About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: "This is what the LORD says: 'Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.'" Isaiah 38:1 NLT
The text read, “A car fell on David* and crushed his hand. We’re in the emergency room.”
David is my middle brother’s middle son—the brother who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was forty-years-old. The brother who eventually had two deep-brain stimulator surgeries, only to get infections both times and have the surgeries reversed. The brother who had a wreck because of a stroke and had to learn to walk all over again.
Now, the son had his own set of issues to deal with. He and a friend were working on the friend’s truck when the vehicle fell from the jacks, crushing my nephew’s hand and giving him two licks on the head. The surgeon on call performed surgery and repaired the hand with rods, pins, and a plate.
Life has taken many downward turns for my brother and his family. It did, too, for King Hezekiah. A prophet named Isaiah approached him with a word from the Lord: set your affairs in order. You will die. The king pleaded with God for an extension, and God graciously granted him fifteen more years.
But things don’t always turn out so wonderful. Sometimes, God doesn’t reverse the disease or take away the abuse. Sometimes, He lets the finances continue their downward spiral or the bullying continue. Despite the pleadings, God sometimes lets death come, lets tragedy happen, and lets persecution continue.
When life takes a southward direction, we have two choices: stick with God or turn away from Him. No middle ground. I can trust Him in spite of my misunderstanding, disappointment, and depression, or I can turn my back on Him and watch things go from bad to worse.
My parents gave me a solid spiritual foundation. It has kept my faith intact despite the many southward turns of my life. I’ve questioned God, been depressed, wondered why God hasn’t acted, went to others for advice. But never have I turned my back on God.
God’s Word says He loves us. It also says He has a purpose for our lives and works to form us into the image of Christ. Sometimes, God sends the downward turns as a part of His plan to accomplish those things which a continuous journey of good times wouldn’t do.
Our part, when life takes a turn, is simply to trust that God knows what He’s doing and sees what we can’t see.
Don’t let the downward turns take your faith with them.
Prayer: Father, keep our eyes looking upward when life goes downward.
*Name changed to protect individual privacy
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