Still I will – Day 19
Still I will praise Him
Background: With shaking shoulders and tears streaming down her cheeks, Celeste Nurse told Judge John Hlophe in the Western Cape High Court about the moment, 19 years ago, when she realised her three-day-old daughter was kidnapped at Groote Schuur Hospital. Zephany was later “found” when her biological sister, four years younger than herself, told her parents that a matric girl at her school looks just like herself and her parents. DNA tests were done which confirmed that it was indeed their missing child.
The above story shocked me and filled my heart with compassion. I’m sure there is a number of people who might listen at the story and immediately ask: “But where was God? Why did He allow it? Is He not a God of love?” This reminds me of the following story:
A believing farmer owned a horse which he used to do a lot of work on the farm. One stormy night with roaring lightning, the horse broke loose and ran away. When the believing farmer’s unbelieving neighbour heard about this, he said: “That is such bad news. I wonder, where was God? Why did He not stop it from happening?” The believing farmer calmly replied: “Good or bad. It happened. Still I know that my God is in control.”
A few days later, to everyone’s surprise, the horse came back — with a herd of wild horses which followed him from the mountain to where he was used to getting food and water on the farm. The farmer closed the gate behind the horses and overnight gained a herd of them. The unbelieving farmer saw it and said: “Wow, this is just good luck.” The believing farmer replied: “Good or bad. I know my God is in control.”
Soon hereafter, the believing farmer’s son decided to break in one of the wild horses. He got onto the horse, slipped and fell on the ground, breaking his leg. When the unbelieving farmer saw the boy’s leg in gypsum and heard what had happened, he said: “That is such bad news. I wonder, where was your God? Why did He not stop it from happening?” The believing farmer replied: “Good or bad. What is done, is done. I know my God is in control.”
A few days later, a group of violent, armed mercenaries knocked on the Christian farmer’s door. They demanded that all his sons must immediately follow them. They were recruiting new members. The faithful farmer replied that he had only one son. When the mercenaries saw his leg in gypsum, they said: “Oh no, this man will mean nothing to us.” They turned around and walked away. In silence, the believing farmer closed his eyes and praised God for his protection.
In Isaiah 55:8-9 we read:“ ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” Lazarus had to die, so God’s name could be glorified when Jesus raised him from the dead (John 11). Similarly, the blind man was born blind, not due to his parents’ sin, but so that God’s name would be glorified when Jesus healed him (John 9).
Sometimes things happen to us that we cannot explain. What we can know is that God remains in control and that He will never allow anything that He knows we cannot handle. Let us choose to praise God in good times and bad times. We may, as the believing farmer, stand in amazement when the puzzle pieces are put together and we start to see the bigger picture. God bless.