For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Some minutes after completing the writing of my blog post last week, I listened to a testimony by a well-known worshipper from Bethel Music, Melissa Helser. I became emotional while listening to her story and felt it complimented my post at that time.
By the age of seventeen, she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis - psoriasis of the skin and the bones. She was told that she had already lost four or five layers of bone in her hands and feet and could become paralyzed in a year and a half. The medication prescribed did not work. She went to a church service where God reminded her that He had given her the authority to fight against her condition and that she should not allow herself to die in it. She then threw away her medication, went on a thirty day fast and was radically healed.
She went on to get married some time later. Unfortunately, a year after having her first child, the disease came back. Little tasks became difficult for her. Years passed and life was challenging and her faith wavered. She finally reached the point where she decided that she was not going to get bitter or disappointed in the Lord. She was going to love her life. She realized that in her desert experience, she was getting to know the Lord and that was where He was proving His love to her. She went back on medication and started experiencing results. God just wanted her to trust Him. Even though people would remind her that she is not healed, she acknowledges that God has given her hope, life, love and grace. She is still able to see the goodness of the Lord in the midst of her suffering.
What I love about this testimony is the reality of it. The reality is, she is still suffering but growing closer to God in spite of it. She could easily focus on the reality of her suffering but she is learning to simply trust God even in the midst of her desert season.
Last week I spoke about “a road in the wilderness” and “rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). Choosing to trust God to lead you and sustain you during your desert seasons is no easy task. It can be so much easier to lean on what your natural senses are experiencing and so it takes a conscious effort to keep focused on the God who will keep you while you go through difficult times.
Melissa’s testimony is not the kind of testimony where everything works out in the end as we would like. Rather, it’s the kind of reality that many people face on a daily basis. It tells us that sometimes it's not about our expected end result but God’s expected end result. At the end of the day, God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He doesn’t work with our human logic. We may want the trouble to come to an end. God, however, wants to use the trouble to mold and shape us into who He wants us to be and by extension develop a more intimate relationship with Him.
What I love about Melissa’s story is that people would remind her that she is not healed. She instead focuses, not on her suffering, but on the beautiful things God is doing in her life while she is suffering - He has drawn her closer to Him and she is able to see Him for who He is. He has also blessed her to be able to do things she could not do before, like enjoy time with her family.
As I go through my own challenges, God is reminding me of His presence. He is right there with me, I am not alone. He is fighting for me because the battle is His. I can draw closer to Him as I depend on Him more and more. I experience His grace, strength and goodness and the confidence that His Word and promises are solid rocks I can stand on.
Whatever your challenges, God is right there with you. He has not left you and He never will. He is still good and will still work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. God will never leave you alone in your suffering. He will be right there, a source of strength, hope, peace and grace.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.