"Turbo has Type 1 Diabetes."
Those words, spoken to me three years ago today by an Urgent Care doctor, were some of the hardest I've ever had to swallow.
I didn't know anything about diabetes. I didn't fully understand the impact of the doctor's words. I was overwhelmed.
"He's going to be taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital. But he's going to be okay."
Maybe you've received devastating news, too. Maybe you got a phone call. Perhaps you received a letter or email.
And maybe for you, it isn't going to be okay, at least not this side of Heaven.
A friend's little boy was diagnosed with a genetic disorder so rare it doesn't even have a name yet. Another friend's infant has a suppressed immune system that will likely give out on him completely at some point. Cancer recently took the lives of two friends, and others are still in the middle of their cancer battles.
Sometimes, things aren't going to be okay.
What then? How does one cope when there is no reassuring doctor there to comfort you with the words, "It's going to be okay," like I had that day at Urgent Care three years ago?
That's the beauty of the Gospel. No matter how difficult things are here on Earth, for the believer, there is the hope of Heaven. Even if we lose all we hold dear here on Earth - our health, our loved ones, our homes, our own lives - Heaven will meet us and Eternity with Christ will wipe away all of our tears (see Isaiah 25:8).
One of my favorite books in the Bible is, oddly enough, Revelation. Although it is full of end-time descriptions that don't always make sense yet, the overarching theme of God's ultimate mercy despite intense suffering is clear. If it's been a while since you last read through it (or if you've never read it before), I would highly encourage you to do so. Grab a pen, and as you read, write down all the references to God's salvation, mercy, grace, and final triumph over evil. Then choose two or three of your very favorites to memorize and meditate on while you're in the middle of your struggle.
My favorite verse from Revelation is in chapter 12, verse 6. It reads, "Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (emphasis added). I've been through some very difficult circumstances, but in each of them, I definitely see that God perfectly prepared me for each of them by providing a place of provision.
The book of Revelation clearly states that times of hardship and anguish are coming. But more importantly, it is a beautiful reminder that the Lord will triumph over evil; He will bind Satan forever; and we will spend all Eternity with Him free from sin, sadness, and death.
When you get news you never wanted to hear, when you receive a diagnosis you never anticipated, when it isn't going to be okay, put your trust in the Only One who is trustworthy. Find hope in the fact that the Lord will prevail once and for all. Rest in the peace of knowing that even though it's not okay now, someday, it will be.
What greater hope is there than spending Forever in the presence of our Heavenly Father?