Following Life’s Turns

By Jeff Friday

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NASB)
7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

John 3:16 (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

1 Corinthians 15:50-56 (NASB)
50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

Most of us pretty much have a plan on where we want life to take us.  Even if it’s not explicitly plotted out, we minimally have a general expectation for the days and weeks ahead.  However, after over a year of this pandemic, you have to admit that we really didn’t see this one coming.  Some had their lives altered far more than others, to say the least.  As an “essential worker” in the food industry, my day-to-day activities really didn’t change all that much…. or at least not at first.  Like most, I focused on washing, masking, distancing and was generally cautious.  Nonetheless, life took a turn when I was diagnosed with the corona virus over Thanksgiving.  The day after being released from quarantine, in another of life’s turns, the virus generated a blood clot in my heart.  Follow up testing revealed that I had low risk factors for the heart attack (other than covid), but there was evidence that I should look for a possible aneurysm.  I experienced yet another turn when comprehensive CT scans found that silent killer in my brain.  Initially, optimism was high that it could be easily treated with a stent or wire coils inserted through the vascular system.  To my disappointment, this journey turned again, requiring a far more invasive brain surgery.  Now, looking back, the Lord was gracious with all known issues completely resolved by means of a skilled surgeon.  While that is something to be thankful for, here are a few points to ponder:

1) Healing, whether miraculous, naturally over time, by means of physicians, or by medicine, are all possible because of the gracious hand of God.  He enables all things from the hand of a surgeon to the healing of an incision.

2) Lack of healing, or any other misfortune for that matter, is not proof of a spiritual defect.  The Bible has many examples where suffering is not resolved on earth.  In fact, suffering actually transforms us into the people He wants us to be (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

3) History proves that even those who were healed eventually fell.  Even Lazarus died again.  (Bad enough to die once, what about dying twice?)

4) Lastly, there is nothing that beats the resurrection of the body.  While those who believe on the name of Jesus will go to see Him once they die (see John 3:16), there is a coming day when our soul and spirit will reunite with our totally refurbished body (check out 1 Corinthians 15:50-56).  That is the final turn, and you won’t want to miss it!

Prayer: Lord, only You know the road ahead.  I know that any turns in that road go through You.  Nothing comes upon me without your permission.  Though I have my own plans, I ask for Your peace, Your joy and Your will in the midst of the unexpected.  It’s not “if” these turns will happen, but “when”.  Transform me into the person that You want me to be.

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