Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What God has done for me


by Bruce

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

In moments of exasperation, people will often make the comment, "What has God done for me?" There is the insinuation that God has done nothing for them. That God merely resides in Heaven, unwilling to come to those who call upon Him.

Without God, I am a rushing river without water. Without God, I am a bright ray of sunshine without the sun. Without God, I am a book without words. Without God, I am a son without a father. Without God, I am a student without a teacher. Without God, I am a cloud without a sky. Without God, I am a path without direction. Without God, I am nothing.

What has God done for me? My grandmother was the wife of a farmer, who would have most likely been considered poor by the standards of the world. My grandmother endured a life of physical pain and illness. If enduring countless episodes of illness was not enough for one person to bear, towards the end of her life, my grandmother was stricken with a disease that caused her to become confined to bed, with the disease also causing her to lose the ability to speak. While I remember many things about my grandmother, like the way she would make chicken and noodles for lunch, the single thing I remember the most is that she was a Christian.

Towards the end of my grandmother's life, when I would enter my grandmother's bedroom and see her lying in bed, unable to speak and obviously in a great deal of pain, I would never see a frown on her face; I would see a glow upon her face, the glow of her love for God. In order to communicate, my grandmother would be required to write on a piece of paper. She never wrote the words, "What has God done for me?" She never wrote, "Why has God done this to me?"

Even in the throes of pain and pending death, my grandmother bore the
countenance of a true Christian; her love and faith in God were undaunted. My grandmother knew that without God, without Him, she was nothing. With God, she was something; she was a child of the King, who had received the promise of eternal life. By enduring the pain with an unerring faith in God, my grandmother's life served as testimony to her love of God, a love that was witnessed by those who saw the glow of my grandmother's countenance. By never leaving my grandmother's side, God showed the glory of His love for a faithful child; my grandmother. Even in unrelenting pain, there was the testimony of God's love and goodness.

Sometimes, it is through the sufferings of a Christian, not the miraculous healing, that brings glory to God. When my grandmother died, she did not leave me with earthly riches; she set for me the example of Christian living and dying. For my grandmother in both life and death, God's love was enough.

While the journey to Heaven for my grandmother was long and painful, there is no doubt that the glory of Heaven was worth the trip. Remembering the love that my grandmother showed for God, there is also no doubt that He was with her during the entirety of her trip, as He is with her now. My grandmother's undying faith in God saw her to the end of her journey and the beginning of an eternity without pain, without tears, and an eternity with a loving God.

What has God done for me? People will often testify to the goodness of God by proclaiming that God has healed their illness, God has provided their material needs, God has healed their broken relationships, God has eased their financial burdens, and in essence, God has done something good for them. God is indeed good to His children. Yet, there are also those occasions when pain and sorrow comes into the lives of God's children.

While God did not heal my grandmother's illness, His goodness, His greatness, His faithfulness, His love, and His comfort were enough for my grandmother. Without Him, my grandmother would not have been able to smile in the face of physical pain, and ultimately, the death of her physical body.

Without Him, how could anyone face the uncertainty of this life? Without Him, how could anyone face the certainty of physical death?

What has God done for me? When I begin to ponder what God has done for me, I consider the example of my grandmother. God did not heal her illness. God did not make her rich. God did not ease her pain. God did not her give fame. Why should my grandmother have given such glory to God? Love. As great as my grandmother's love for God, God's love for her was greater.

While faith may be the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1), love is most certainly the spark that causes faith to burn brightly. My grandmother's love for God gave her the unfaltering faith that God would be faithful to her and that His love would be sufficient for all things.

Faith. Faith that God's perfect will is always fulfilled, whatever the struggle. Faith that God's love will never falter, whatever the struggle. Faith that God will never leave our side, whatever the size of the opponent. Faith that God is omnipotent, whatever the strength of the opponent. Faith in the love of God for us, whatever befalls us. With God in our lives, faith is undying. Without Him, faith dies.

What has God done for me? God has loved me and, like my grandmother, it is enough.

By Bruce -

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
(John 3:16)


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