I heard a story many years ago at a Hearts at Home conference. It planted a seed of truth so deep within me, I am sure the sprouts of hope are still coming up years later.
A woman was sick for many months, unable to take care of her family and home. Everything around her seemed to be falling apart. In the depths of her despair, she cried out to God for a miracle. A few days later, her infant son became sick, requiring expensive medicine. She did not understand how her family could handle this on top of the hardship they were already going through.
Slowly, both became stronger and life as they knew it returned to normal. Years later, a doctor discovered her son had a rare disease, which is most often fatal within the first year of life. Astonished that this boy was as healthy as he was without symptoms of the illness, the doctor wanted to understand why. He poured over the boy's medical records and found that the child had received the exact medication required for that rare disease "coincidentally" when he was ill before the age of one, when his mother had been praying for a miracle.
She did not know her prayers had been answered until many years later, and in a way she did not expect. God was indeed working all things for good in their lives, but her revelation was not immediate.
Fast forward to this week at my house. We woke up to discover our heater had broken during the night, and the air was hovering just below fifty degrees. Balmy for summer, but this January day had a wind chill advisory attached to it, with the weatherman advising all to stay indoors. I hate being cold. I've even told my husband my love language is heat. So, I was not happy. The news that the solution was a new furnace did not help.
Three quotes, three days, and many space heaters later (with a lighter savings account), we no longer have to sleep with nightcaps. And the repairman had discovered misaligned duct work and a crack in our old furnace, which was leaking small amounts of carbon monoxide gas into our basement. Coincidence? I think not.
Sometimes I am allowed to understand why seemingly bad things happen to me. Other times, the truth is hidden from view. Just because it is hidden, does not mean that a greater good is not occurring.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 NIV)
...I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (Matthew 11:25 NIV)
Almighty Lord, I choose to trust you when things are hard. Help me believe you are good and are in control even when circumstances around me testify otherwise. Give me the joy that sprouts up from deeply rooted truth. Amen.