“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5 (NIV)
When I first met her she was a student at the University of Toronto and a member of my congregation. She was a very devout follower of Jesus and everyone knew of her faith in her Lord as she spoke of Him frequently. Whenever I thought I was floundering in a sermon I would look at her as she sat there drinking up every word I spoke and I would be encouraged.
Her earnest desire to know more about her Saviour God was so very evident. I took much encouragement from her consistent walk with the Lord. That was why it seemed such a shock to hear that she had a difficult form of cancer and the surgery would be complex to correct the problem. By the time of her diagnosis she was married to a wonderful man and had two growing children.
Some well meaning members of her church asked her, “Why would you of all people have this trial in your life?” Her answer was brief and to the point. “Why not me?” was her response. She was wise in the ways of life and knew that disease and accidents were no respecter of persons. Certainly there was some genuine concern on her part for her future and she was desirous of living to see her children grown and on their own.
However, this woman was also submissive to the will of God for her life. If God allowed this difficulty to enter her life she had every confidence that He was going to walk through this valley with her. The presence of God, not the absence of problems, was what kept her stable and able to accept the uncertain future ahead of her.
The surgery went well and now, years later, she is in good health and still faithful to her sovereign Lord.
The attitude of this former parishioner of mine is not the common response seen in people today. People are taught from the get go that they deserve everything good and whatever goes wrong is a terrible tragedy. Because many people believe that this life is all there is, they seek to have the best time possible.
The Christian response to life’s sad alternatives is profoundly different. The child of God knows that this life is only a very small portion of our existence. God’s people are persuaded that the injustices and sorrows of this life are nothing to be compared with the glory that shall be ours in the eternal state. We do not see this world as our final home.
Those who believe in Jesus know that a much better life is to be experienced beyond the veil of death. This world is not all there is. We look for a better place (Hebrews 11:8-10). Do you see this world as all there is or are you looking for the one to come that God is making for all of His people? Your answer to that question will profoundly affect how you handle your difficulties.