The past two weeks I’ve been assaulted by a rash that covers most of my body. It came on suddenly and spread quickly. It screams for deep, bruising scratching, and nightly it prickles me out of my sleep. Gratefully, I’m only occasionally miserable. But I am constantly uncomfortable. I don’t care that I look ridiculous in my comfy mismatched clothes or ghastly with my arms covered with little red spots and my legs with large purple blotches. I am beyond ready for this itch to go!
I’ve had other experiences in my life that seemed like they were going from bad to worse quickly with no hope for improvement in sight. Like when parenting my SAFE* children.
They lived their first 5-14 years in some very difficult situations. When we brought them into our home we anticipated struggles, but figured they would settle down after several months. Not! Years of exhaustive effort seemingly effected little good. All I could see were rebellious kids who had no intention of accepting me as their mom. At times I almost gave up hope.
During one particular tough season a friend of mine, also a SAFE* parent, challenged me to view my kids—and speak of my kids—not as they appeared to me, but as they appeared to God. He pointed me to the last phrase of Romans 4:17 “calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (NKJV). The context of this phrase is Abraham believing what God said when God had called him a father of many nations. Though Abraham had referred to himself as an old man, “as good as dead,” He also chose to believe not what he saw in the mirror, but what God promised.
That’s faith. When we decide to actively believe what God says even when our situation appears to be quite the opposite.
So what does God say about our SAFE children? Among other things:
- He know the plans He has for them, and those plans include a hopeful future (Jeremiah 31:9).
- He has been with them since the day they were conceived and will be until the day they breathe their last breath (Psalm 139:13-16).
- He’s crazy about them (Zephaniah 3:17).
- He died for them (John 3:16).
What does God say about our impossible situation? Among other things:
- What appears to us as evil, God intends to use for great good (Genesis 50:20).
- With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
- He is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond anything we could ask or even think to ask (Ephesians 3:20).
As for my rash, I am under medical treatment. However, I really believe God has a deeper purpose for it. I won’t suffer with it forever, and somehow through it God will be glorified.
So if you’re suffering from a seemingly incurable itch, have hope dear friend. God loves you. He is good. He is faithful. He will not allow the enemy to gain the upper hand. He has emphatically stated He will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8). If it seems the enemy is winning, take heart. God has already overcome in a glorious way (John 16:33).
*Step/Adoptive/Foster/Every other nonbiological relationship
Copyright April 2016 by Cheri Johnson