His Strength Is PerfectAdd Comment
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When last year started, I just knew it wasn’t going to be a good one. Knowing I needed a better attitude, I decided to read the book of Job in the Bible. I thought, My life couldn’t possibly be as bad as his was, and I was right.Add Comment
Job’s life was so messed up that his wife told him to curse God and die. After all, he’d lost his children, his health, and his wealth—nearly everything. Then his so-called best friends blamed Job for all his problems. Yet through it all Job stayed faithful to God. I wished my faith were that strong.
What were my problems? My great-grandmother seemed to be on her deathbed, I wasn’t sure about my relationship with my best friends, and it seemed as if I was making absolutely no progress spiritually or academically. I longed for change.
When I finally finished reading the book of Job (I’d never read any book in the Bible that long before), something good happened. I began to trust that God knew what He was doing in my life even if I didn’t.
Test of faith
About a month later a phone call changed my life forever. I learned that my grandfather had been taken to the hospital, and that he might die. The news hit me hard. Immediately I denied what was happening, No, this can’t be. God wouldn’t let my grandfather die. After all, God didn’t let my great-grandmother die. I’m much closer to my grandfather, so God definitely won’t take Him from me, I kept telling myself.
Even though my faith in God was stronger after reading the book of Job, I had a gut feeling that when my mother and I went to Ohio to see my grandfather, I was going to doubt God. So before we left, I started praying hard that God would strengthen my faith.
Sure enough, when I saw my grandfather lying in that hospital bed, my faith in God started to weaken. From the moment we arrived at his bedside, we kept talking to him, wishing he could respond. We left him only to change clothes and get something to eat. I just wanted to hear his voice.
I didn’t let myself believe that my grandfather was going to die. He’s going to get better. He has to—he just has to! I kept repeating to myself.
My mother and I talked to grandfather and even sang to him until he died—right in front of us. It was so difficult to watch him take his last breath. Then his face grew pale, and his skin grew cold.
At first I felt shocked that my grandfather was gone. He’d been there for me when my father hadn’t been. And he and my mother had always encouraged me to dream big and not let go of my dreams. I was going to miss him so much!
What bugged me the most was that I didn’t know if I’d ever see my grandfather again. I began to understand why so many people believe that when you die, you go to heaven. It helps ease the pain to think that your loved one is living in heaven with God. Yet I knew better than to believe that. I knew my grandfather had known about God. I just didn’t know whether or not he’d accepted Him.
As I grieved for my grandfather, I turned bitter toward everyone except my mother. Even when supportive friends gave me their condolences, all I could do was stare at them and silently think to myself, Do you know what it’s like to see the life drain out of a person? No, you don’t!
As for God, I felt as though He had betrayed me. He knew how important my grandfather was to me—how close we were—and yet He let him die anyway. I didn’t feel like spending time with God or reading the Bible. I reasoned, Why should I do anything about our relationship when He can do everything?
Yet I knew I had to get out of the bad spiritual mood I was in, so I made myself talk to God. I told Him exactly how I felt about Him and my situation.
Gradually God helped me realize that I didn’t have to go through this tough time alone. When I needed strength, God showed me that I could just go to Him, He’d be right there. I discovered that His strength was perfect when my strength was gone. As it turned out, at my grandfather’s funeral I chose to sing the song “His Strength Is Perfect,” by Cece Winans.
Since then I’ve learned some things about God that I want to pass on to you. One, God never leaves you hanging (Hebrews 13:5). And He never gives you more than you can handle with His help (Philippians 4:13). I don’t always understand why God does the things He does, or why He lets certain things happen. I’ve figured out that I’m supposed to trust Him to handle my problems. And if I have faith, life won’t necessarily be easy, but eventually everything will be fine.
If you’re going through a bad situation, I encourage you not to worry about things that you have absolutely no control over. Just let yourself rest in God and let Him handle everything for you. When you’re in His hands, you have nothing to worry about (Matthew 6:25-34), because He has everything under control (Jeremiah 29:11-13). And remember, His strength is perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Evelyn Smith entered her testimony in the 2010 Insight Writing Contest General Prose category and won third place. Congrats go out to her! She enjoys singing, writing, drawing, designing clothes, reading, shopping, and playing basketball, soccer, and football. She writes from South Carolina.
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