I was looking back over the post below from two years ago, and it struck me: The “hard news from doctors” I referenced then is still hard news today. Back then, my nephew received a diagnosis that his cancer had returned. And now, two and a half years later, he still struggles daily from severe complications of a bone marrow transplant. How does a young man in his 20s not lose hope in the midst of a seemingly undefeatable illness? By trusting in Christ and placing his full confidence in His sovereign goodness! It may never be cancer that your children face, but their lives will be touched by suffering. May we diligently prepare them for that day!
It has been a difficult week for my extended family. Hard news from doctors. Difficult decisions. Pain and suffering. Tears and heartbreak. But there is something more. Underneath the life-shaking events is something unshakeable, something that changes everything. Christina Fox explains it so beautifully:
When the storms of life wreak havoc on all you know and love, what theological truths anchor your soul? What doctrines do you turn to when the world around you seems to give way under your feet? What truths about God bring you the most comfort when life is uncertain and nothing makes any sense?
Though all of God’s word is essential for us to read, learn, memorize, and study, and though all of God’s word teaches us all that we need to know to weather the storms of life, there is one theological truth that stands out in times of trial and suffering. There is one doctrine that brings everything into perspective and provides comfort and rest for our weary souls. The sovereignty of God.
…This truth calms our hearts because we know that there are no accidents or random circumstances. God ordains and orchestrates all things. And because God is our good, loving, and faithful Father, we can rest in his holy purposes for us. Even when we don’t understand what is happening, we can trust that God’s plan is good because he is good. He is making us holy and will use every circumstance to that end. As the Heidelberg Catechism says, “He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.” (“Theology That Comforts the Weary Soul,” www.desiringGod.org)
Will our children have this anchor for the soul when the storms blow? Will they have a solid knowledge and grasp of God’s sovereignty in ALL of life? If you haven’t already done so, I would urge you to acquaint your children with this important theological truth and keep bringing it to mind throughout their lives—showing how it applies to the many and varied circumstances. Go deep into the providence of God. Don’t wait until the storms come—it’s hard to teach someone to sail for the first time with gale-force winds blowing!
One way you can prepare your children is by reading together God’s Providence by Sally Michael. Each of the 26 short chapters provides insights into the sovereignty of God, as well as follow-up discussion questions for the whole family.