If God Doesn’t Heal You

Weeks of chemotherapy eroded the lining of her mouth, mangled her immune system, and culminated in an hours-long surgery to carve out a tumor the size of a grapefruit. Throughout, friends and loved ones lifted up a heartfelt but singular prayer: Heal her, Lord. She wrapped herself in their words as if girding herself in armor. Afterward, she pointed to a line on the pathology report that described dead cells at the center of the tumor, and she praised God for his mercy. She reasoned that the chemotherapy had killed the tumor before her surgeon ever put knife to skin, … Continue reading If God Doesn’t Heal You

Jesus Wants Your Weakness

Suffering has shown me that my strength is not in me. The raging seas have made me cling to the rock of my salvation. I can say in full conviction, “If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought ‘My foot slips’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up (Psalm [94:17]–18).” God has shown me my own weakness through debilitating pain — fibromyalgia and severe pelvic separation during two pregnancies, as well as years of anemia causing brutal fatigue. I now not only know my weakness, but I feel it … Continue reading Jesus Wants Your Weakness

Where Is God When I Need Him Most?

 When I learned my dear friend was killed in a car accident this summer, I was stunned. She was my second mom, and a faithful wife, mother, and friend. She was unforgettable. And her life was snapped so abruptly that I couldn’t process it. Immediately I turned to the Lord. In this sick confusion, this shocking storm of fear, this sudden disruption of a beautiful existence, I cried out to him. And I heard nothing. Absolute silence. This unsettling sense of abandonment appeared to contradict Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Why was … Continue reading Where Is God When I Need Him Most?

Pray Them Home: Prayers for Prodigal Children

I once was that prodigal child — lost, angry, and struggling to find my identity. Hardened on the outside, but deeply hurting within. The pain of my choices was not only destroying me, but creating heartache within our family and severing my relationships with the people who loved me most. By God’s grace, my parents did not give up on me — despite how tempting it must have been at times. Instead, they entrusted my life to God, prayed for my brokenness, and fought for me in prayers that God eventually answered. Parents, if you are raising a seemingly hard-hearted, rebellious … Continue reading Pray Them Home: Prayers for Prodigal Children

He Is Not Dead

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”(Luke 24:5–6) The believers who saw the risen Christ with their own eyes and touched him with their hands spent the rest of their lives talking about the resurrection. For sure, they preached crucifixion and propitiation — the central hinge of the gospel message — but the message of the cross was not the most controversial thing they had to say in their day. The claims the apostles made about Jesus’s death were wildly controversial, but they were persecuted and martyred not because of what they said … Continue reading He Is Not Dead

Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer?

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9–10, ESV). No one disputes that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross. But the idea that His suffering was necessary has been the subject of scorn from those who have criticized and ridiculed Christianity through the centuries. The truth that Jesus had to suffer to pay for our sin … Continue reading Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer?

It Is Finished

It is Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. It is the darkest day in human history, though most humans have no clue of this. In Rome, Tiberius attends to the demanding business of the empire. Throughout the inhabited world, babies are born, people eat and drink, marry and are given in marriage, barter in marketplaces, sail merchant ships, and fight battles. Children play, old women gossip, young men lust, and people die. But today, one death, one brutal, gruesome death, the worst and best of all human deaths, will leave upon the canvas of human history the darkest brushstroke. In Jerusalem, … Continue reading It Is Finished