by Anita Miles
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
One of my little boy’s favorite things to do is to park in the cell phone lot at the Savannah - Hilton Head International Airport and watch the airplanes make their way onto the runway. It’s a game of ours to see who can see the planes appear out of the clouds first as they descend to make their landing. It just so happens that our house is in the direct flight path of those airplanes that are headed to land as well, so we get to watch multiple planes a day fly over the treetops just above our house. I never cease to be amazed at how much speed they keep, how quickly they appear out of the sky from being completely invisible, and how fast they can come to a screeching halt on that seemingly short stretch of asphalt they land on.
Knowing that the above observations are something that is very familiar to me, a friend humored me with this quote last year. I have no idea where she got it, but it was right on target. “Adulthood is like looking both ways before crossing the street and getting hit by an airplane!”
Ever felt that way, just bee-bopping nicely along through life? Crossing all of your “t’s,” dotting all the “i’s,” and looking both ways before you cross the street. All of a sudden, there it is!! A collision of well-made plans and LIFE! Right out of thin air came the event that knocked both knees out from under you and took the wind right out of your sails!
This is the very time that a question that has haunted humanity for as far back as one can remember creeps to the surface and causes even the strongest of souls to question everything!! They question who they are, what they believe, who they believe in, and more importantly, what they believe about God and His goodness! It’s that age-old question of “why do BAD things happen to GOOD people?”
I’ll be perfectly frank - I don’t have a better answer than anyone else who has ever tried to answer this question. I have no idea why good Godly people and their families have to suffer through cancer or any other terminal or debilitating illnesses. I don’t know why faithful couples struggle through infertility while other young girls frustratingly seem capable of producing children endlessly. I’m at a loss of how the devil easily deceives and captures the souls of the children of the saints of God - leading their parents to sleepless nights and endless tears. I have seen the devastation as a child, or a family member has been snatched immediately into eternity through an accident, suicide, or catastrophic medical event, and there are no words that are sufficient in trying to reason it all out. I can’t give ANY justification for someone who has experienced abuse or has become wounded by someone they loved and trusted. I don’t have an answer for any of it. Other than the fact that sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed, and that effect has reached out its gnarly fingers to touch each of our lives, there is no explanation.
With that being said, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the landscape of destruction that the effects of sin cause. On the flipside, it is up to me, as an individual, to decide if I believe that God is good. My faith in Him is an action. It can’t be built around how I feel on any particular day. That faith is a decision that has been made based on what I have learned and read of Him and His character in His Word. That faith can’t be controlled by the constantly changing emotion that leaves me reeling every time life’s turbulence takes hold. If that were the case, I would probably never get enough wits about me to crawl out of bed and face the day. These are some of the moments when people decide that walking away from the faithfulness of God is easier than trusting Him. That is unless they have made a conscious decision to trust Him beforehand. When someone has not decided that He is worth trusting before the collapse of life as one knows it, then forsaking a relationship and an experience with Him is not as hard.
I recently got the privilege of being on a group text of a wonderful lady whose family was in the throes of experiencing that collision in life. Out of the blue, an “airplane” appeared and changed the entire landscape of their lives in a matter of a few weeks. On the days that things were winding down to knowing that life would never be the same, her texts were laced with scriptures that gave her hope and that were proving to be a foundation to her constantly changing situation. In the last text I received in that group, these are a few of the scriptures she included:
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant and time to pluck up that which is planted. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. ~Psalm 90-12
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. ~Psalm 63:4
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and PLENTIOUS in mercy unto ALL them that CALL upon THEE. ~Psalm 86:5
Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song: he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation. ~Isaiah 12:2-3
For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth. ~Psalm 71:5
The difference is stark in someone who faces life’s calamities with an endless list of questions directly aimed at God as opposed to one who has their faith and their confidence firmly planted in the God of their salvation! Does she grieve? Of course she does. I’m sure she has spent more than one night crying a river of tears. Loneliness is real for her right now! Sadness has probably enveloped her like a blanket more than a few times. But even with all of the changing emotions, I can assure you that she does not grieve as one who has no hope. Just because she grieves, doesn’t mean that her confidence in the Almighty God has to be shaken. Her faith is firmly rooted in the power of Christ and His faithfulness - even through times of devastation.
I think an evaluation of how steady our faith is deserves some attention. Have we made the conscious decision to believe that God is faithful, God is just, and that God is good, no matter what LIFE brings us? Or do we face every situation with a series of emotions and accusatory/angry questions of “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why does my family have to go through this? If God is loving, and He controls everything, why can’t He stop this pain?” Please do not misunderstand...God is not afraid of our questions and when we truly take our concerns to Him in true humility, I believe He will provide comfort in the unknowns.
I want a faith that has some feet! I choose to walk in the belief that God is good no matter what! That’s a decision I make every day I wake up. Yes, I understand the rain falls on the just and the unjust, but I also know that the sentence before that in scripture says that God allows the sun to rise on the evil and the good! He will do to trust - no matter what. When I am at my weakest, He will be the lifter of my head. When I am fearful, He will be there to cover me with His feathers. When I am in trouble, He will be my shield. When I am out of options, HE WILL BE every ounce of my hope!! He has promised me that He will be that for all of the above and more and I EXPECT His Faithfulness!