By Maria Drayton
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Psalm 119:71
We had just celebrated Labor Day. The weather was still hot and humid. My mom had called and asked me to stop by for a visit after church. She lived in Delaware and I stayed in Pennsylvania but because my move to PA had been recent I still hadn’t found a new church and still drove to Delaware on Sundays for service. Often I stopped by my mother’s after church service so I did not think it was odd that she had requested the same this Sunday.
Service was exuberating as usual. I still was on my natural high of spending time in the Lord’s presence as I drove the 2 minutes to my mother’s house. When I walked in I noticed quickly she had been crying. I found that odd considering it was Sunday and I knew what a devoted Christian woman she was. “Hadn’t she gone to church today?” I thought to myself. All I noticed is that she was visibly upset. She asked me to come downstairs so that she could talk to me.
As she talked, my world began to close in around me. It seemed like the room was shrinking in size. She spoke quietly as she explained to me that she had been diagnosed with Stage VI Colon Cancer and that the condition was terminal. The rest of that day was a blur that I can’t remember even though I’ve tried.
After her diagnosis, I had resolved in my spirit that “"This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." John 11:4. So, I committed myself to her and her daily needs of doctor’s appointments, cooking, cleaning, going to the pharmacy, whatever she needed, I did. I posted scriptures of healing all over her house and hospital room when she stayed there. I was standing on God’s Word and believed He would heal my mother. That was my belief and I was unwavering. I knew He would heal her and I waited for it.
Well, He didn’t heal her. She passed. It was only 5 months later and she was gone. My whole world seemed to change in only 6 months. Only months before, things were great, I was learning all about the love of God, praising Him, walking with Him and just growing in His truths. Now I was mad. I wasn’t just mad but angry, hurt, disappointed, and depressed. I felt like God abandoned me and all my hopes were gone. She had been my best friend, my mother, my father, my everything. How could I believe God anymore? How could I trust Him after this? I had believed, I had prayed, I had my Pastor go and pray over her and still she died. My faith had been shook. I wasn’t sure what to believe anymore all I knew is that I was angry. Angry at God.
I wish I had more paper and time to fully explain everything The Lord did for me in the months after and the years to come. He literally carried me through the following years. My faith had been shattered, my hope all gone and I had given up. But God didn’t give up on me. The Holy Spirit ensured me that if I got out of bed, He would do the rest. And He did.
Today it is 17 years after that day. Today, I love Jesus more than before. Not because of what He did for me but who He has been to me. He has been my mother, father, sister, friend, husband, doctor, lawyer, mechanic, decorator, and builder, just everything. Scripture has become alive for me. He carried me for many years after until I was able to walk on my own again. He blessed me with a son a year after my mother died. I named him after my mom. I am also married now (another answered prayer). Today I want to encourage the reader of this story. I don’t believe in coincidence and if you are reading this, it was meant for you. Wherever you are in life, please know that He has not forgotten you, knows where you are and will bring you to an expected end in Him. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (KJV)
God has truly given me beauty for ashes.
Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for The spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Heavenly Father, thank You for being everything to me. Thank You for working everything for my good. Although sometimes it doesn't feel good, allow me to keep my trust in You and Your ways. You are truly good and Your mercies endure forever! In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Maria at mariadrayton.com.
© 2020 by Maria Drayton. All rights reserved.
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