It has been a week. Last Sunday at the airport I was told there were no seats on either flight to my daughter's place. But the seats - even aisle seats, which I prefer - opened up and I arrived in NC on time. Kirsten was in bad shape, and she had a very rough patch that has only now begun to ease. The days went by with reports an uncle's cancer, a friend's trauma, my mom's bronchitis, and constant pain and nausea for Kirsten between.
I read an essay on God's use of evil for good the day before I came. The author maintained that there were two kinds of evil: natural evil (hurricanes, tsunamis, illness, genetic defects, etc.) and moral evil. "While God uses natural evil to bring about his purposes and form his nature in us, he has nothing to do with moral evil. He waits to cover the repentant sinner with his blood."
During the week of K's hospital stay, we have experienced the care of staff. We've known the tenderness of family love amid the natural evils of our fallen world's aches and disasters. News broadcasts showed unexpected snow and storms, the nurses rushed by in the corridors to treat the patients, and my daughter lay in bed trying to swallow a little baby food. Yet in and around us was a broad swath of peace and quiet.
Underneath the flurry of bad news has been the sheltering cloud of God's Presence. The prayers of friends have carried us through. As Kirsten and I prayed our evening good-bye tonight, we recognized God's peace and his provisions. No matter what the crisis, what the challenges, or what the future holds, we can entrust ourselves to him. He knows the future and will never leave us or forsake us. We know that because he has cared for us in the past.
Take heart and take courage, whatever your challenge. During these days, God is in control. We have lived through the week, and will again see the salvation of our God in the days to come.
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1-3 NKJV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians1:3-7 NIV
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Galatians 2:20-21 NIV