Thursday, June 14, 2007

But what about...?

Yesterday I wrote about dreams. I wrote about my desire to be close to God and how that desire has fueled my dream to speak and write. The things He's already done through this ministry He's given me have been wonderful, and it delights my heart to anticipate what God may do next in this part of my life. The joy He's given me by allowing me this opportunity is almost impossible for me to put into words. I absolutely love that God has redeemed my mothering struggles and used them to bring hope and encouragement to others.
At times when I'm reflecting on the year gone by and the lives I've seen God touch, I am filled with gratitude in my heart for God. When I have a "good" writing session, or when I schedule a talk with a new group of moms it's easy for me to be thankful and praise God for what He's doing and will do. When things are going well I have no difficulty remembering God is good. I'm guessing the same is true for you, is it not?
But what about the times when our circumstances aren't "good"? What about the times when it seems God isn't listening to us, or He's listening but He isn't answering? What about broken dreams? How can we praise Him with any sense of integrity when our hearts feel like they're crushing under the weight of our worry and sorrow? What do we do then?

Some of you may remember my friend Renee and her daughter Allie. Allie is sick and last September Renee took leave from her job as a preschool teacher to stay home and care for her daughter. This family has been on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs over the past nine months, searching for the right medicines and visiting different doctors. Allie has gotten her finger poked nearly every week to check her platelet counts and sometimes they've rejoiced at a good number, while other times it's been dangerously low. Originally, Renee thought Allie would be healed of her sickness by now. But she isn't.
Just yesterday Renee sent me an e-mail telling me she was going in to clean out her room at the school, because it was clear she wouldn't be going back to teach again next year. Renee taught at the preschool for ten years and told me, "Besides being a mom, being a preschool teacher was my dream job!" But now, because her daughter needs her at home, that dream has to be tucked away.
I know God is able to heal Allie. I know there are people all over the country going before His throne on Allie's behalf, asking Him to make her well again. But He hasn't done it yet. And now Renee has a broken dream as well as a frustrated little girl who is tired of being sick.
In spite of her circumstances, however, Renee chooses to remain faithful and to believe God is good. In fact she spoke for her MOPS group to share her testimony about this trial and the HOPE she still has in God even in the face of hard times. She closed out her message to me saying, "We really believe He is listening and He is using sweet Allie to reach others for Him."

I know there are many more stories like Renee's.
~ The infertile woman who prays and trusts, but still has no baby in her womb.
~ The father and husband who earnestly seeks God's will, but still cannot find employment.
~ The mother who faithfully prays for her prodigal, but has yet to see him return.
~ You can fill in your own circumstance here.
I love the example Renee provides, which I have also seen in other faithful believers who are suffering, of what to do when God isn't making sense to us. When our circumstance is hard, when we can't see if (or how) God is working, when we're just plain tired of waiting, we can choose to remember and believe in what is True.
God is sovereign and good.
He knows our circumstance and is able to manage it.
Though we may not be able to see, He is working.
In His perfect timing, God will deliver us from our trials.

I don't know what you may be facing today. Perhaps you're enjoying peaceful circumstances at the moment. But if times are tough, if you've been asking yourself, "How can I praise Him in this situation?" I pray you have found encouragement here to help carry you through.

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P.S.If you would like to join others who are praying for Allie, you can visit this website.


Anonymous said...

What mother doesn't like to hear nice things about her children and how much better that it's not just nice things, but that the praise goes not to the child alone but to the Lord for giving that child the strength, courage and perseverance to keep trusting and the faith to believe that in time...there will be a solution, an answer, and maybe even a new dream! I think it's terrific that you were blessed by Renee's spirit and that your words are a blessing to so many!!
God bless you as you continue to enjoy the fulfillment of your dreams = and God bless Renee as she looks to Him and appreciates the truth that He is in control
Renee's mother, Paula Suhey

Corrie said...

Good words!

Jenileigh said...

Karen once again you astonish me. These words that I read ring so true for all of us but for us right now number one and number two are our petitions to the Lord. Imagine how it shocked me to be reading that so bluntly. It was like God's way of saying, "I hear you my child, I am in control, trust me, I'm taking care of things in My time!"

WoW! God is using you so mightily! Thank-You once again for allowing our Father to use you. You my friend are such a blessing to me! :)