Do you remember Corrie ten Boom, Holocaust survivor and best-selling author of the book, The Hiding Place? She lived through one of the most painful and traumatic experiences in history and out of her heart grew an encyclopedia of wisdom. I guess today, we would go to Wikipedia to learn about her life, but I’m in awe of her courage and stamina in facing her trials with audacious faith – then later revealing them with such passion and sincerity. Corrie said “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
There is trauma today – life altering events; and we ask why. We ask how can this be good. I never like to write about me. In fact, I’m uncomfortable writing about me, because life is not about me. But I tell this story today to encourage you in whatever circumstances you are going through. My daughter is 37 years old. Three days ago she was a walking, talking sales dynamo. Today, she can’t walk and talking is a laborious effort – she is a victim of three mini strokes that have taken everything from her, except her life. We are asking; how can this be good? We have no human answer. I’m reminded of another thing Corrie ten Boom asked in one her talks “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” I ask myself, is prayer my steering wheel? In this 180 degree turn from what I expected life to look like, will I pray through with God at the wheel or will I drive through and stop off for a nibble of God’s Word and a prayer snack on the way?
Will I find joy in the journey? Will this event make me bitter, or make me better. Do I really believe if I get the inside right, the rest will take care of itself? Yes! Yes! I believe it to my depths of my soul. At the core of who I was made to be, my first priority is to remember that my attitude is a choice. What I do with it affects every facet of my life. I choose faith first. I choose to trust this unknown future to a known God. If I get the inside right, the rest will take care of itself.
Am I scared? Absolutely! Yes, I am scared, not for me, but for my daughter’s children and her husband. Will I be praying without ceasing as the Bible says? Or will I allow the enemy of my soul to suffocate my faith and rob me of my joy? It’s a choice I will have to make moment by moment. When it seems that nothing good can come from the path we are on, when the future is so uncertain, how can we fan the flame and get our joy back? How can we strengthen our faith? Here’s a place to start: reliance on the One who gives us strength. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
At the core of your being there is a flame of joy, just as there is in mine. “…..joy runs deeper than despair.” That flame, no matter how tiny, is in there at the center of our choices. How can we be joyful today? This day is set before us as a blank slate. What gets written on it isn’t up to us. We can plan our steps from the first increment to the last, but we live with surprise. Our lives can change in a heartbeat and the landscape of our plans dissolves. In these times, I crave a word from the Lord. Isaiah 48:17 This is what the Lord says— “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. 2 Timothy 4:17 The Lord stood by me and gave me strength ….