Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This week the world turned upside down, with the news that my mother in law has cancer, again.

I won’t go into details, but its grim.

And so the questions we all ask roll through our minds. Why? To what end?

The accusations and anger boils as we say to ourselves, hasn’t she given enough of her herself for the kingdom? Isn’t 25 years in the bush in Africa enough? Can’t she find some grace, some mercy in it all? WHERE IS THE JUSTICE? Where is the healing?

I have taken rest in an unusual passage. A friend pointed me to it this summer.

For those of you rusty in your Old Testament history, Elisha has some friends. This childless couple builds him an extra room and he camps out there, perhaps for a long period of time. He wants to bless them, he promises a son, unasked.

This woman has the son, and one day he dies. Calmly, she saddles her donkey and goes into town. As Elisha sees her, he send out his servant to discover what’s wrong.

And all the woman says to the servants penetrating questions is, “Everything is alright.” Or as in some versions, “It is well”. In good modern vernacular we would say, “Its all good.”

Her son has just died and “It is well.”

My friend told me about this, and it took me three times to read the story to find it. It’s such a small statement, its easy to miss. But I think it’s a major point of the story. My addition to this story is this.

We don’t know if she asked for the son or not. But, God gave her a son. I believe she knew It is Well, because God was the one who gave her the son, and whatever happened, everything was His to begin with.

I didn’t ask for my ministry in Spain. It was given to me. And the error of my thoughts is the in the first sentence in this paragraph, its not my ministry. My mother in law isn’t mine, she’s God’s.

Many of our gifts come unbidden, unasked for. But we develop this powerful attachment and when things change or go “wrong” we suddenly think they are ours to have always.

So, I take rest in that, “Everything is Ok”. And I take rest in knowing God owns all the cattle on a thousand hills, and is in ultimate control. I take rest knowing that an all powerful, all sovereign God knows what is best for me, my mother in law and so much more. It is well.

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