My wife, Gwen, was thirty-four years old the first time cancer was found in her. We were devastated when we got the news. We had just moved our family to New York so that I could start a ministry to street gangs. Now, as I walked the streets preaching to gang members and addicts, I had to fight back tears of anguish and fear. But the Lord continually reassured me, "I am faithful, David. I won't abandon you or your loved ones." God walked with me through that frightening ordeal with cancer, and every one that has followed.
Yet, the Lord doesn't want our victory to be merely a one-time experience. His goal isn't for us to emerge from a crisis, saying, "Thank God, I kept my faith through that." Yes, you may have made it through that one. But, like victorious Israel at the Red Sea, another trial will eventually come and it may be a different kind of test altogether.
Living in God's rest is a way of life. He wants us to be maintained by His peace and confidence in all our trials, knowing our high priest is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.
Don't misunderstand: I'm not talking about achieving some state of nirvana. Many New Age teachers claim that the only way to endure future crises is to harden your heart now and kill off all your love. In short, if you simply stop caring for people, you won't be hurt. Therefore, you should steel yourself against life's calamities.
Yet God is never glorified when His servants numb themselves out. That's not what His rest is about at all. It's about learning to trust His promise to be faithful toward us in all things.
I am a father of four and a grandfather and I can honestly tell you, there's never been a moment when I could stand by and watch any of my offspring hurting without wanting to enter into the suffering with them. At such times, I have done everything in my power to heal and deliver them. I ask you: How much more does our heavenly Father love us, walk with us in our trials, and long to heal our hurts?
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).