“Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Faith is hard. It requires believing completely in something (and Someone) you cannot see. It seems easier to believe in people or yourself because you can see them or you at least know what’s going through your mind. But what about the times that you don’t even understand your own thoughts? What about the times people fail you? When doctors can’t fix you or can’t find the problem? When you feel numb and just want to give up? What about faith then?
Since August 2015, God has been bringing me through a very dark time. I have had constant stomach pain for over a year and a half and still the doctors haven’t found the problem or any way to bring relief. And the pain has only gotten worse. It has not only affected me physically, but there have been emotional and spiritual ramifications as well. I have had times of doubting God. Times where I don’t feel like getting up or eating or smiling and being nice to people. Times where I just don’t care anymore. It has been a “valley of the shadow of death” for me (Psalm 23). A “Pi-hahiroth” experience: no place to turn except to God (Exodus 14). This pain has caused me to run to Jesus in a way I never have before. He has become my very Best Friend. The only one who really understands what’s going on.
Since January this year, the pain has only gotten worse. I keep crying out to God, “Why? Why are You allowing this? What are You trying to teach me? I’m trying to surrender to Your plan, but this really hurts!” He hasn’t given me answers, but He has given me comfort through His Word. Passages like Philippians 4:6-7 (peace that passes understanding), Hebrews 12 (endurance, staying under the pressure), Romans 8:26-28 (the Spirit and Jesus plead before the Father on my behalf; all things work together for good), 2 Corinthians 4:7-10; 16-17 (do not lose heart though the body is wasting away); Philippians 3:7-11 (knowing the fellowship of His sufferings)—passages like these have taken on completely different meanings to me. They have comforted and encouraged my soul like nothing else.
During one of Aaron’s messages a few weeks ago, he said that when Moses told God that he was slow of speech (Exodus 3-4), it was like he was telling God, “You made a mistake when You made me.” And it’s like God responds, “I make blind people. I make deaf people. [I make people with stomach problems]. There is one thing I don’t make: I don’t make mistakes. You were made exactly how I intended you to be in order to fulfill what I have planned in you and through you. My plan is perfect.” While I still don’t understand what God is doing and I still don’t have definitive answers, I have tremendous peace knowing that I don’t have to understand. My job is to trust. And trust becomes easier when I look at the One you are trusting in: the God of the Universe who made me exactly how I am supposed to be, stomach pain and all. God IS still good!