This post continues Beth’s series on her journey through cancer. See parts one, two, and three of this series. For previous posts, see “Blessings through Burdens,” parts one and two, “One Seed,” and “The Work of Your Hands,” parts one and two

God continues my heart’s development, teaching our family the truth of Romans 8:38-39 and these gracious lessons:

“He was better to me than all my hopes;
He was better to me than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works,
And a rainbow of my tears.”[1]

Nothing ever slips past Him. However, as one writer conveys, God’s hope guarantees freedom from eternal sorrows, not all earthly ones. That’s spot on. For the believer, afflictions cannot injure to ruinous destruction if they are blended with submission.

There are times in this life when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death – physically and emotionally, dashing our dreams and hopes. But as believers, we do not walk alone. We must understand that, at times, “God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves.”[2]

He certainly permitted some of that in our own lives, including terrible misunderstanding of what was transpiring in our fiery trial. It happened as “peeking in the window sill of our life” occurred. Harsh judgments were rendered, adding to the immense weight of a trial that was nothing less than crushing. Excruciating. Extended. Tore the heart in two.

Never once, though, were we separated from God’s love. Ever.

In Genesis, we learn of Joseph and his amazing example of perseverance, faithfully lived out in the worst of continuously-unraveled ordeals. His story takes on great significance in such a journey as we trod. It often seems on the surface that good is rewarded with evil.

But Joseph’s constant trust in Jehovah God is thoroughly instructive. It’s soul-bolstering. And it provides such a blessed pattern of trusting the Almighty and the plan of deliverance that He is orchestrating in each believer’s set of adverse circumstances.

I was TORN APART but NEVER SEPARATED FROM GOD’S LOVE. EVER.

As a believer, you may be TORN APART, too. But you are NEVER, EVER SEPARATED FROM GOD’S LOVE.

Jesus died so that all who call upon Him as Savior may “sleep” and wake up to a world where all is made well again. As Neil Vimalkumar Boniface said, “Death was our destiny until the resurrection of Jesus made it a door.”

The powerful, remarkable healing and restoration in my brain, body, and life that God has provided thus far is cause for great rejoicing. The means of providing a caring and involved brain expert for our health crisis was amazing, and God graciously restored me through the careful expertise of a skilled physician and in answer to much prayer offered on my behalf. I am unendingly grateful!

Yet He clearly isn’t finished with me yet. With every day and breath He bestows, I want to declare His greatness, glorify Him, and share how He never abandons His children, no matter what circumstances might seem to indicate.

There are times in trials where it may be excruciatingly difficult to clearly see His hand, but the evidence of His heart is always present. The sweetness of the lessons learned about Him, His presence and His unchanging faithfulness in the rocky bottom, the unrelenting darkness of the depths, the rugged, lonely and seemingly endless valley – in all these, just remember, like Cowman wrote, the Savior’s sweetness is to be savored and shared one day.

There are many, many others on tough journeys who need God’s comfort, comfort that accurately and attractively portrays who He is and what He is like. There is none like Him.

He is such a Friend, as Fanny Crosby revealed in this great hymn:

“All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know what’ver befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me;
Oh, the fullness of His grace!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s blest embrace.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages,
Jesus led me all the way!”

And, as Jeanine Drylie wrote in “Walking Through the Flames”:

Many years ago in a time of woe
Three young men faced a bitter test.
For the king decreed that they not be freed,
But instead he had bound them fast,
Because they would not bow the knee except to God on high.
Into the flames they fed the same, these men were bound to die,

But who would have thought that the flames would set them free?
And who would have thought that they’d gain the victory?
When with God our lot we cast,
We have more than we could ask
We’ll go walking through the flames with the Son of God.

God has made it known to His very own
Tribulations they must bear.
For this world is not any friend to God.
In His cross we have a share.
But when the hour of trial comes and fire is all around
We’ll find the place we’re walking on is really holy ground.

And praise be to God that the flames will set us free
And praise be to God, we shall gain the victory.
When with God our lot we cast,
We’ll have more than we could ask.
We’ll go walking through the flames with the Son of God.

[1] From Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman, September 25

[2] As quoted in Randy Alcorn’s excellent book, The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering. This, along with his booklet, If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, are great reads!

Beth Horn

Posted by Beth Horn

Beth is the wife of Sam Horn and is a ten-year breast cancer survivor. She currently serves as the Field Experiences Liaison for the Bob Jones University School of Education and as the mom of Robert and Ashton.