Teaching the Word of God is one of my passions. I’m very much alive when I’m studying the Word and seeking to impart the information I’ve learned to others. It’s my privilege to teach, on Wednesday evenings, a group of ladies at our church. The subject matter may change but the foundation doesn’t. God has so much to teach us and we’ll never really comprehend all of it while we are here on this earth. My subject for this quarter is suffering. It’s a huge subject and the Scriptures have much to say about it. My topic last Wednesday would have been “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God.” I say, would have been, because I was not able to teach that class. The reason? “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God.”
I love God and his ways. I don’t always understand them, but I love how he works out all things. At times I think he must have a great sense of humor as his purposes are fulfilled in our lives. God doesn’t operate in my convenience, but for his glory and my good. My good is not always what I would call convenient. It was Saturday morning at 3:00 a.m. when I woke up with my heart in AFib. It was beating way to fast resulting in me being hot, then cold. I coughed. I bore down. I used a cold cloth. Nothing was bringing my heart back to normal. At 7:30 a.m. I went to the bathroom only to lay down on the floor because I couldn’t sit up. I was lightheaded and felt faint. By 8:00 a.m. I had my husband call 911 and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a heart rate bouncing around from 160 to 190. They worked on me with medication until noon and it finally righted itself. This was not in my plan.
Was this God’s sense of humor? After all, I’m teaching a class on suffering and in the fourth week, I’m in the hospital. That’s suffering all right! Was God smiling as he watched me walk through this situation? I actually hope he was smiling at me as I sought to follow him well. This was his sovereign plan all along. In the fourth week of study, I would live through the sovereign plan of God for me, even though I didn’t like it. Are we called to like God’s plan? No. Are we called to change God’s plan? No. Are we called to live out God’s plan? Yes!
Let me share with you what God has shown me in this week that I’ve been set aside. He’s always up to something in our lives and this week was no exception.
- I’m not in control. God has wired me to be in control of my life. That old firstborn tendency comes flying through in so many areas. It’s easy to make sure I study, pray, read, clean house, wash clothes, exercise, eat right, and reach out to others. But I can’t control my heart rhythm! The Lord is the only one who can truly heal my heart rhythm. I was praying for him to correct it before I had to call the ambulance, but in his sovereignty, he didn’t. I needed to be totally dependent on him and allow him to use who he would in order for my heart to be right. I needed prayer! “…pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16b My church family began to pray and it was those prayers that sustained me throughout this journey.
- I don’t have to understand everything. This is quite typical for me. I want to know the details and the reasons. My thought is if I know, then I’ll understand and then accept whatever is happening. Yeah, that’s not really the truth! The confusion of the moment is just what I need to force myself to be utterly dependent on God who is never confused. He is always well aware of every thing and every reason. I needed to trust! “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8 My wisdom is foolishness in comparison to God’s wisdom. His wisdom sustains in the midst of confusion.
I’m still walking this journey as I deal with medications and side effects. However, I can remember these two lessons as I move forward; I’m not in control and I don’t have to understand everything. God’s sovereignty in my suffering gives me such comfort because he is at work. He never stops working for the best in my life to make me like Jesus.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11