Monday, January 29, 2018

Where is God When Life Hurts?

Yesterday a cancer patient called me wailing, cursing God, and asking,

"Why is God letting this happen?"

Years ago my friend died from a gunshot.

"Where was God when a finger pulled the trigger?" I pleaded for answers from my Pastor.

"You tell me. Where was God?" the minister responded.

"God was there. All the time. He never left her." I answered my question.

Calmed by the truth of God's omnipresence, I felt better, safer, and blessed knowing

 God doesn't leave when life is hard.

We don't have answers to all the "where's" or "why's" of God's plan, but we own truth that on a painful journey 

God is with us.
  He has a plan to use our difficulties for His Glory. 
If we let Him.

How we live, our grouchies, our grumblings, our joys, and our praises are up to us through the power of the Holy Spirit and our will to trust, believe, and obey.

Yesterday my pastor preached on Joseph who wore the coat of many colors. Thrown into a cistern by his brothers, landing in a jail pit because of a false accusation, Joseph may have questioned God's presence and purpose. Instead,

Joseph focused on glorifying God 
because he knew God was with him. 

Genesis 39:21 tell us:

"But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison 
and showed him His faithful love."

What about you? Are you suffering? You are not alone, because God is with you.

Determine to be a Joseph. 
Put on your fanciest robe!
Live life, and shine! 
Trust God has a purpose and a plan for your pain.

From day one of my cancer journey, I resolved to glorify God wherever this trip takes me. And what an amazing road we have been on. Cancer opened highways to a vast audience I would never have met had those ugly cells not reared their heads.

Every person I meet is an opportunity to share God's love
 and His salvation message.
 I have people's ears because I know suffering 
and I understand their pain.  

Like Joseph, I believe:

" . . . It was God who sent me here . . . to preserve your lives." Genesis 45:5 (NIV). 

God sent me on the cancer path to give hope in Jesus Christ 

to audiences filled with questioning cancer patients, nurses, doctors, receptionists, lab techs, and many more. 

"So, it was God who sent me here, not you! . . ." Genesis 45:8 (NIV). 

If was God who puts me in an infusion center every six weeks.

Cancer didn't put me there. God did. 
To be used in a Cancer Center to shine for Christ.

 God placed me as speaker at a quilt retreat filled with women whose lives are unravelled by cancer. 

God placed me in the dentist's chair to share my journey with the hygienist.  

God placed me in the Walmart line to give hope to a bald, chemo-ridden mother of preschoolers 

Every day is an opportunity to share Jesus with a hurting world. 
Before cancer my eyes didn't see the hurting. 
Today I can't pass them by.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." 
Genesis 50:20 (NLT).

Cancer intended to harm me, 
but God intended cancer for good
 so He could use me to save the lives of many people.

Where is God when life hurts? 
He's right there with us. 
His plan is to use our suffering to save lives. 
Let Him use you. 

When we get our minds off our afflictions, 
focus on our Lord, 
and realize our pain has a purpose, 
 then life doesn't hurt so much any more.

May God pour splashes of serenity on your suffering as you keep your eyes and thoughts fixed on Jesus,


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