April 29, 2015
So last week Jessica and I had the privilege of listening to an amazing couple, that have been missionaries for over 30 years. To hear their awesome, awe inspiring stories of how God has worked in their life brought tears of joy to the entire class. Their trust, reliance and faith in God through the good times and the hard times is nothing short of inspirational.
One story in particular touched us all. The husband, Art, who was standing under his own strength, told us a story of how he was once a quadriplegic. He talked about the surfing accident and how it happened not far from where we sat. He spoke about holding his breath for nearly two minutes under water until rescuers could get to him. He also talked about how nearly everyone told him that he would never be able to move his body and compared his injury to Christopher Reeve’s. He spoke a little of the hard times when people would laugh at him but mainly he spoke of the good times when him and his family where able to rejoice. The time when he was first able to move his finger, when he was first able to feed himself, when he was able to stand assisted, when he was able to walk assisted, then walk unassisted and now today he is able to play basketball and run 6 miles.
During Art’s story all I could think about is how amazing it is that he is standing before us. I thought about how hard it must have been not being able to move no matter how hard he tried and the sense of hopelessness that he must of had at times.
After explaining the slow painful recovery process, that has taken many years, Art said something that resonated in my soul. He asked the question “Why didn’t God heal me quickly?” Art answered his own question by saying “Because God does everything for the glory of his Kingdom”. God had the power to heal Art quickly while he laid faced down in the water holding his breath. God had the power to make his injury not so severe so that he could have a quicker recovery. Yes God could have healed Art right away but then the miracle of God’s amazing and awesome power would have not been revealed through Art’s miraculous recovery and Art’s amazing love for the Lord.
I think to often in today’s fast pace society, with our fast food and Starbucks, we have learned to want things fast, we want it now and we want it our way. But what we fail to realize is that God does not operate this way. He does not operates under our time table, he has no constraints and his “…will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). In my limited experience, God rarely chooses the quick fix, allowing me to be refined by the fire, testing my faith because “for you know the the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” (James 1: 3-4).
Jessica and I have prayed many times for a fast healing process but it does not seem to be coming fast enough. At times we find ourselves growing impatient, frustrated with the continuing struggles that linger because of the choices that I have made. But praise be to God for we know the victory that is in him. We know that he will redeem us completely and we know that he will provide complete restoration. Because like the butterfly that gains its strength to fly through its fight to escape the cocoon and the child that learns to crawl, walk and eventual run through many struggles and falls, our trials and hardships are preparing us for an amazing journey that God has predestined for us as husband and wife. He is preparing for us to crawl, then walk, then run and finally to fly with him to places that we could never imagine.
So while we tend to cry out to the Lord for quick healing we must realize that God does not work on our timeline “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3-5). So as God was able to use the miraculous recovery of Art’s painful suffering to see eye’s opened and hearts changed; likewise Jessica and I pray God will use our miraculous resurrection from a marriage that was in ashes to see hearts healed and other marriages restored.
Source: Todd and Jessica Elrod