I’ve thought a lot about the Biblical character Job lately and all that was taken from him. His life experience doesn’t really fit in our “Christian” thoughts today of being blessed and protected and favored. God allowed Job to be tested by the enemy. He was tested through loss, sickness, disease, and ill-comforting friends. He lost his children. His wife turned on him and on God. His friends were far from loving and supporting. He lost all he had. Yet, Job stayed true to God. Job 13:15 is one of those amazing life challenging scriptures… “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him …” (NAS).
I WILL hope in Him!
Almost 31 years ago I was tested. Our beautiful five-month old little girl, Amber Hope, woke one morning not acting herself and quickly became very sick. We ended up in the Emergency Room with her that evening. We started hearing words like meningitis and other life-threatening illnesses.When our pediatrician arrived she quickly diagnosed her with intussusception.
Intussusception occurs when one portion of the bowel slides into the next, much like the pieces of a telescope. When this occurs, it can create a blockage in the bowel, with the walls of the intestines pressing against one another. This, in turn leads to swelling, inflammation, and decreased blood flow to the part of the intestines involved. Complications can include irreversible tissue damage, perforation of the bowel, infection, and death.
Our pediatrician immediately called in a pediatric surgeon. After examination, he informed us that Amber was extremely weak but needed surgery right away. He said that she might be too weak for surgery but without it she definitely would not live. We were also told that if she made it, she would very likely have at least a partial colostomy.
And I remember them rolling my baby away, the door closing separating her from me and I didn’t know if she would make it back out alive.
Jim and I were put in a room alone to wait to hear from the surgeon. It seemed like forever. We made a few calls for people to pray. Then we prayed and waited … and prayed and waited.
As I prayed, the Lord asked me this question … “If your baby dies will you still love me? Will you still trust me? Will you still serve me?” I didn’t realize it at the moment but I was in a heart-wrenching time of testing. If God didn’t step in and end this the way I wanted it to end, would I still love Him? Would I still trust Him? In the midst of the pain and the possibility of losing what was most precious to me, I finally came to the conclusion .. .and it was a heart searching decision … as I talked this out with God.
Yes, Lord. Whatever the outcome I will still love You, I will still trust You. I have no where else to run but to You. With that decision came peace even though we still waited to hear from the surgeon.
If you know our family at all you know that we still have our Amber Hope. The outcome of her surgery was a miracle.
For the past 16 months I have faced maybe the hardest of all tests … definitely the longest. Can I say that even if all I have is taken from me I will STILL hope in Him? Or will I question Him? Will I question His love? Will I throw in the towel?
To hope in Him amidst trials and loss is a choice! It is a choice of faith. It is a choice to put my hope and faith in His trustworthiness … in His character. Trusting His promise to work it all together for my good and His purpose.
So, I choose to trust Him even when I don’t understand … even in loss … even in pain … even when the pain comes from those who are called to stand with you and care for you. I choose to love Him and serve Him with all I am and with all I have. I choose to stay in this completion process and finish strong!
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
I WILL hope in Him!