By Frieda Cowling
Schererville, IN

Our lives, our health, our possessions are all in the hands of God—whether we chose to put them there or not. I pray daily that God will direct my path and my steps.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” (Psalms 37:23-24)

“Doth not he (God) see my ways, and count all my steps.” (Job 31:4)

“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

Many times the way God has directed my steps would not have been my choice, but I believe God’s promise in Romans has no exceptions.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

If I had my way, everyone I know would enjoy good health and live forever. However, we must wait for Heaven to make these desires a reality. I find I have peace in time of heartache when I accept God’s will in every circumstance.

….I would not choose to see two of our grandchildren go to Heaven (Sara at 8 months and Scott at 12 days) of SIDS. Doctors say this never happens twice in one family, but God allowed it to happen.

….I would not choose to have four of our grandchildren on monitors. One monitor goes off frequently, and the doctor told my son and daughter-in-law to keep him on the monitor at all times because when they took the readings, they realized he would have died twice during the preceding month without it.

….I would not choose for my grandson to weigh 11 pounds at seven months, which doctors call “Failure to Thrive,” and have no explanation for this.

…I would not choose to have my daughter-in-law, Michelle, almost bleed to death and be placed on the critical list after having their first child.

…I would not give our daughter a skin condition that causes her hands and fingers to split and bleed. (The doctor told her to keep her hands out of water, but try doing it with two children under the age of ten.)

…I would take away the eye problems our son who pastors in Arizona struggles with and refuses to discuss.

…I would take away the health problem of a wonderful daughter-in-law who keeps going in pain.

…I would not have allowed a drunk driver to strike my son’s car and break his neck.

I would not allow any of these things to happen to those I love. If I could choose, I would suffer rather than watch those I love suffer. However, my job is not to become bitter and resentful toward God— asking God to explain circum-stances we cannot understand. We see today, but God sees the future. He does not want us to suffer, but He sends trials to make us grow to maturity in Christ.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

When my children were little, I was always there to kiss away tears and apply a bandaid—the universal cure all for all cuts and scratches. Now that they are grown, they have problems that only God can handle. I love them, listen to them, weep when they weep, and mourn when they mourn. I remember holding my oldest daughter and crying at her feet as she faced the loss of two children. No words were spoken, but we gave our heartache and grief to God and looked to him for strength.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:17-19)

I remember crying with my married younger daughter when she was facing a problem neither of us could solve. As we wept together, I was reminded that God never gives us more than we can bear—as long as we rely upon Him and not ourselves.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthian 10:13)

Daily as I pray for my children and grandchildren, I trust God to take care of them. When death or health problems arise, I try to keep my mouth shut and by faith trust God—whether I feel like it or not. God’s grace is always sufficient if we want it to be.