A friend emailed a bunch of folks last week asking us to pray for a little girl, dear to to heart, in whose brain doctors had just found a significant tumor. She was immediately scheduled for surgery on Good Friday, but that was delayed for lack of surgeons. The operation to remove as much of the tumor as possible has still not occurred; today they took more MRIs to decide what the best approach will be.
I thought of them often over the weekend, but especially today as I've caught up on their CaringBridge page and have more specifics to pray for. Our family has been invited into their suffering to cry out to the Healer, Our Mighty God, who is the only one who can make a difference in this situation - whether He does a miracle or provides by sustaining this family through the difficulty ahead. As this situation puts my faith to the test: Will I pray for a miracle that I profess to believe God is capable of? What if it doesn't "come true"?, I believe it is also fertile ground for the growing faith of my children. By praying for a complete stranger, to whom we're connected by Christ, they learn more about who God is (how much we can entrust our lives to Him) and how we need the church, His people (to bear one anothers' burdens and to rejoice together.)
God's grace to me today would be best put this way: HIM.
I suppose that's His grace to me every day, really.
In the face of suffering we can look to Him who endured more than we can imagine to make things right, to set in motion the grand plan to make all things new ... starting with the basics: our sin.
I have no idea what's in store for little Ava and her family over the next days, months, or years. But HE does and I'm reminded of His words:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
In the Godhead - Father, Son, and Spirit - we find hope. Suffering turns our eyes away from ourselves, our solutions, and our self-sufficiency, and reminds us that we need to hope in something outside of ourselves. Christ meets us there and He is sufficient, not only to forgive our sin but to pour his love into our hearts and do incredible work there.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:1-5
Tonight, Brian said a prayer for little Ava before falling asleep. He doesn't usually pray when I suggest it at bedtime....
God, YOU are my interrupting grace today.