Saturday, 2 February 2013
Climbing out of the boat
One day, while Elizabeth was caring for both of the boys, she complained of some abdominal pain. She went to a gynecologist who examined her and discovered an enlarged ovarian cyst. The gynecologist told us to have the cyst removed by surgery as soon as possible, otherwise it might burst!
After examination, the doctor suggested removing both the ovaries and the fibroid uterus completely - a major surgery! We were stunned. How could Elizabeth go the hospital when she was the person who cared for the children?
We arranged for a private nurse to take care of Elizabeth while she was in the hospital, and I decided to look after the children. I prayed especially that God would not allow both children to be sick at the same time. Elizabeth could easily look after both simultaneously, but I could only handle one at a time.
God, however, had something else in mind. Although everything went well in the hospital with the surgery, at home both boys became very sick at the same time. We had some people to help, but I had to stay awake at night and take care of them. During this time, God gave me something special from His Word: “Here he comes, leaping upon the mountains and bounding over the hills” (Song of Solomon 2:8) and “The Lord God is my strength, and he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains” (Habakkuk 3:19).
My problems may have been as big as the mountains, and my difficulties may have been as high as the hills, but the Lord could victoriously surmount all problems and difficulties. Not only did the Lord win, but He also made my feet like the feet of a deer to leap and skip upon these problems. How could God have shown me His sufficiency if only one of the children had been sick? He had to allow both to be sick for me to experience the greatness of His power.
Jesus invites us to experience victory in and through our troubles. We read in the Gospel narratives that Jesus told His disciples to get into their boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while He stayed to get the people started home. Afterwards He went up into the hills to pray. Night fell, and out on the lake the disciples were in trouble with the wind and heavy seas.
At about four o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water, and they thought He was a ghost. But Jesus reassured them saying, “Don’t be afraid”!
Then Peter called to Him: “Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you walking on the water”. Jesus agreed. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus (see Matthew 14:22-29).
The disciples saw Jesus overcoming all the storms and waves as He came towards them. He even allowed Peter to overcome them with Him. God wants us to win the victory on His terms. But, like Peter, we should not get terrified by all the afflictions and difficulties.
Sometimes the victory will be in the troubles. We will benefit immensely as we go through situations that are humanly unbearable. In certain cases there will be victory from the troubles. We are not designed to get defeated by depression and fear. We are designed to win with God’s strength and continuous empowerment.
Elizabeth was discharged from the hospital after successful surgery, and the boys were much better when she returned home. I realized at that time how much Elizabeth must have suffered all those years. But she said, she was strengthened and empowered to carry a greater load. God is our strength. He surely makes our feet like those of the deer to leap over all difficulties.