Posted by: Kris Lindsey | February 22, 2013

God’s Purposes

On Tuesday Feb. 6, a close family member called to tell me the doctor found a large tumor in her abdomen. My whole view of our future shattered. This wasn’t supposed to happen—she was so healthy. She ate good food, and exercised regularly. We had no history of tumors in our family—only long life.

Although the doctor assured her there was only a thirty percent chance the tumor was cancerous, he bumped someone else to get her into surgery right away—the following Tuesday. Overcome with concern, I bowed my head.

Dear God, you know I couldn’t bear to lose her. And even the thought of seeing her suffer through chemo-therapy hurts. Please let the tumor be benign, and give her a successful surgery. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

My thoughts then turned to the verse, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NLT, emphasis added). I wondered, what was God’s purpose in this situation? I knew what I wanted. God, however, sees the bigger picture and could use this as an opportunity to bring about even greater things.

Okay God, I know you can work this to good. You didn’t create the tumor—it grew because we live in a fallen world. But I look forward to seeing what you will do in us through this hard situation.  

Then I did my part by writing emails and Facebook posts, asking faithful friends to pray for both the tumor, and for me.  

SG Tiffany - CopyAbout an hour later, a peace engulfed me like I’ve never experienced before. Normally, I would vacillate between resolve to trust God, and all the “what if’s.” At best, I would believe God had it under control, but retain an undercurrent of anxiety. This time—for the first time in my life—I stayed at peace the whole week, including in the surgery waiting room. In my mind, the tumor was benign, so what was there to worry about? Besides, if by chance it was cancer, I would have plenty of time to worry later.

The surgeon came out of the operating room wearing the biggest smile I’d ever seen on a doctor. His eyes sparkled as he told us she had no cancer, and she had a much easier surgery than he anticipated. Instead of a 12 inch incision, he only needed 2 inches to get the tumor out.

Wow, I hadn’t even thought to pray for a smaller incision. That meant a much less painful recovery. God really did do immeasurably more than I asked or imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

God also answered my friend’s prayers for me in a powerful way. I hadn’t imagined I could feel such complete peace on this earth. This experience makes me want to pray and trust God even more.

I know God doesn’t always cure our diseases, but I was overjoyed that his plan for us this time included physical healing.

One of God’s purposes for those who love him is “to become like his Son” (Romans 8:29 NLT). In this case, God turned a life-threatening emergency into a faith-building lesson that brought me closer to the kind of trust Jesus had.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. As a depression/suicide attempt survivor, your blog helps me keep a proper perspective. It is so easy to get tunnel vision and see only what’s bad and wrong. When we do that we miss out on the abundance of all that is good and right. Thank you for your words of encouragement and examples of God’s purposes in everything.

    • Yes, when we fix our eyes on Jesus, and believe His Word, it’s easier to see the good. Thanks for commenting, Steven.

  2. It is always so encouraging to read of the faith triumphs of others. It helps bolster our own faith. And I appreciated the way you included Romans 8:29. it’s often overlooked, yet a vital part of the process if we want our faith to grow in those hard places. Thanks, Kris!

  3. I’ve been meditating on and blogging about Romans 8:28 for the past nine months. Reading the next verse–Romans 8:29–helps me get the fuller meaning in context. Thanks for noticing.

  4. We serve an awesome God! He covers bases we don’t even think of. Praise Him for His mighty works.

  5. This post reminded me of part of a lesson I am learning in bible study (Beth Miller’s “Daniel” study). We learn three scenarios to consider when faced with a conflict or crisis:
    1. We can be delivered FROM the “fire.”
    a. Dividend? Our faith is BUILT.
    b. Example that relates to your story: During the week before the surgery she prayed and her family/friends prayed for her. We prayed that the tumor would not be cancerous. Then after the surgery the doctor comes out and tells you that the tumor is not cancerous. God either cured her or he blessed her by having the tumor be benign. This was the case in your story. Praise God! God delivered her from cancer. Her faith was built through answered prayer.
    2. We can be delivered THROUGH the “fire.”
    a. Dividend? Our faith is REFINED.
    b. Example that relates to your story: During the week before the surgery she prayed and her family/friends prayed for her. We prayed that the tumor would not be cancerous. Then after the surgery the doctor comes out and tells you that the tumor was cancerous and that she would have to undergo chemo therapy and radiation. She does go through with the therapy and struggles the whole way through. The family also struggles watching her go through the treatment. After months of chemo the lab results come back that she has beaten the cancer and she is now cancer free! In short, she battled it out and was cured in the end. Her faith was tested but through her fiery trial she was delivered by God. Her faith was refined.
    3. We can be delivered BY the “fire” into His arms.
    a. Dividend? Our faith is PERFECTED.
    b. Example that relates to your story: During the week before the surgery she prayed and her family/friends prayed for her. We prayed that the tumor would not be cancerous. Then after the surgery the doctor comes out and tells you that the tumor was cancerous and that she would have to undergo chemo therapy and radiation. She does go through with the therapy but the cancer does not shrink. After months of struggling the cancer overcomes her and she passes away. God used the cancer to deliver her into his arms. Her faith is perfected because she trusted in God through her struggle and he blessed her by bringing her to her forever home.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Praise God scenario 1 was the case!

  6. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to share Beth Moore’s three responses to crisis–describing how God is working to build our faith whether we are physically healed or not. God is good! Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  7. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a great deal about this,
    as you wrote the guide with these or anything. I do believe which you could
    employ some percent to pressure the material house a bit, however aside
    from that, this really is wonderful blog. An incredible read.
    I’ll definitely come back to their office.

  8. […] technically every day was a good day for those who love God because, even when bad things happen, God works those things to good (Romans […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: