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God's Got This
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By Darlene Turner


"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind." Luke 10:27 (NIV)

"God is large and in charge."

Can we truly believe that when we're in the depths of despair? When we're faced with our deepest fears, can we turn them over to God and trust Him? Or do we pivot on our heels and bolt in the other direction?

Life can throw unexpected curves our way—circumstances that rock our world and leave us breathless. Literally.

The question is…how do we handle these gut-wrenching trials? Do we shake our fist at God and blame Him? Or do we dig deeper to see what He's teaching us?

Bruce Ayton, age 54, recently had the wind knocked out of him when he heard the diagnosis from his doctor—ALS. What? How does one take this devastating news?

"First off there was a reality check," Bruce said. "Oh boy, I'm sick and it's terminal. Secondly, my question was not why me, but "what did I do to cause this?" There are some sins unto death. So I spent a lot of time asking God to make it clear what sins I needed to address."

What Bruce discovered after his soul-search was not that God had given him ALS, but that it was probably due to toxins exposed to his body. He does not blame God. Instead, he clings to His sovereignty. "I know that He is large and in charge. Therefore, I rely on Him for everything."

Is this easy? Of course not. Each day is a challenge for Bruce. His muscles are getting weaker, swallowing is harder, and breathing is tougher. He's thankful for "another day of breath." Something so simple that we take for granted is a lifeline for someone with ALS. This is why he relies on God for everything—moment-by-moment.

People react to life changing experiences in different ways. Some hide in a corner and become bitter while others ask God to use the affliction to reshape their lives. Bruce says, "Regardless of what challenges we face, a relationship with God and Jesus Christ is more important than the difficulties. Our focus being on our heavenly Father makes them easier to go through."

We need to spend quality time with God building our relationship. As Bruce says, "We tend to blame Him and not trust in Him, but it's His desire for obedience and relationship. My question is, 'Why does that have to be so difficult and why do we wait until we're terminally ill?'"

Good question! Why is that? Let's learn from our mistakes and start spending more time with the One who longs for our company. Talk to Him like we would a friend. Spend time in His word. It will draw us closer and equip us for those tough times.

When faced with trials there are times we tend to wallow in self-pity. We want others to feel sorry for us. Have we thought that our trials could possibly help those around us? Maybe they're going through something similar and our testimony could help. Why not reach out?

Bruce has turned his illness into a tool to share his faith with others. His wife Barbara said, "Since the beginning he has wanted God to get the glory for whatever happens and his attitude is truly amazing. Bruce has friends from work who he's had the opportunity to talk to about Christ partly because they got to know him before he was sick, but partly because they know of his illness and yet they still see him smile, still hear him speak of Christ. They don't see a broken man, but one whose physical strength is failing, but whose inner strength is unfathomable and we pray that they recognize that it is found in Christ."

Bruce would be the first to point you to Christ and not want any of the glory, but those of us around him are amazed at his attitude. The smile has never left his face. One person mentioned to me that when he told her of his diagnosis she immediately started to cry. He gripped her shoulder and said, "Don't you worry. God's got this." Wow. Bruce knows that God will never leave his side. When his human strength fails, his heavenly Father will be his Ironman. Fighting the battle for him—taking his next breath, helping him to swallow, and giving his family the strength they need.

There's a line in a song by Casting Crowns that says, "Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place." God has our lives and everything in it under control. There is a reason for every challenge. Each is like a piece of the puzzle, fitting perfectly into place. We may not know why, but when we give our trials totally to Him, He will turn them into something beautiful.

Something He will use for His glory.

When we're faced with the next difficulty (and we know there will be more), let's remember one thing. God's got this.

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14 (NASB)

Darlene L. Turner is a London freelance writer. Her love of mysteries began when she picked up her first Nancy Drew book. She believes her readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and changed by the Christ-centered message.

She blogs weekly at www.darlenelturner.com where she feels if you have a dream, believe it can happen and then fly!

Find her on Facebook - www.facebook.com/darlene.turner.902

www.darlenelturner.com
darlene@darlenelturner.com