Do you put your hope in God? Writing a story about friends God placed in our path at Tim’s Gift, who are rising up in faith, gives insight to that question. Rose and Mike Thurston worked and raised their family in the midwest. Two years ago, with an empty nest and a desire to relocate, they made a choice to call Sampson County home. One year ago, Rose and Mike’s world was turned upside down when cancer knocked at their door. This courageous couple is standing firm with hope in God as they battle cancer.
Mike and Rose walked into our lives with hopes of finding help. Cameron welcomed them to Tim’s Gift with open arms. The four of us sat at the prayer table sharing stories about our faith and families. With the paperwork completed and their needs understood, we told them how our family held to hope through two battles with cancer. Tim was given God’s best healing – heaven; I was healed here through gifted doctors and the Great Physician’s touch. Why do things happen as they do? In life, we face situations that seem unfair and cannot be understood or explained. What matters most is not the situation but how we interpret and deal with it. How we live will be determined by how we view our circumstances. We can hide out in a cave being pitiful and expecting someone else to rescue us, or we can rise up as David did and declare we will fight for the victory with God as our shield and strength. David did hide for a season, but he asked himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me.” (Psalm 42)
David could have asked, “Why is this happening to me? Is life worth living? I’m a good guy. Why do I deserve this kind of treatment?” He would have only deepened his despair. He made the choice to change his response to a bad situation. He could not change what was happening to him but could change how he handled his hardships. Praising God instead of blaming and expecting answers right then started showers of blessings even David could not imagine. Explaining heaven, healing, heartaches, and hardships seems impossible, but when we put our hope in God, everything is possible.
The Thurston’s story reminds me of Biblical accounts of how King David faced challenges throughout his lifetime. David believed God made it possible for each of us to be filled with joy, even in times of trials. We should remind ourselves of our blessings and respond to our circumstances. David realized he was in a pickle more than once, often hiding in caves and running for his life. David declared the reality of his despair then stood strong for the reality of God. The question that started this story comes from Psalm 42:5. It shows what David did, what Rose and Mike are doing, and what God wants all His children to do in times of trials or triumph. “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
With more interruptions that I can count this morning at Tim’s Gift, I finally get to the end of this story. Yet, each interruption has been from people in need. One lady tore at my heart strings as she shared her despairing situation. I believe the tough times our world faces will bring even greater distress and depression for people to handle. No matter how bad things get, we can always find something positive happening in our lives. We must focus on the reality of God. Being closely connected to Christ enables us to rise up and boldly declare our love for the Lord and loved ones. We can think positively because our thoughts are based on the character of God.