There is nothing quite like singing songs praising the one true God with 5,000 other women. While I stood there singing, I looked around me and was overwhelmed by the knowledge that God loves and knows each one of these women in the deepest and most personal way. He created each one to bring glory to His name and He knows the circumstances that make each one cry. He knows the personal pain that they don't even tell their closest friends. And above all of that: He can be trusted to do what is best even in suffering that we all face in this life.
Over the weekend I had the great joy of attending the Women of Faith conference with two beautiful godly women who were in my group and gave me the opportunity to come and just rejoice in the time away from ordinary life seeking the face of my Redeemer and Lord. For those women I am so filled with gratitude! And for my husband, who took over with my responsibilities here at home so that I could get away, I am so grateful.
Probably the biggest thing I came away with was a renewed passion for TRUST in a God who knows just what we need, and who sees more than we can see with our limited vision on this earth. Long ago I heard someone say that trust is gratitude and that trust is the most pure form of worship. When we are truly and totally grateful for all that God has given us in Himself we cannot help but lay down our defences and trust Him totally. When we trust Him totally - when we put our very lives into His hands for Him to do what is best we are truly worshipping Him in everything we do. Many of us have learned to put up walls to keep from having to trust - and in the area of suffering and chronic pain and health issues it is no different. Why would I trust a God who allows sickness and pain to be part of my every day? There is no way that the suffering in the world is understandable or redeemable if we do not believe with everything in us that this world is only a part of our existence. The Bible is full of reminders that this world is not our real home and one of the most comforting passages pointing us to endure suffering while we are here in light of what is to come is in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 " Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." This world is not all there is! Everyone suffers in some way, in fact Jesus told his closest friends on earth that "In this world you will have trouble - but take heart for I have overcome the world." When we understand that we follow a God who sees much more than we can see and who loves us so much we can relax in spite of pain and rest in trust. He is so worth it.
I am not saying that God never heals - it is clear that He does at times heal physical, emotional, mental illnesses. When He heals we need to give Him all the glory. And when He choses for whatever reason, to not heal in the way we ask Him to - we need to also give Him all the glory. He is God and totally worthy of our trust in everything.