SURVIVING DURING A SEASON OF DROUGHT AND SADNESS, WHILE KNOWING THAT THE LORD HAS MORE RAIN COMING
By: Aaron Babyar
Are you feeling dry and like you’re in a long season— or seasons— of extended loss and drought? Is the rain and hope and growth of spring ever going to come?
I have little patience for the all-too-present thinking of some people that promotes a “health and wealth” or “name it and claim it” theology. I find this thinking to fall short not only because of some theological training and reading that I have been faithful to over the years, but because our personal experience suggests that God’s ability and will to heal…or not…has very little to do with us believing the right thing, praying the right incantation, or spraying the right essential oils on our body. And as someone who has trained THOUSANDS of missionaries how to be spiritually healthy, vision driven, and fully-funded, I’ve never known someone who needed to win the lottery so that God could finally afford to make them a missionary.
I’m currently typing this as my wife, Marque, is suffering from a considerable migraine brought on by an arachnoid cyst. The cyst, located in her brain stem, too frequently will swell into her cerebellum due to a change in barometric pressure. It will recede eventually, but probably not today. Maybe not even this week. It’s nearly dinner time, and she hasn’t been able to function out of bed yet today. Outside of some gnarly medications that she prefers to avoid when possible, there is little she can do to circumvent the suffering. Marque was fairly healthy in our first 10 years of marriage, but things changed. The last 17+ years have gone quite differently. So far, Marque has survived 4 brain surgeries, and has multiple other serious ailments which robbed her of what could have been years of mostly good health - as we raised our four children. There have been innumerable bad days, and also some really good days sprinkled in. She's beautiful, funny, intelligent, kind, gracious…and simply incredible for also putting up with me. I truly count myself fortunate to be her husband. By God’s grace we have learned to live with a nearly constant sense of joy without being jaded by the sense of loss of what could have been - but isn’t. Most nights we go to sleep with just enough courage to dare hope for what tomorrow may bring. Mostly, we are thankful to the Lord that she is alive, but in a constant state of readiness to quickly pivot to health demands in an instant. Perhaps you can empathize with the nuance of what is our unique and challenging version of normal.
Where is God in all of this? Why hasn’t healed her yet? When are things going to get better? I could spend innumerable words explaining yet falling short of the vastness of thought dedicated to those questions.
In short I can say:
Note that everything I have written to this point does not pull you out of a dry season of difficulty. Rather, I hope that it gives perspective. Could it be that your head and your heart are what needs God's intervention, even more than whatever very encompassing current issue or season of difficulty you are enduring??
I am not simply saying to “be tough” in your season of dryness. Pain and loss are real. Your feelings are real. You obviously want to improve things and can pray for God to bring about breakthroughs. Remain faithful to Him while engaging with that which He has put in front of you with enough grace to get through the difficulty of today.
But also, consider what is promised in your future:
May his grace and peace be with you in your sufferings.
Aaron Babyar is founder and CEO of Exago Ministries. To read more about Aaron, go here: https://www.exago.org/our-story.html