Thursday, September 16, 2010

For His Glory

I find myself needing to apologize yet again for allowing so much time to pass between posts.  I finally figured out how to have Live Writer (the program I use for blogging) on more than one computer since I don’t spend much time in the office anymore. 

I wanted to thank you all for your prayers,  for your understanding, for your encouragement.  Some posted comments here, and some sent e-mails, some phoned; but all of you were so sweet and gentle in reminding me of God’s goodness and giving me permission to be human.  I love each of you for that.

My pace through the Bible has grown very slow.  I have always read at night.  It’s the only time the house is completely quiet, and I usually am relaxed and ready to learn.  I admit there have been nights when I’ve fallen asleep before I finished a chapter.  I do a fair amount of re-reading.  But that’s not such a bad thing because sometimes reading a passage twice really helps me get it. 

I’m in the book of John currently.  In Chapter 9, Jesus heals a blind man.  It’s a familiar story to me, and I must have fallen asleep somewhere around the part where the Pharisees put the man and his parents on trial to hear testimony about who healed him and how.  So the next night I read it again.  And this time, the part that jumped out at me was the first few verses.

And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  (John 9:1-3)

Have you ever been facing something really hard and wondered “What did I do that God needed to punish me like this?”  I know I have examined my heart each time Jeff’s leukemia showed up.  And when I came to the conclusion that this cancer isn’t punishment for something I did or he did, I started to wonder if God is trying to get someone else’s attention by punishing us for their wayward lifestyle.  (I realize it sounds crazy.  I’m not implying it’s a rational line of thought, it just happens to be a common thought process among those who suffer and those watching someone suffer.)  

Punishing you to teach someone else a lesson?  That’s what terrorists do, and God is certainly no terrorist!

So then why the suffering?

Jesus answered his disciples’ question about this issue by telling them it wasn’t a punishment for either the blind man or his parents, but that there was a reason for it.  God had allowed it so that His glory could be shown when Jesus healed him.

Could God restore Jeff’s sight and health?

Absolutely. 

I do not anticipate a miracle like this one for him.  But if I am interpreting the message of this passage correctly, I can trust that the work of God is being made manifest in Jeff.  We may never fully grasp the ways God has used  leukemia for His glory until we get to heaven and our understanding is perfect.  

And when I think of it that way, my perspective can shift from questioning God’s plan to feeling humbled for having been entrusted with so great a task as to bring God glory in the face of suffering.

10 comments:

CalamityJr said...

There is only one way to respond to your shared insights - thank you.

Patrina's Pencil said...

WoW! I've been wondering about you - haven't visited in so long. I'm pretty tethered to my situation with dad - so blogging rarely gets my time. But I am blessed by your sharing tonight. I'm glad a took a moment to visit. You sound like you're in a good place - spiritually. I couldn't face the day without Jesus. I know it's the same for you. How do other people do it without Him?

God bless you dear
Patrina <")>><

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Adrienne, I am so glad to hear from you--but we understand when you can't blog much these days. I admire you so much. You have so much strength. YES--God has a plan for Jeff.. We don't understand it--and just have to keep the faith that everything in life that happens is in God's plan.

Hugs and PRAYERS,
Betsy

Plattner Ranch said...

Thanks! I needed that...

CHASTISEMENT!

Still praying ~ LauraLee

comoscr421 said...

You are so blessed that God has given you these insights...and the gift of writing like you do. Have you ever considered putting these thoughts into a book?? Praying for you and Jeff....

JKoenig said...

You have said it all so well! While the world may lead us to believe the difficulties in our lives are "punishments," the reality is that they may be a "privilige" that God has given us to be his witness and his person, and you certainly are that!

God love and keep you all...Janice

rejoicinginthelord said...

Dear Adrienne
We have such a loving Father. He is a good God!--Don't ever forget it or doubt it. There is no end to His thoughts toward you, Jeff, and the kids, and He is faithful beyond our definition of faithful. Nobody has ever loved you like our Father, and nobody ever will.
We can only see a few stars during the day, but at night God's glory shines.
Nat

Splendid Little Stars said...

So very well said from your own deep experience. I love the line-- "that the works of God should be made manifest." perfection! And sometimes we get to see that manifestation.

Marci said...

A beautiful post, Adrienne. Thank you for all you are teaching us! Our prayers are with you, my friend.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I have gotten behind again. I came right to where I left off.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, even the ones you know aren't reasonable. All of us have some of those.

I am so thankful that in all things, even the bad ones, God works for the good of those who love Him.