Written by Sam Lisak / February 2017
Sunday school as a ten-year old was the best. I was right in the stage where I knew the basic Bible stories and we started to go deeper into the less covered ones. When I was younger, we talked about the Israelites wandering around in the wilderness, but never got into the other stories like when the Israelites fought the Amalekites in Exodus 17. I look at the story and how God granted Israel the victory when Moses’ hands were held up, and I couldn’t help but think, “Man, God is the best. I don’t understand how the Israelites doubted him so much. If I was one of them, I’d never do that!”
Fast forward 6 years. I’m 16, which means I’m arrogant enough to think I can do anything, dumb enough to try it without thinking, and young enough to use age as an excuse. It was the middle of summer, and suddenly I start feeling terrible, unlike any other feeling I’ve had before. Something wasn’t right, but I had never had any major health issues during my life, so I thought it was probably just a weird phase or something. I was very wrong. I had Type 1 diabetes. I remember the first thing I could think was “What did I do wrong?” I couldn’t help but naturally feel like it was a direct result of something I had or hadn’t done, like God was in heaven tallying how many times I prayed this month, and missing the mark meant I had to be punished. That’s some flawed logic. I thought “Why me, God? What did I do to deserve this? Is my faith not strong enough?” It’s frustrating. The Bible says God works all things for good, but I couldn’t see how this was going to help me spiritually. I can pretty much rule out mission trips now. I missed church because of this, and what if future health issues make me unable to attend? Slowly thoughts and questions snowballed into my head, and pretty soon an avalanche of doubt took me away, and I found myself getting angry at the one person who has the biggest right to be angry, but is anything but.
I remember the first thing I could think was “What did I do wrong?” I couldn’t help but naturally feel like it was a direct result of something I had or hadn’t done, like God was in heaven tallying how many times I prayed this month, and missing the mark meant I had to be punished.
It took some time for me to remember who was in charge in this situation. God was using this situation to test me and my faith. The one Bible passage that stuck with me was 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” God gave me the strength to handle this situation spiritually, and used it to help remind me of who’s in charge, and how I can be joyful knowing I have heaven just down the road. All these bad things in our lives may be a direct result of sin in the world, but God sent His Son to save us from all our sins. Through him we have eternal life. That’s what is most important.
I’m thankful for all the loving Christian family and friends that God has given me in my life. He gave me plenty of people to help support me when I needed it, and role models to give me guidance when I needed it. For all the people who have it much worse than I do, remember God will give you the strength to make it through it, and remember the hope we have in Him. In heaven, everything will be better. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”