I’ve read a quote several times by A.W. Tozer. In it he says, “ It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”
I know that God doesn’t “hurt” us, His only desire is to bless us and through His word, He promised good for us. While God doesn’t hurt us, nothing touches our lives until it has first passed through His hands.
My addition to this idea is this…
“Your greatest assignment comes out of your greatest suffering.” – Sarah
At 13 years old, I felt God tugging on my heart as a I sat in a service at a youth summer camp. I can see now that God was actually placing a specific call on my life that I wouldn’t fully understand until I was 30 years old, sitting in an emergency room hearing that my son had a brain tumor.
Your greatest assignment comes out of your greatest suffering.
This was not what I thought God meant when he pricked my heart for ministry 17 years before. If I knew that this would be my answer as I prayed so fervently for His direction, I would have told God “never mind” just take my prayers off the list. Please don’t sign me up for this. I would have begged Him to let something else be my ministry. But, He didn’t give me the choice. All He did was open a door…it was a door I tried my best not to walk through. The suffering our family and Camp endured as he battled for his life was something I’ll never fully recover from. But, even through my suffering and brokenness, God can use Camp’s life as a way to share His hope to a hurting world.
God most certainly did not cause my child to have cancer, when sin came into the world, so did disease and sickness. None of us can escape this…no matter how much you love Jesus and long to serve him.
On January 19, 2017 Camp was completely healed. God had said “no” to my prayers for an earthly healing, but “no” to one prayer meant “yes” to another. God’s “yes” was the best yes for Camp’s life because it gave him complete healing in a heavenly home with Jesus.
Selfishly and unapologetically, I still want him here with me. If I had to walk this road all over again, I’d still pray every minute of every day for an earthly healing and a cure for his cancer. I don’t think God would expect me to pray any differently. He’s my son and just because he died, doesn’t mean that my love for him did.
Camp’s life was short in years, but full of strength, courage and meaning. I don’t know or understand why some kids get sick and some don’t. I don’t understand why some sick kids get better and some don’t. But understanding all of that has nothing to do with faith. All I do understand is that without Jesus, I wouldn’t be able to get up and put one foot in front of the other each day. Without the hope of heaven, I would have no reason for living.
But understanding all of that has nothing to do with faith.
Even though God said “no” to one prayer on January 19, 2016, he said the biggest “YES” to all of humanity when he sent his own son to die on the cross. Jesus paid a price in his suffering, so that we would have hope. His free gift of grace and mercy are not something we can earn because it is freely offered to each of us. Even if I tried, I’d never be good enough to deserve His salvation. Through Camp’s life, I can share about Jesus in a new and meaningful way. Not only can I talk about the 2 years and 10 months that he was here with us, but I can share how God has carried us through the days since then. I can tell others’, that because of what Jesus did on the cross, death doesn’t win. When we die to our earthly bodies, we can be fully alive with Jesus. Life on earth is short for us all, but in heaven, we will live forever.