The promise no one wants God to keep

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The promise no one wants God to keep

February 6, 2012 -

“We were promised sufferings.  They were part of the program.  We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn.'”  So commented C. S. Lewis on the death of his wife.  Today our family is experiencing the truth of his words in a way we never expected.

Our oldest son has a small malignant tumor in his neck.  Ryan will have surgery this Thursday morning to remove it.  If all goes well, the prognosis will be good.

Janet and I never imagined that our son would have cancer.  He and his brother are doing much better with this than we are–when we talk, they are always the ones who encourage us.  Ryan and his wife Candice are so strong in the Lord, and their faith is obvious to anyone who knows them.  We are truly proud of them.

I am absolutely sure that God is in charge of all of this.  I do not blame him or even ask why this happened.  I know that Ryan’s cancer is the result of living in a fallen world.  His Father grieves when any of his children suffer and walks with us through the deepest valleys.  And he redeems all he allows–a statement that has never meant more to me than it does now.

Emotionally, however, a black cloud follows our family wherever we go.  Many of you know the feeling, especially those of you who are parents.  If something’s wrong with one of your children, nothing about the world can be right.  You would literally pay any price to trade places with them.  You cannot be well until they are.

What weighs heavily on your heart this morning?  What fears trouble your mind?  This week, rather than commenting on the day’s news, I’d like to walk with you through my favorite miracle in Scripture–the night when Jesus walked on the stormy Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:22-36).  I’ve been to that spot on the lake many times; today I’m there in a way I’ve never encountered before.  Each day I want to suggest a different promise within this remarkable story for us to claim together.

Let’s begin with the fact of the storm.  The disciples were obeying Jesus’ directive when they set sail across the lake (v. 22).  They had given up everything to follow their Lord (Mark 10:28).  And yet they encountered a crisis that threatened their lives.

C. S. Lewis was right: None of us are immune from the hard parts of life.  But when the storms come, God walks to us on the very waters that so frighten us.  His word promises us: “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.  The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:10-11).  Let’s claim his peace together, today.

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