by Rhonda Stoppe @RhondaStoppe
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
This was the Scripture that popped into my mind as I wept at the foot of my bed.
Our son, who had been diagnosed with epilepsy, had just endured a terrible seizure. While my husband and I had planted a church in Texas our son had to be heavily medicated for epilepsy.
On that day in particular our six-year-old-son had just suffered yet another seizure. Afterward I fled to my room to tell God I’d had enough. Enough of the seizures and enough of serving Him––if He couldn’t even heal our boy.
I knew God loved my son. I was confident He was able to take all things and work them together for good (Romans 8:28), but after four years of waiting in desperation, I was ready to give up.
Psalm 119:11 says if we hide God’s word in our hearts, we won’t sin against Him. In that time of despair, God’s word did not return void––1 Thessalonians 5:18 accomplished that for which it had been hidden in my heart so many years ago.
God’s word was reminding me to resolve to be thankful––even when what God allowed didn’t make sense. Maybe you’ve been in my shoes? At the close of this year can you look back and see a propensity to be thankful––even when life doesn’t make sense?
While it’s tempting to give up on God when you cannot make sense of a trial He allows, He truly is the only One who can make good of the difficulty in your life.
For me, when I realized God was calling me to trust Him––and thank Him—for my son’s seizures, I had a choice to make. I could either harden my heart against His beckoning voice, or I could humble myself under His mighty hand, and choose to say thank you––even though my heart did not feel thankful.
And do you know what happened? When I made the decision to obey God’s Word I told Him, “I will say ‘thank you’ with my lips, but it’s up to you to change my heart.”
Once I let go of my ungrateful attitude and released my fears, what if’s and if only’s, God slowly began to show me how He would make good come from the trial.
As our church’s praise band practiced, we started to notice how our son was drawn to the music and the musicians. Over time we saw that any instrument our son picked up he could learn to play. Since our son was heavily medicated he wasn’t interested in playing sports or other activities, so he devoted most of his time to learning to play instruments.
We’d hoped to one day hear the crowd glory our son’s athletic accomplishments, but as our boy grew up we watched God prepare him to bring the crowd to glory in His Son’s accomplishment––through worship.
Our son grew up to study music, traveled with some well-known Christian bands, and now works as a worship pastor. Oh how God knew what He had planned for our boy so many years ago. And He knows the plans He has for you as well.
Whether or not your life made sense this past year, if you resolve to thank God and trust Him in the coming year He can give you glimpses of His purpose and plan for your trial and you’ll have no regrets.
How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:5 NASB
About the author: Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman with more than 30 years she’s helped women build no regrets lives by mentoring, speaking and writing books grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you’re visiting with a friend over coffee. She speaks and appears nationally on radio including Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, Family Life Today and Focus on the Family. She and her husband speak at marriage conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Evangelism is her sweet spot.
Join the conversation: Is there something in your life that doesn’t make sense to you?