Misdiagnosis. What does that word mean to you? Anyone have experience with that? When the doctors say you have something wrong and then it turns out you don’t?
Welcome to the last two years of my family’s life. After a two-year ordeal with my mom’s health in a somewhat precarious state, we’ve been told officially that her diagnosis of Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) was incorrect.
On one hand, we’re overjoyed that she doesn’t have to go back to doing treatments and taking medications and being quarantined in her house. She can go back to living a normal life again.
But in my own mind, I’ll admit to a bit of irritation. What exactly have we been doing for two years then? What was the point of all this? I know there’s a point, because with God there’s always a point. But have the last two years seriously been in vain? The ridiculous amount of antibiotics, the vicious medications, the long and tiresome IV IG treatments–was it all for nothing?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m overjoyed that she isn’t sick. But what was the purpose for having to go through the last two years?
Today’s verses are Joel 2:21-27.
Don’t be afraid, O land.
Be glad now and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things.
Don’t be afraid, you animals of the field,
for the wilderness pastures will soon be green.
The trees will again be filled with fruit;
fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more.
Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem!
Rejoice in the Lord your God!
For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness.
Once more the autumn rains will come,
as well as the rains of spring.
The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain,
and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil.
The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost
to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.
It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.
Once again you will have all the food you want,
and you will praise the Lord your God,
who does these miracles for you.
Never again will my people be disgraced.
Then you will know that I am among my people Israel,
that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other.
Never again will my people be disgraced.
One of the many things about God that always amazes me is His constant promise of restoration and redemption. There are many verses throughout the Bible that give dire warnings about disobeying God or about the consequences of turning against God. But for every one of those verses, I think you can probably find two or three about how God desires to restore us even after we’ve turned against Him.
God is in the business of restoration.
And I’ve come to the conclusion over the last few years that even when it feels like God is taking something away from you, He isn’t. Maybe that’s the way you interpret it. But if God ever withholds something from you or asks you to give up something you want for His sake, He won’t leave you that way.
He only asks us to give up what we’re holding on to so that He can hand us something better. After all, you can’t accept a gift from God when your hands are already full of something inferior.
Looking back over these two years, I can see many relationships that we’ve built that we didn’t have before. We’ve met so many people who we’ve been able to encourage. Maybe that was the point? I don’t know.
I can’t tell you I know what the point is. But what I can tell you is that God is good. He’s always good, whether you’re sick or healthy, rich or poor, employed or not. Wherever you are, God is good. That’s who He is. And maybe we have to experience things that aren’t good, but that doesn’t make Him bad. It doesn’t mean He’s not in control. It just means He sees the whole picture, and it means we have something we need to learn–or someone we need to help–or something we need to do that we wouldn’t do unless we struggled a bit.
Whatever you’ve lost, God can restore it. And if He doesn’t restore it, He’ll redeem it. Sometime in the future, maybe tomorrow, maybe ten years from now, maybe longer, God will show us what this season has been for. And we’ll understand why.
What are you holding on to today? What good thing are you clinging to that might prevent you from receiving a great thing? What have you lost? Just because you don’t have it anymore doesn’t mean it’s over.
What God doesn’t restore, He always redeems. But we have to let Him do it His way in His time.