Wednesday, December 23, 2009

His Love Endures Forever

As many of you know, my family has had a rough year. Apparently, we needed to cap it off with something, so when we found out that Karen had two ovarian cysts, and that one of them might be malignant, I thought "Well, that fits with the general trend of the rest of this year." Which is pretty pessimistic. As we waited for results, someone told me "Everything will be all right." Outwardly, I agreed. Inwardly, I thought, "How do you know that? What if it's cancer and my wife dies? I hardly think that will be okay." Well, we found out yesterday afternoon that it is almost certainly not malignant, though Karen is scheduled for surgery to remove them both on 12/31 (Happy New Year!). Still, we are praising God for giving us the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, I've been preparing to preach my last sermon of the year on Psalm 136, whose theme is "His Love Endures Forever." It has seemed to me hat is a tough truth to keep in mind. If Karen's test had come back positive for ovarian cancer, would I have believed it? The simple answer is "I don't know." I know that I'm exceptionally glad that the test came back the way it did. A part of me also knows that it would still be true that God's love for us is still there whether or not I believed it true at that point. And it seems to me that faith in Christ is made of such moments of trusting Him even if... even if my wife had cancer, even if I suddenly became a single dad with four kids, even if I had no answers to why this had happened. Because God's love for us doesn't consist, like we sometimes want it to, in always giving us what we want while smoothing every difficulty, but in giving us what he divinely, sovereignly, and yes, lovingly chooses for us.

And so, while today we praise God for his mercy and grace, I also remind myself that when the dark days come again, God is still gracious and merciful even then.

No comments: