I receive a quarterly newsletter from Anne Graham Lotz, one of Billy Graham's children. Taken from her winter edition.
She talked about the story of Mary and Martha and their concerns about their brother Lazarus. He was sick. They believed if Jesus would come, he would be healed. Instead Jesus didn't get there in time. Their brother died. They greeted Him with, "if you would have been here..."
Jesus response, "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).
From her writings: "On August 17, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost immediately, God seemed to give me a promise from James 5:17, 'Pray for one another that you may be healed.' I believed God was promising to heal me in answer to your prayers, even though I didn't know it if would be before surgery, through surgery, using chemotherapy and/or radiation. So my journey of faith began, undergirded by the prayers of many people.
"Rather than be healed before the surgery, I went through surgery. Rather than the cancer being contained, it was found in a lymph node. Rather than experiencing minimum side-effects to chemotherapy, I experienced a severe side effect to my second treatment. Rather than stay on schedule, my treatment was delayed for a week, and another chemotherapy infusion added.
"So.......when things get worse, how should you and I respond? With complaints? Self-pity? Fear? Doubt? Or trust.....
.........that God has a greater promise than our immediate comfort.
.........that getting what we want, when we want it, is not always for our good or His glory.
.........that our faith is of more value than our physical health.
.........that His strength will be sufficient for each moment of each day.
.........that His blessings will outweigh any trial.
"In this New Year----when things get worse---let's choose to lay our expectations down and trust God alone. Period."