immediately, I asked the Lord for some truth for her. What came to mind was something about confidence in his goodness in the land. I loaded those words in Google search and instantly the scripture verse populated: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”3 I sent it. So send I to you. When you need strength for the journey, look to the truths in the Word of God which tell us of the character of God and his actions. There are others of you who have lost a child . . . I am so sorry. You have a God who gets it though. Others are carrying heartaches of varying kinds, you have a Father who cares, who loves with abandon and has promised that one day he will wipe away every tear.8 For now, I would ask you to consider and believe that: --God is good.4 The Lord is good to all; --God does good5. ...he has compassion on all he has made. --He is always at work.6 “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” --He will never leave you alone.7 Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. There are many other verses about the goodness of God, of course, but these are foundational, a good start. More to come on this subject . . . In a time of darkness in my life, I walked into the back of a church and sat down in Flagstaff, Arizona. I knew this song was a gift of God for me, and I pray it is for you too: It is Well - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqo4Un2uZI Even though it wasn't well in my soul right then, I sang it in faith with tears streaming down my face.
All will be well, Christine 1 – ‘four years’ at the time of this message in 2017 2 - The message from Rick Warren: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57begiKb94w 3 - Psalm 27.13 4 - Psalm 145.9a 5 - Psalm 145.9b 6 - John 5.17 7 - Hebrews 13.5 8 - Revelation 21.4