By Kristi Sullins
One of my favorite parts of being a pastor’s wife has been the opportunity to build friendships with people from all over. 15 years of ministry has given us scattered “family” that we stay connected to through email and social media.
It was one of these connections that God used to take me on a journey of understanding. At the beginning of the year I was introduced to a blog about a little boy named Ben. His mom Mindy had started a blog to journal their journey through Ben’s battle with cancer, specifically, a brain tumor. As a mom, my soul became caught up in their journey, and I found myself praying for this little boy often.
In the beginning, the prayers came as a claim of the healing I knew that God could bring.
Surely, He would bring victory and healing to this four- year old boy. I would watch for her blogpost with confidence that there would be signs of healing. Month after month, post after post, this is not the story she shared. Each post revealed a reality much different than what I had claimed. As thousands around the country joined in prayer, I held onto the fact that God’s power would be clearly revealed if He would just heal Ben. His grace and sufficiency was on full display in the life of this sweet family, but we did not see the power and healing we were all praying for.
The reality of God’s plan came into full view recently when God brought Ben home. Local papers in Buffalo, NY, posted that Ben had lost his battle with cancer. My mind agreed.
It was while in the shower, I questioned God. I laid out what I thought would have been best and pointed out all the times He had worked miracles. It was then that God had what my dad always called “a come to Jesus meeting” with me. What did I define as a victory? Had my human heart lost perspective on what a God victory really was? He walked me through the realities in my life.
Were the struggles of the church that I love failures? Could I see victory in a church that had walked hard roads for so long that they would not dare move without God? Could I see it in a job loss and unplanned move that dropped us right in the will of God? Could I see victory in the death of a beloved saint of our church as evidence that there are still those who live their lives serving God?
Was I willing to hand over the black and white definition of my world to see that in the death of a four- year old boy an entire city was impacted by the life of this boy and his family who constantly pointed to God?
Our human hearts tend to take on the world’s definition of wins and losses, victories and failures.
We hold God to that tainted standard and then suffer defeat when His perfect plan does not match up with our sightless one. The clearest example of failure and victory is in the death of our Christ. On the day of His death the Jews were clear that this Messiah was a failure. Three days later it became clear for those who knew Him that by His death and resurrection there was VICTORY.
Oh, that my heart will be softened to God’s definition of victory, and that my eyes will search for His victories in all parts of this journey.