My heart is heavy tonight. I wrote a blog a month ago about my friend Sharon’s brother. He needed a bone marrow transplant in order to survive his battle with leukemia. Sharon gave the bone marrow (which was a painful process for her) but his body was simply tired. Yesterday, before he could get strong enough to have the life-saving marrow transplanted into him, he passed away.
You can read my first blog about their story, Our Only Chance of Survival, here:
So many have prayed for Sharon and her family. Prayed that she would be ok throughout the procedure and most importantly, that the miracle in the matching of the blood between siblings would see this brother restored to health and here with us living, laughing, and loving.
What do we say now, what do we do? Our corporate prayers, especially the prayers of those closest to him, were not answered the way we had all hoped. I was reminded tonight of the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. This was the same Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. (see the story in John chapter 11.) This family loved Jesus so much! And He loved them back. But something happened.
Lazarus became sick, and died. When I heard that my friend’s brother had died, the shock hit me like a brick. How can this be? How can this happen when we all prayed? Sharon had given up her marrow, willingly, unselfishly, painfully! Ok, I confess right now….I thought like Martha…Lord, where were You in all this? She questioned the Master boldy!! John 11:21 Then Martha said unto Jesus, “Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died.
If You had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died, I would not have to hurt so much, I would not have to struggle so much for everything, I could be happy – no pain, no sorrow, no trouble, not when You are here Lord! If You loved me like You said You did what happened to my miracle, Lord?
In a flash, my answer was here – crystal clear. Maybe the miracle didn’t come the way we wanted it to. But does that mean a miracle didn’t happen? When Jesus heard that Lazarus had died he said this:
John 11:4 ……He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
That’s it!! Whatever happens in my life, I have to believe that it is all done so that God will get the glory!
I admitted to Sharon that I had prayed selfishly. We talked the day she heard the news that her brother’s body was shutting down. I told her flat out that I didn’t want to see her go through losing him when she had gone through so much. It was Sharon who comforted me in that conversation when she said, “Vic, I have left it all in God’s hands. Whatever He wills, will be ok with me. Yes, I will hurt but I know God will see me through!
Ok, tears are coming now as I think about that. Yes, we do question why and play the what-if game with God. Why did this happen and what if it had happened another way?
Truth is, we will never have the answer to some of our questions. That is just how it’s going to be. I do know this – I’ve come too far in my journey with God to turn back now because I have questions. I will either believe He has my best interests in His heart or I will stop being a Christian. And my faith will not let me do the latter.
I choose today to renew my commitment to God. I may not understand everything but I believe that come what may, He will see me through every test and every blessing! Because it all is working together to bring Him glory in my life!
Even now, I do see some miracles beyond the pain. I have seen my friend become willing to endure suffering to save the life of her brother. She says she would do it again but being real, how many of us would have done it in the first place? She has told me about the love and support that has been showered on her sister-in-law and niece during stressful days that is unmatched by anything we ever experienced. I’ve heard my friend begin to talk about God in new ways. Her devotion to God is deeper and stronger. This is a testimony in itself and a witness to her family and others about the transforming power of God.
I hope you will join me in praying for this dear family. It is not an easy time for them but they are being comforted by the stories of how much this brother impacted many throughout his lifetime. I believe that these testimonies will show those of us who remain that a life lived pleasing to God is what matters the most.
I trust God that anything we go through is not meant to truly harm us, even though we may cry. It is all meant to bring us to a place where we know without a doubt the truth in Romans 8:18 –
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Even so, come Lord Jesus, and take us to that place of no more sorrow, suffering and separation from loved ones!
Until Next Time,
I Remain Your Advocate for Victorious Loving