Just about one year ago now, my wife Sandra and I sensed God preparing us for a move, which was immediately confirmed (11 hours later). A day or so after that, I met to pray with a friend by the name of Todd. When we prayed about the journey ahead, my friend concluded by stating, “I believe God gave me a word for you.” (That sort of remark Buy Windows Product Key can be exciting or scary depending the type of “word” that friend shares.) I responded, “OK, what is it?” He basically shared that it was his belief that we would face some major challenges this year: financial, relational, physical, spiritual, emotional… and that God would allow these pending challenges, not as a punishment, but rather as a way to stretch our faith in Him, so that we might trust Him in deeper ways on the road ahead. With that said, two months later we were unsure about our finances, I contracted bell”s palsy, was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, faced some unexpected relational challenges, experienced emotional lows and wrestled with my identity. All of these challenges seemed to press us closer to God and to each other. Almost one year later, I am so encouraged by the ways in which God has provided miraculously for us every step of the way, above and beyond what I could have dreamed. God has truly been stretching our ability to trust in Him. His ways are not our ways but they are good.
Our most recent challenge or trial, (which is really just one more opportunity to place our trust in the One who is always faithful), came on February 28th. I was in for my 6 month follow-up MRI to make sure that I was aneurysm-free; However, the doctor surprised me by saying, “It looks like it”s back.” “What is that suppose to mean?” I wondered. I thought they told me it was gone and no longer considered an aneurysm. Long story short, I had to schedule a follow up with my neurosurgeon and then was sent off for more scans. My final scan took place the Friday before spring break, and then we had to wait until after Easter for the news, due to the fact that my neurosurgeon was on vacation. I finally received a call from him today. He confirmed that all the tests revealed that the area that they had pronounced aneurysm-free, had grown beyond the size that it had previously been, when measured last August. For that reason, this artery is now once again considered an aneurysm. The surgeon scheduled a consult for this Wednesday afternoon to plan our course ahead for pending surgery.
Shock, confusion, and a flood of emotions… Sandra and I had been reluctant to share anything until now, believing that we were going to simply get positive news and be able to write this off as a false alarm. With today”s news, we have been left to consider questions such as, how do we understand something like this? How do we trust God when we believed that God genuinely brought healing, we were given evidence to that end, only to have the condition return at a later date? I do not have an answer as to why God would allow a miraculous report in at one time, only to later experience a different report. I am thankful for the great news we received last summer, and will face today as a new day. While I cannot answer the “Why” questions, I am convinced of the fact that God is always faithful. I believe to my core that regardless of circumstances, God”s character never changes: He is loving and merciful. I have been blessed in my life to have seen so many evidences of the historic event that we just celebrated this past week. That is the reality that Jesus is risen and God is alive and well. He encourages us to trust Him and experience His presence and faithfulness. Our faith muscles can only be exercised when we face trials or challenges that are beyond our understanding and abilities. Anything else would not require faith and when we trust, we please Him (Hebrews 11:6). And so it is with great anticipation that I look forward to sharing with you the way that God works this new challenge out. He is always faithful and we appreciate your additional prayers as we trust God with the way forward!
(By the way, this is a link to a fantastic message delivered by Craig Groeschel last Christmas on this subject.)