Encouragement for Today - January 20, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“God Be Glorified”
Marybeth Whalen, Author, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Exodus 15:26, “I am the Lord who heals you.” (NIV)
My cousin Missie came over the other day to visit and brought her little girl, one-year-old Meghan. Missie and her husband, John, had originally planned not to have children, but unexpectedly decided to have just one after several years of being married. Our whole family was surprised and delighted for them, and eagerly anticipated the birth of their daughter. After a normal pregnancy and birth, the happy couple began to settle into normal life — but it quickly became clear that all was not normal for Meghan. Month after month she did not grow and would not eat. She started to miss her normal developmental milestones. The doctors referred her to specialists, yet none could determine just what was wrong with her. No matter how many developments medical science makes, there are still many things doctors don’t understand about how God designed the human body.
Meghan now has a feeding tube and is in lots of therapy to help her make advancements. Her skull is already fused and they cannot say what that will mean about her brain growth in the future. She has been tested for several rare syndromes and Missie is consulting with a team from
During our visit, Missie and I talked a lot about Meghan’s care and her future. As the mother of a child who was also born with a rare syndrome that required special care, Missie often talks to me about the different concerns she has. But this conversation was different. Instead of me inspiring and comforting Missie, she was the one who comforted me with her resolve and dependence on God’s will for her little girl. She told me that she very rarely allows herself to ask “Why?” But one day, she gave herself permission to have a pity party and ask God, “Why?” “And do you know what I feel like He told me,” she asked. “I felt like He was saying to me that I am not supposed to understand what is going on with Meghan. I am just supposed to know that Meghan’s life is for God’s glory. And when I realized that was His answer, it was enough. If someone else comes to know God because of Meghan then that will make all of this worthwhile.”
Her words to me reminded me of the Scripture where Jesus’ disciples ask Him about the blind man. John 9:1-3 says, “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’”
Jesus was quick to assure the disciples that the only answer to that, “Why?” question is, “For God’s glory.” Missie has accepted that whether Meghan is healed or not, God will be glorified. As people are led to pray when they receive the email updates Missie sends, God is glorified. As doctors glimpse the faith and courage of this young mother, God is glorified. As Meghan makes little improvements as a testimony to His healing power, God is glorified. As her medical bills and needs are miraculously covered so that Missie and John don’t have to worry, God is glorified. As Missie’s heart is drawn closer to her home and her special little girl, God is glorified. As you read this devotional and are challenged in your faith because of Meghan’s story, God is glorified.
All day I reflected on the lesson that Missie and her daughter taught me. They are living out a challenge and I was blessed by their example. I thought of the trials I face in my own life. Do I shake my fist towards the heavens and ask, “Why?,” or do I look for the ways that the work of God can be displayed in my life, in and through my trials? Do I live out my faith by accepting what God allows to come into my life — trusting that He has allowed it according to His perfect plan and His glory? I am ashamed to admit that too many times, I have spun my wheels wanting to know “why?” instead of anticipating what God is going to do as a result. The next time I am tempted to do that, I plan to think of Missie and Meghan and spend time in prayer — thanking God for allowing me a glimpse of His glory, even when I don’t understand.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask for Your healing of Meghan and that You would comfort Missie and John at this time. I thank You for the example they have shown me, and ask that You help me to apply this example in my own life. I thank You that You work all things according to Your glory, as Your Word says. Please comfort me during trials and help me to glimpse Your work being displayed through my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you are going through a trial right now, spend today focusing on specific ways that the work of God is being displayed through what you are going through.
Consider keeping a journal to record specific examples so that later you will have those to reflect on and share with others.
Spend time today praying for those you know who are going through trials. Call them or email them to encourage them.
Have you been through a trial where you spent too much time focusing on the “why’s?”
Do you wait in expectation for His glory to be shown?
How can you grow in your faith and love of God in the midst of trials?
What about Meghan’s story has challenged you today?
Romans 8:28, “For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (NIV)
Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV)
Isaiah 38:16-17,”Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” (NIV)
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst
Message of the Month Club