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Three Ways To Stay Faithful To God No Matter What By Karen Wingate
In May 2015, I underwent surgery for a torn retina that changed the way I saw the world. Born with a genetic defect that caused multiple eye issues, I instinctively knew the little sight I had might be a temporary gift. When my doctor first discovered the torn retina, he shared my concern. At first, he was hesitant to perform a surgical repair on my already fragile eye, but when the tear had increased three months later, he opted to go ahead. He warned that I might end up with the same amount of vision or my eyesight could actually be worse.
In the midst of the two-week waiting period before the surgery, I was called back for a retake of a mammogram.
Worst case scenario: I could end up with worse vision and a diagnosis of cancer. If both happened, how would I cope? Was my lifestyle of productivity and independence basically over? At stake was my confidence in the faithfulness of God. Why was God allowing this to happen? Would He continue to provide for me and even be able to use me in His Kingdom work if I had deteriorating vision and cancer?
I wonder what God in His Heaven was thinking. If He was not an omniscient God, He would probably wonder too. Will Karen stay faithful to Me even if she has cancer and loss of her sight?
I asked myself that question too. If these things happened to me, would my life choices convince a watching world that I trusted God to do what was best for me? I didn’t want to let the Lord I loved down. How could I prepare myself so I would stay faithful and obedient if the worst happened?
My daughter, who serves in the U.S. Army, once considered becoming part of a readiness team. For two years the team under her direction would practice readiness skills so, if a deployment call came, they would have equipment ready and boots on the ground within twelve hours.
We can prepare ourselves to have boots on the ground if tragedies enter our lives with a one-two punch. Here are three pieces of character equipment you can have in readiness should you face a crisis that wages war on your relationship with God.
Covenant: As I waited for my mammogram results, I reaffirmed my covenant with God. I remembered His promises to always be with me and uphold me (Isaiah 41:10). Using the model of the three men in the fiery furnace from Daniel 3, I concurred that God could rescue me from multiple illnesses, but if He didn’t, I would not cave to despair or doubt. That’s what the three men told the King. “But if not . . .” (see Daniel 3:16-18).
Decide now. You will stay strong. You will trust God. Make it a no option resolution. Recognize God has made a covenant-strength promise to never leave you. Do the same for Him. If your starting point is accepting the truth that there is no way God will leave you or let you down, then there must be another reason for what is happening to you. Have it out with God right now. You know His terms and you’ll do the same.
Consistent: It’s so easy to wake up the next morning with doubts threatening to suffocate us like pillows held down by an unseen hand. I can prepare for my deployment call by being consistent in my trust in God in the daily moments. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much,” says Luke 16:10. It’s easier to trust in God’s faithfulness during a crisis when you’ve had a daily experience of relying on Him.
Look at your current life. How can you trust God today? In your relationships? Your daily needs? That jump in your electric or Internet bill? The blow-up you had with your teen-ager this morning or the tension you felt with that overbearing church member last Sunday? Give it to the Lord. Trust Him to give you wisdom, provide your needs, and work things out to His glory. Like conditioning at the gym every day, your trust muscles will be strong enough to withstand the strain of The Worst Possible Moment.
Contentment: I am so grateful for the years of good health and enough eyesight to read, write, take care of my family, and function well enough that strangers aren’t aware I have an eyesight problem. God took care of me in so many marvelous ways. To grumble about loss of sight after years of experiencing His protection and provision would seem like spitting in His face.
It’s easier to trust God if you’ve already spent your life content with the blessings God showers upon you. Remembering God’s goodness throughout my life acted like the harness of a zip line during those two foreboding weeks; the memories of what God had already done kept me from dropping into a bottomless pit of despair.
I thought again of those three guys in the furnace who were punished for their allegiance to the one true God. At one point, the king noted there was a fourth person in the furnace—hadn’t they thrown in only three men? In fact, that fourth one looked like a son of God.
The end of my story? The mammogram was negative. The doctor who repaired my retina took the opportunity to clean out a debris field left from inadequate childhood cataract surgeries. Halfway through a surgery done under local anesthesia, he announced, “I guarantee you will have better vision than ever before.”
God was faithful to stay with me until He rescued me. God was faithful to rescue. I was faithful to trust His willingness and ability to care for me. Now I’m holding up the rest of my covenant – to proclaim what He has done for me.
Here’s the key. Jesus will be with us until he rescues us. He will never abandon us. We can find contentment that He’s working out His plan for our deliverance. Until then, He’ll take care of the small and not so small needs. He will never let us go. We can act on it.
Show God through your faithfulness that you believe He will do just that.
Karen Wingate is a Bible study leader, blogger, and free-lance writer. She and her husband minister to a small but active church in Western Illinois.
You can read more of Karen’s amazing story of improved eyesight in her story, “My God Can Do Anything,” included in the recently published anthology, Life Changing Miracles, compiled by James Stuart Bell.
You can find Karen at:
For more on this topic, see this article by Guest Blogger Tashauna T. Lane on Four Steps to Unlocking Your Faith