Thursday, September 22, 2005

His Everlasting Arm

Health scares are the worst. My family went through this anxiety a couple of weeks ago. My mom’s doctor thought a spot on her lung was lung cancer and we all waited to hear the results of a biopsy for what seemed an interminably torturous length of time. Five hours felt like five weeks. It turned out the spot was not cancerous, but my mom does have pneumonia and her recovery from the surgery (they had to make the incision through her back for the biopsy) and the pneumonia has been impeded by medicines she takes for rheumatoid arthritis. She is still suffering quite a bit of discomfort even after these many days.

As I was falling asleep last night I had the silly thought that we’ve all had sometime or other in our lives--that was that I wished God would just give the pain to me so my mom could stop suffering. It is so hard to know that someone we love is suffering.

The thing that non-believers find so impossible to understand, human suffering allowed by a loving God, has invaded my little world for what I hope for my mom’s sake is a brief time. We have a God who is not always safe, but He is always good, as Aslan was described by Mr. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and this dichotomy is also found beautifully represented in Psalm 85.10. “Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” KJV

Sometimes pain and suffering might be the result of our own sinful choices and sometimes God may decide to let the sand under our feet shift a bit to remind us that we need to be leaning on His everlasting arm. Whatever His reason for allowing the suffering, we can know it is never for evil, but always to draw us near, because He is good.

The funniest thing happened through all of this. My sister who is an atheist decided to pray along with the rest of the family for my mom’s recovery.

I think I’ll go call my mom now.


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