Growing up, my neighbour, Terri, was very close to her father. A proud‘Daddy’s Girl.’ He believed in her andshowed her how to make her way in the world with love and courage. Her father gave her confidence andtaught her the importance of generosity.
They adored each other.In pictures of him she keeps on her fridge secured with brightly coloured magnets, Terri is a vivacious teen, smiling for the camera while gazing at her father. In the photos he is handsome and athletic with fine-boned features like her.
She took his sudden death - when he was in his 40s very hard.
I had tea with her the other day and although it has been a longtime since he passed away, there is still an edge of pain in her voice when she talks about him, mixed in with the joy at reliving their memories together.
As we sat in her kitchen recently, I asked her how she was able to cope with such a massive loss. She explained that she fell apart emotionally until she had a conversation with a female friend that changed her perspective completely.
She said she had been sobbing and telling her friend how she couldn’t wait for things to get better.
The friend replied calmly: ‘But Terri, it is already well.’ It made sense to Terri in that moment that no matter how she felt, it was already okay.
She was able to separate her present feelings from the assurance – the certain knowledge – that her life was okay despite the death of her beloved father and her sad feelings. Spiritually, she was at peace even if she couldn’t feel it physically manifesting yet.
As I reflected upon this conversation, I thought about how a major discouragement of believers is worry, fear, and anxiety. These feelings are enemies of faith.
Psalm Chapter 46 verses 1-3 says:
‘God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.’
Sometimes we fail to recognize the truth like Terri did because of the limited view we take of God. If God is good, we reason, why hasn’t he answered my prayer for this thing I’ve been wanting and waiting for?Maybe that is a spouse, a child, an opportunity or something else.
I assure you that God hasn’t forgotten you. He will come through. And sometimes not granting you what you want is actually a blessing and protection.
Can you have gratitude for not getting the thing you want yet, knowing that God knows best? Can you love him if you never get that thing? Can you love Him even when all the things you thought were stable have collapsed?
Everything is for His glory. We exist at His Mercy and survive by His Grace.
And in the midst of feeling bad about what has happened or failed to happen to us, can we pause to acknowledge that,even now, all is well?
We can do it, if we change our view of God.
Instead of seeing him as being somehow uncaring or withholding something good from us, we can choose to see Him for who He is: a Loving Father who is proud of us, who adores us. Who wants us to make our way in the world boldly…with His strength.
Sharma Taylor is a corporate attorney with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Law from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She won the 2017 Basil Sellers International Young Writers prize in the Press Service International young writer program, the 2019 Tronson Award (International) and the 2021 Basil Sellers award for International Senior Writers. Every day, she loves experiencing the beautiful surprises that God has stored up for her and longs to keep cultivating a servant-heart.