When belief is put to the test
"No testing has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear. But when you are tested, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." -1 Corinthians 10:13
This verse is underlined in my Bible. I have heard it used to argue that God will never give us more than we can handle. I have also heard it used to argue that every temptation can be resisted if we want to resist badly enough. I think both those ideas, while attractive, are, at best, partial truths. I have seen God allow circumstances that would crush a man if that's what it takes to have that man understand that he cannot survive without God. And I have seen a man struggle mightily with temptation, desiring desperately to overcome it, and just not be able, under his own power, to break free. I've been both those men. Paul's statement to the Corinthians is both an encouragement that we are not alone and a warning not to get cocky. The common thread woven into both those ideas, and perhaps overlooked sometimes in their application, is our complete, moment-by-moment dependence on God. The strength to go through the trial is in Him. The way out of the temptation is through Him.
When faced with a situation that rocks my world and threatens my family, Sunday-school answers are not enough. Don't get me wrong - the scriptural principles and the examples of godly men and women are true and valuable. But I need more than intellectual understanding and abstractions. At that point, the truth has to become real - right here, right now, in me. Jeremy shared his gut-wrenching story of what it took to hold onto what he and his wife had always believed to be true, even when medical personnel were advising otherwise. It would have been easy, and completely justified in the eyes of most, to "eliminate the problem" and move on. Jeremy chose to lead his family through a devastating season toward an uncertain outcome, hoping against hope that God would make a miracle, but committed to follow Him whether the miracle came or not.
And the enemy wasn't done. In the weight of that season were temptations to question God, temptations to distract himself in his work, temptations to "keep a stiff upper lip" and go it alone. Jeremy knew that he and Dianne had to stay connected. And he discovered that his foxhole brethren cared too much to allow him to isolate himself. Whether any of them knew what to do or say, they would walk this path together. Then a funny thing happened - the miracle no one expected. In the midst of the storm, there was peace. Peace that was beyond explanation or rational logic. Peace that has endured beyond that season and spilled over into seemingly unrelated events that have occurred since September 5, 2017. Peace that was expressed by Jeremy and Dianne's eight-year old daughter: "Savi is OK. She's all better. She's with God."
To hear the rest of Jeremy's story, tune in to the podcast. You'll find it at https://www.convoynwa.org/audio/. Here is a link to the song Jeremy mentioned in his presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCCKD7GFxr4.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:7