Faith for the Faint-Hearted

Most people assume that bad things don’t happen to good people.

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But friends, this is not how the world works.

I’m not even going to pretend I know the reason why bad things happen. Or draw up a list of things you can do to avoid them. (If I had any inkling, I can guarantee you; my family would not be walking the road we are now.)

I’m just going to attest to the fact that nothing outside of God himself is worth holding onto in the midst of them.

I have my health; but my 4-year-old nephew was just given a horrifying diagnosis.
I have an amazing family; they are broken by this news.
I have the reputation of being a good person; this road couldn’t be harder.

I have Jesus; He is here.

And that’s the whole point of this life. The whole point of faith.
For all its faults and fallacies, Christianity is intended to point us back to redemption—in Christ.

Not in good deeds, good works, good health reports.
Happy families, secure jobs, steady relationships.
Security in any venue beyond Christ is unreliable.
And useless.

With each small success in Ben’s story to this point, I’ve clung to the words of positive progress.
I held my breath and prayed through surgery. He woke up with full capabilities.
I held my heart and prayed harder watching my sister hold him in the ICU. He was discharged the next day.
We all burst with excitement when told he would be released to come back home.

I held those victories so tightly.
I shouted them out loud for everyone to hear.
I put my trust in them; began to build expectations on them: He’s fine. He’ll be home. He’ll recover in a few weeks. Our lives will be back to normal soon.

And then I realized just how undependable they were.

I understand doctors give the worst case scenarios. But under no circumstance is “cancer” ever a welcome word.

I cried hysterically. Fell on my knees, buried my face and cried until I had to remind myself to breath.

There was not a thing in the world that could ease the pain tearing at the edges of my heart.
Not in this world.

Then, with swollen eyes and shaking hands, I picked up my Bible.

Psalms 37:39-40:
“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.”

It’s easy to get comfortable in our faith when life is going well.
It gets harder when it’s all you have left.

I won’t lie and say that I’m not scared. I absolutely am.

But there’s something—Someone—in me that overpowers it.
I have seen the power of God at work. I have read, seen, and lived stories that reveal His provision, healing, and faithfulness.
I know He is capable of miracles.
And I am not wasting a breath asking Him for anything less.

Bad things do happen to good people.
But God redeems them all.

It is for this, we have Jesus.

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6 thoughts on “Faith for the Faint-Hearted

  1. No fear, just Faith for Ben. Every night since December 12, 2008 we have been starting our Prayers with Psalm 91. That was the day my son, who was 10 years young at the time, was diagnosed with brain cancer. On Thursday we have an appointment with him that we are actually looking forward to- at the DMV for his drivers license. Keeping Ben in my heart.

  2. Prayers for Ben and all his family. Our family was touched with a brain tumor too….so I continually have this prayer request on my heart. God doesn’t always answer the way WE would choose…but with the sweet faith of this family…He will be very present. I can see already how God uses this very public testimony to bring familes (on the “fence”) closer to Him and to each other. May you all sense a”holy hug from heaven’ as you walk this road. YOu are being lifted to thr Throne room of heaven when you feel exhausted.

  3. Friend, so many of us are crying and praying and believing alongside of you and your family. Thanks for your courage to share your heart and for being a beacon of light in a dark world. Love you

  4. Marissa, your eloquent words never cease to amaze me. You are obviously the same wonderful, kind, caring, considerate person you were back in high school. My heart is breaking for you and your (equally amazing) family, Yet at the same time, I am in awe of your faith and courage. Ben was given to all of you for a reason. Whatever God’s plan is for him, he is surely blessed to be part of the Albrecht family. You are all in my constant prayers. The power of prayer is so great and so many people are praying for Ben – we have to hold on to hope. Thank you for sharing your heart with so many. You are truly inspiring! If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. My love and prayers to you all.
    Jen

  5. So thankful we can cling to Jesus!! I so wish your sweet family didn’t have to endure this loss. In my mind the miracle would have been Jesus healing Kai and Ben, but I’m trusting that there is a bigger miracle out there!

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