Apr 19, 2007


Prior to this experience with Ian, I had never experienced any serious trial like so many people I know. I've had my difficulties but never anything close to this. Trials like this, I had heard, elicit lots of questions that can call God's character into question. I know now what a strong temptation it is to acknowledge and think about those questions. I've discovered that I can't allow those argumentative questions to have a place in my thoughts; God remains silent in those debates anyway. He doesn't explain himself, and He isn't required to defend His actions. Job in chapter 40, verses 4 and 5, recognized the inappropriateness of his arguments with God when he said, "Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further."

It's just all so unbelievable. I remember when I took this picture of Ian and Lydia that Easter day; he was just with us. His condition is so shocking. We're so grieved. It's so tempting to challenge the actions of the Almighty, but how ridiculous that would be to do it. He is silent about His reasons.

But, there are some things about which He has not been silent. He has spoken loudly and clearly. He will never let the guilty go unpunished, and I am as guilty as anyone of rebellion against Him. But he has already punished me - and Ian - by punishing Christ on the cross, so I go free. By doing that to His own Son, it's as though He shouted at the top His lungs that He favors me. How can I argue or complain about any bad thing that happens to me? "I lay my hand on my mouth" and remain silent.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

-Horatio Spafford -

Pray for Ian.



Anonymous said...

I grieve with you. It is so unbelievable. I find myself thinking sometimes, "This just can't be. Not Ian. Not the Murphy's. Not my friends. Oh, dear Lord, end their pain and wake Ian. This can't be real."

I too am then reminded of what we deserve and the price Christ paid on the cross for us. I know that His ways are not my ways and that His ways are good and that He is a loving and perfect God.

I can imagine every worship song you sing has new meaning to you during this time. To see you faithfully week after week live the words "It is well with my soul" shows that you are putting your trust in our faithful God.

John Piper wrote about not wasting your cancer - You are definitely not wasting Ian’s injury. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use this circumstance in your lives to spread His Gospel of hope throughout the world.
Vicki G.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Steve, for putting such heartfelt thoughts into words.
You shared in my trial, years ago.
I now share in yours.

Still praying!

Mary Ann K.

Anonymous said...

So true.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you all are such godly examples to us who are praying and watching from a distance....your example of remaining Godward through this agonizing trial is truly amazing and through it, you are making much of our great God. We continue to pray for Ian and for all of you.

With love from the Mellingers in Harrisburg

t.hall said...

You have expressed God's love and your pain so well. Thank you for standing firm in Jesus.