Happily Ever After?
I love Hallmark movies especially the Christmas ones. Girl meets boy. Miscommunication happens; sparks fly. The next hour and a half is full of laughter and maybe tears but the ending always promises a happily ever after. It is predictable and fun.
Last month, I read When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story. In the book, she writes about her husband having a brain tumor removed and the complications of that surgery/tumor. She shares how she had trouble sharing her story because it didn’t have a happily ever after. If it had been a Hallmark movie, he would have been miraculously healed. Instead he is still dealing with memory issues from the tumor. There was not a miraculous ending. They are daily living in the aftermath. It is no longer a drill. This is their new normal.
I am glad she didn’t wait to share her story but listened to God’s prompting that He could use her story just as it was. Laura and her husband did have a story to tell. God was more real to them than before the surgery. There was no physical healing, but there was a spiritual changing. God was training them to depend on him through all the ups and downs. That kind of story is messy but so beautiful.
I don’t know what it is like to have health problems but I can relate to the phrase “when God doesn’t fix it.” When we lived in Central Asia, I remember praying for peace. Still there is no peace as the news tells of yet another explosion. I remember praying for flight permissions for over a year. It seemed like all the doors closed. We left with no resolution and no answer to our prayer. The flight permission prayer was answered a year and a half after we left. The crazy thing is that even though many of those prayers had no answer, I saw God working.
God used that time and place to expose a lot of ugliness in me. Some days it was like he was doing major surgery. Then there were the seasons where one crisis after another would arise. It was in those times that I felt like we were covered by his fathers and under His wings we found refuge. (Ps 91) Our family learned to trust and love in a whole new way. It wasn’t always pretty, but we learned a lot about being a team and a family. We learned that God is sovereign and faithful even when our circumstances didn’t make sense.
For Laura and her husband, they are still living in when God doesn’t fix it. I pray that God is still as real to them today as He was yesterday. May they worship God in his goodness and sovereignty. In turn, may I never forget to pray for the team in Central Asia who is working in a land where peace is elusive and the work is difficult. May I remember that God is good even when He doesn’t fix it. May I worship him in the ups and downs of life.
If you think about it, happily ever after might be over rated when you can have a life dependent on a God who is in charge of eternity. You might say that eternity promises a joy ever after in the presence of the one who loved us and made us.
Are you in a place where you are struggling and wish that God would just fix it? Do you see Him in your situation? Whatever your situation, I would love to pray for you. Let me know in the comments how I can best pray for you.