I have two dear friends who are suffering from Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Both of these men model a life of faith, trusting God, and seeking to honor Him with the assignment they have received. In the article below by TJ Addington, he specifically refers to our joint friend Phil Arendt. Buckle up your theological suspenders and consider what TJ has to say to the challenges you face today…
How often do we wish that life were different!We complain about what we don’t have, sometimes wish we were like others, or see the glass half empty rather than half full. But here is the thing! Jesus has given us what we have and what He asks of us is that we use the hand we have been dealt, regardless of the hand, for his glory.
Right now the cards my wife has in her hand are not very exciting. She suffers from a great deal of joint pain, has a hard time standing and walking because of pain in her feet and is rarely pain free. We are praying for healing and following all the medical paths we can but ultimately God wants her to use the hand God has given her for His glory. He knows the limitations. He also knows that her perseverance is an example to others. And while she is less active physically by necessity, she is more active in prayer for others.
I think of my dear friend Phil who has brain cancer that is terminal unless the Great Physician touches his brain and heals the cancer. What does God ask of Phil? To use the cards in the hand he has been dealt for the glory of God. He does not complain, lives in trust, continues to work and lives with expectancy. He gets it!
All of us have things we wish were different. But here is where our theology needs to trump the things we wish were different. God is fully aware of our situation, he is sovereign over all things in our lives, His Spirit intercedes for us in areas where we struggle (Romans 8), and He does work all things for His own good (Romans 8:28). I don’t say that lightly because what is for His ultimate good does not keep us from those things that cause us pain in a fallen world. Rather He is able to redeem all of our situations and use them for His glory.
There are days when all of us with that life were different. What we need to do on those days is ask, “What has God placed in my hand that I can use for Him today?” That takes the focus off of what we wish were different and places it in a totally new perspective. It is no longer about me but about Him and we realized that it is not about the deficits of life (from our perspective) but those things He has given us that we can use on His behalf. It can change our day.