“Your son may not live. He may be a paraplegic.” The words stunned me as the emergency room doctor spoke them to us in a somber tone. The year was 1995 and our oldest son, twenty at the time, had just fallen from scaffolding on a job site where he was working. Suddenly, life made no sense to me at all. My world became instantly dark at the very thought of the long term implications of this accident.
The doctor told us that Andrew would have to be transferred to another hospital which was better equipped to handle such an extensive injury. After following the ambulance across town to the larger hospital with tears streaming down our cheeks, we pulled into the parking space outside the emergency room.
I reached over and took Melanie’s hand. Through teary eyes and with a trembling voice I said, “We don’t know what the rest of this day holds for us. Andrew may not live. He may be crippled for life. Before we go in here, can we agree on one thing? No matter what happens in this hospital, God is God and God is good.”
Melanie nodded as she wiped tears from her own eyes. We got out of the car and walked into the hospital holding hands. A long journey was beginning.
Our son did survive that accident eight years ago and after three years of therapy, he was restored to complete health. Today he lives a normal life with little residual effects of the accident. We give God the glory for that.
How are we to survive, let alone triumph, when tragedy strikes our lives? What do we do when the outlook is bleak? The answer is, “Try the uplook.” When John wrote the words in Revelation 4, he was exiled on an island – a prisoner in isolation. Humanly, things looked bleak. But the Lord showed John that life can’t be properly understood from a human perspective, but must be seen from His perspective.
As long as God is on His throne, we have every reason to trust Him and know that, despite superficial evidence to the contrary, everything will ultimately work out for our highest good and His highest glory. This is a truth which has sustained saints through the ages.
When he lost his children, Job said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” “Job, how could you say such a thing?” He might answer, “Because I can see beyond the cemetery and I know there’s a throne fixed in heaven and Somebody is sitting on it!”
From a prison cell, Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord. I’ll say it again – rejoice!” “Paul,” we might say, “Those are strange words coming from somebody imprisoned for preaching. How do you keep such a perspective?” The Apostle might answer, “You see prison bars, but I can look beyond them and see a throne in heaven and Somebody is sitting on it!”
The list goes on and on throughout Scripture – those who looked beyond the temporal circumstances of life and saw a sovereign God sitting on a throne. Will you choose that perspective?
When the outlook is hopeless, try the uplook. Your Father loves you and is sovereign over every detail of your life. That fact is enough to sustain us in the darkest days of our lives.