After a long week of school, a few disappointments, and not too much excitement, I simply asked God to reveal something new and amazing to me. As I began reading Big God by Britt Merrick, He did.
The first chapter in the book explains his purpose for writing it. His little girl was battling cancer. Now normally when parents’ sons or daughters are going through something as big as that, they don’t take time to write a whole book on it. Well, Brett sure did. For anyone who’s struggling or just needs a reminder of how great God truly is, he wanted to show them how God can use any circumstance for good. All that’s required is faith.
“What do you do as a Christian when the doctor tells you that your five-year-old daughter has cancer? How do you deal with that? If you’re a Christian, your mind goes to Jesus. That’s just where you go. As soon as I heard ‘Your daughter’s fallen and she’s not doing well,’ my mind went to Jesus. As soon as I got to the emergency room and they said, ‘We think it’s this… we think it’s that,’ my mind went to Jesus. When the doctor stood before me and said, ‘It’s the biggest tumor we’ve ever seen of this sort, and we think it’s stage 3 cancer,’ my mind went to Jesus.
Why is it that Jesus is the first thought that comes to mind? Why do we run to Him? What informs our thought processes in these times of life? My experience with Daisy has sharpened my understanding that what shapes the way we handle crises is the Book we as Christians base our lives upon- the Bible.
…Immediately our hearts and our minds were filled with truths we had learned from the Bible, and an understanding of the character of God. Immediately our hearts and minds were filled with the story of God and how He has proven Himself faithful with His people over and over again, since the beginning of time. Immediately our hearts and minds were filled with the Bible’s stories of people just like you and me who faced problems, and placed their little bit of faith in a big God.
…The reality is that it takes more faith to endure Christ not healing your daughter than it does to see Him heal her… God is able to heal at all times. But He doesn’t. If anybody ever had faith it was the apostle Paul, but God didn’t heal him. In fact, God said expressly, ‘I will not heal you. My grace is sufficient for you.’ “
For a millisecond after reading that, I was in shock. I quickly flipped open my Bible to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. There I read for my own eyes that God did not heal Paul. How did I not notice this before?
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
To me, that was just simply mind-blowing.
I continued reading:
“Christ was not healed- He died on the cross. If Christ should suffer and die, why would we think we should not? If God would let His own son be tortured and nailed to a cross, who are we to think God is wrong is He lets our children die of cancer? Is the life of my daughter more precious than the life of Christ or the lives of the thousands of children who are dying at this moment in obscurity, without emergency rooms and wonderful surgeons and thousands of people praying for them by name? We sometimes esteem the life of men too highly- even over the Word of God and the person of Christ. For the Church it should be a delight to share in the sufferings of Christ so that we might know the glory of Christ and the power of His redemption. And if He would take our babies today, we would see them in glory tomorrow. We don’t grieve like the unbelieving world, because we know in Whom we have placed our trust. When David’s little baby died, he got up and washed himself and ate. And he said, ‘I will see that child again.’
…There comes a time when Jesus has to show up on your beach in the midst of your stuff and say, ‘Peter, do you love Me more than these?’ He went to Peter’s beach on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, confronted him right in the middle of his world and restored him with the simple question, ‘Do you love Me more than these?’ And the text doesn’t tell us what ‘these’ are. It leaves it ambiguous so that we might always think that ‘these’ means everything. Jesus Christ showed up on my beach that day in the midst of my stuff and said, ‘Britt, do you love Me more than these? Immediately Psalm 63:3 came to mind: ‘Your love is better than life.’ (NIV)
Wednesday night, the day before Daisy’s surgery, I had my dark night of the soul. I had to say goodbye to Daisy. So many people had faith the surgeons would get the whole thing. I had faith too, but God didn’t let me go there… ‘Britt, do you love Me more than these?’ I said to Him that night, ‘God, if You let my daughter die tomorrow, nothing changes between me and You. Nothing changes between us, Jesus. I will yet praise You. I love my little baby, God. But I love you more. And I trust You. I don’t need to understand. I trust You implicitly.’
Take a moment to examine your life today because your life’s circumstances could be very different tomorrow. Make sure Jesus is number one. Read your Bible. Remember the stories. Place your faith in our big God, because He is worthy. He is the God that keeps track of our sorrows and stores up our tears in a bottle. He is more faithful than we will ever know, more wonderful than anything else in life, more desirable than anything this world has to offer. His loving kindness is better than life.”