I went to Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia two weeks ago to visit my brother Matthew for his birthday. While I was there, Matthew reminded me of several anniversaries of major events in our family’s life that would occur during the coming two weeks. He mentioned in particular the beginning of one of our family’s many medical trials that started in October 2006. After learning some difficult news, we sent out a mass email detailing everything to our friends and family so they would know how to pray for us. The children and youth choral director at our church responded to the email by sending us a copy of the order of worship for that coming Sunday. In her message, she said something to the point of “this was orchestrated by God for you…” I remember reading through the program and fighting back the tears as I felt God’s love unfold around me. When my mom told us the doctor’s news, I later went to my room and poured out my sorrow and fear to God and asked Him, “Why? What is Your purpose in this?” Mrs. Fray was right; God answered that prayer through that very service (October 22, 2006 PCPC Order for the Worship of God).
Through the intervening years with all its ups and downs, trials and triumphs, I have seen the evidence of God’s faithfulness. Not once has He ever dropped me, left a promise unfulfilled, deserted me, or left me without hope.
By God’s design, my choir sang “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” as the musical offering on October 22, 2006. This particular anthem has always been a favorite of mine, but it took on a special meaning that morning.
“My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.”
“When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.”
“The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.”
~ Sir Isaac Watts
It never ceases to amaze me how God’s mind works and how He moves to remind us of His promises and faithfulness. A week after Matthew reminded me of this anniversary, our family entered another phase of that same trial. God, in His omniscience, knew I would need that gentle reminder that “[His] grace is sufficient for [me], for [His] power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9a, ESV).” His preparation of my heart, mind, and soul has given me the strength to “boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me… (2 Corinthians 12:9b, ESV). His grace enables me to find contentment in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities (2 Corinthians 12:10a, ESV). Though I may fear what the future holds medically, I know that God understands and will conquer my fears and enable me to continue running with endurance the race set before me while looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV). For He has shown me that when I am weak, then I am strong.