I would like to share a story with you, a true story about my daughter and me. I do not share this story to put myself or my daughter in the limelight, but rather, it is all about God who loves us enough that He sent His Son to die for our sins. It is all about Jesus who did the will of the Heavenly Father so that we who believe in Him might receive the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to help us and to fill us with Joy in His presence. I pray that someone will be helped by reading my story.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)
My oldest daughter has not turned to God. She told her two siblings that this was because I am a strong believer in Jesus Christ, and that I put God above her. She even accused me directly one day: “You went to church and didn’t even care if I died. Instead of getting me toilet paper, you went to church!” I remembered the incident well. We had been on the road to church for half an hour when she called, very angry, that we had run out of toilet paper…I suggested that she use tissue and promised to buy some toilet paper; but apparently in her mind I was not being sensitive to her emergency. She didn’t want any part of a God who would stand in the way of her getting the toilet paper she needed.
She has continued over the months to become more and more arrogant and rebellious. She finally asked me to admit her to the hospital, stating that she preferred to do what counselors and doctors tell her rather than submitting to God…
I wish I could say that the story has ended, but it hasn’t. I commit my daughter into God’s faithful, loving hands. What I wish to share is how God is comforting me and encouraging me throughout this time.
During those two days that my daughter was in the hospital, I was not allowed to see her or talk to her. You can understand that my level of fear for my daughter was very, very high. During that time, God gave me two Bible stories, and these two stories literally held me together.
The first is the story of the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus to heal her daughter of an evil spirit. The story is recorded inMatthew 15:22-29: “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.'” (Matt. 15: 22 NIV)
Jesus did not immediately heal the woman’s daughter. Only when she pleaded with Him did He heal her (See.Matt. 15:23-27). In the end, however, Jesus said to the woman: “‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.” (Matt. 15:28 NIV)
The second story is when Jesus healed the centurion’s servant, as recorded inLuke 7:1-10 andMatt. 8:5-13. The centurion sent a man to Jesus telling Him that He didn’t even need to come. All He needed to do was to speak forth the Word, and the servant would be healed. Jesus’ response? “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.’ Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” (Luke 7:9-10 NIV)
In both of these stories, faith was the key. Was God telling me I simply needed to have faith that He would heal my daughter?
This gave me immeasurable hope.
Because of the level of hostility, I did not think my daughter should return home with me once she was released from the hospital, and I began to think about where she might be able to go to stay for a few days. Before I could find someone, the nurse from the hospital called to say my daughter was being released. What would I do?
Just then, a friend of mine called me to ask how my daughter was doing. She offered to open her home to my daughter. I was tempted to accept her offer, but as I opened my mouth to say “yes”, the words came out totally different than I had expected. I believe God was talking to my friend through my mouth as I told her how I had always sent my daughter away in these situations, to a friend’s house, or even to my sister in France.
God then placed those two stories in my mind again, and I began to ask myself just where this Canaanite woman’s daughter was living during this time. The bible doesn’t tell us, but logic would dictate that she was living with her mother.
And what about the centurion’s servant?
The Bible does tell us this:“Then the men who had been sent returned to the houseand found the servant well.” (Luke 7:10b NIV). He was living at the centurion’s home!
God’s message to me was clear, and instead of saying “yes” to my friend’s kind offer, I said, “No, thank you, my friend.”
The Bible says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Ps. 16:11 NIV). I believe that God was doing just that: He was showing me the path I needed to take with my daughter. I needed to bring her home, and I needed to believe that the same Jesus who healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter and the centurion’s servant was still on His throne, still big enough to heal my daughter. He has given me peace, just like He promised in Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” (NIV).
Even though the story continues, I already know how it will end. Like the Canaanite woman and the centurion, I fully put all my trust in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. And just as the woman’s daughter and the centurion’s servant were both healed, God will be the victor in my daughter’s life as well. To God be the glory. Amen.
One in Christ,
Sophie Chun Ngeth