When God Doesn’t Fix It Week Three

Welcome to Week 3 of the When God Doesn’t Fix It Bible Study!

Here we are nearly half-way through this awesome study with Laura Story. So many of you have shared your stories and we’ve had the honor of praying for one another in our community. What a blessing!

What was your biggest takeaway from the video teaching for week two? Which of the study questions you covered with your group or on your own really made an impact?

Keep digging deep into the daily study! I know the Lord is doing great things!

This week we’re in Session Three “When God Doesn’t Fix It” (same as the title of the book – we’re now at the heart of the study).

This week for the study you will:

  1. Watch the video for Week 3 on DVD or right here on FaithGateway. Don’t forget you have just one week to watch the video, so try to view it before next Sunday!week-3-when-god-doesnt-fix-it
  2. If you’re meeting with a small group, or in a church setting with others, or on your own, go through the discussion questions for Session 3 in the When God Doesn’t Fix It Study Guide (pages 53-62).
  3. For your personal study this week, answer the study questions each day in the When God Doesn’t Fix It Study Guide (pages 63-73, the gray section).

Here are Days 1-5 of your personal study in the study guide:

  • Day 1: A Shocking Healing
  • Day 2: A Glimmer of Hope
  • Day 3: A Bigger Picture
  • Day 4: Faulty Intentions
  • Day 5: The Eternal Picture
  1. Recommended (but optional) reading for this week: Read chapters 7-9 in When God Doesn’t Fix It – the paperback companion book, not study guide.

How’d you do last week writing down the times when your best-made plans were turned upside down and sent on a detour? Did you look back and see that God’s plans turned out to be for your eventual good?

This week we’re reflecting on the times when God didn’t fix it. When the scary thing happened. When that friendship broke. When the baby we waited for was miscarried. When illness took our loved one. When we were so desperate for God to reveal Himself in the middle of our brokenness. When we were barely clinging to trust. Maybe you’re there now. Will you share your stories with us and each other? This is my story…

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Perfect Peace

The greatest ministry that any of us have to offer is through our stories. It is through our imperfect lives, even our most broken chapters that God’s faithfulness is truly showcased. — Laura Story

Do you have a story? Or maybe several stories? Stories of loss, failure, grief, battling addiction, relationship collapse, and on and on? Stories that people around you need to hear in order to get through their own low and painful times, in order to link arms with others and help them find the perfect peace God offers?

Our stories matter. Stories are how we connect and build relationship. Our stories change the lives of others because we can share how the Lord changed our lives, changed our hearts, changed our minds, and brought us through what we never thought we’d live through. They are also pictures of faith as we share what went terribly wrong and broke our hearts and yet, we have faith and in that we will not be shaken.

Our stories, even the ones where we declare the Lord good despite the trials and heartbreak, can stretch and grow our faith and glorify God as we use them to bless and encourage others.

Sometimes God rushes in and saves us when we desperately need Him. Aren’t those times wonderful? That’s when we fall on our faces and say, “Oh, Jesus! Thank You! What would we have done?! You are so good. You are so gracious. You are always by my side. You are the One we can count on!”

My cousin Susan was dying of stomach cancer that had spread throughout her body. She had wasted away to a tiny version of herself and yet she was full of faith, full of Jesus, full of joy and hope. I suspect from the glances full of grief and the dread-filled faces as my family prayed over her repeatedly, although few will admit to it now, that no one believed she would live. But, God healed her! She had a radical, experimental surgery in which the doctors opened her abdomen, took out as much cancer as they could and then “bathed” her insides with chemotherapy. They literally poured chemo on all her organs and let it do its job. An hour later they mopped her up, closed her up, and hoped for the best! Who knew that that’s how Jesus would heal her entirely? A year later Susan is cancer-free and a non-stop proclaimer of God our Healer!

In Christian circles we sometimes say this funny little line, “God showed up,” which really is a silly comment, right? Because God doesn’t just “show up” when He heals, when He answers our prayers the way we want Him to. He’s also there when He doesn’t save us. When our dreams die, our hearts break, and when we don’t know how to get through another day.

Sometimes God doesn’t fix it.

When that happens, when all Hell breaks loose and we’re spinning in shock and grief, we have to suffer through the death of our hopes and dreams. It’s the obliteration of “our plans” like we talked about last week. We have to grieve those good hopes and good dreams and that takes time, intentionality in surrendering to God, and choosing to stay soft-hearted and humble and faithful to the Lord.

Last year, my divorce finalized, my middle son went through a very scary illness, my mother’s best friend (my second mom) passed away suddenly, I filed for bankruptcy to get out from under my former husband’s financial mess, and my dad was in a terrible accident. He died very suddenly and unexpectedly three weeks later and then later that very same day my grandmother launched into eternity right behind him.

Sometimes God doesn’t fix it.

I never would have dreamed that the Lord had peace beyond anything I could understand during that awful time, but He does.

Yet, sometimes God gives us what we never would have wanted and He changes us and our hearts in the process.

When a couple in my community finds out their soon-to-be-born baby has Downs Syndrome, people know whom to call. They pick up the phone and dial the number of a local pastor and his wife, Mike and Justina, who have a little guy with Downs. His name is Seth and he is an explosion of joy, light, and laughter to his family. Because they are Seth’s parents, Mike and Justina are ready and willing to walk through the initial shock, disappointment, anger, confusion, fear, etc. with other parents they meet who are in the throes of early diagnosis because they know. They know what that feels like. These two have wept until there were no more tears. They’ve asked Why, God? and battled disappointment and anger; however, slowly they learned there’s something amazing about life with a child with Downs — Seth! Seth has made them crash through the sorrow points to find unexpectedly joy! Isn’t God funny that way?

Sometimes He changes our perspective, as he did for Mike and Justina. He allows us to see that the thing we thought was devastating actually is not the life we would have chosen, but it is a good life with pretty amazing and wonderful parts that we would never have known if we hadn’t suffered.

Are you sharing your stories?

* * *

What has He not fixed in your life?

In the video this week Laura sings a small snippet of her song “Perfect Peace”. Listen to it on YouTube or just read these lyrics. And may the Lord look you full in the face and give you His peace.

Stay close by My side

Keep your eyes on Me

Though this life is hard

I will give you perfect peace

 

In this time of trial

Pain that no one sees

Trust me when I say

That I will give you perfect peace

And you’ll never walk alone

And you’ll never be in need

Though I may not

Calm the storms around you

You can hide in Me

 

Burdens that you bear

Offer no relief

Let Me bear your load

‘Cause I will give you perfect peace

 

Stay close by my side

And you’ll never walk alone

Keep your eyes on Me

And you’ll never be in need

Thought this life is hard

Know that I will

Always give you perfect peace

 

I will give you perfect peace.

Prayer for the Week

Oh, God, we love You! In the face of our most confusing, painful, crushing times, even if we have to say so crumpled in a pile on the floor, we say we believe in You and we know that You are good and Your plan is good. When You don’t answer our prayers the way we want You to, we wobble, we have questions, we may be angry, and we are so hurt that it’s hard to breathe. But, we still call You Lord and we trust that You lean down so close to kiss our tears away, weathering the storm with us, and giving us Your indescribable, inexplicable peace. Help us to cling to You even in our pain and to be glued to You until the day we see You face-to-Face. Help us to praise Your name even when You don’t fix it because we love You and You are our God. Our good and gracious and loving Yahweh. Thank You for never leaving our side, Jesus. We need You and we love You. Amen.

* * *

Your Turn

We’d love for you to share your stories right here on the blog.

Laurie McClure

Laurie is a Jesus apprentice, a single mama of five (three homegrown, one Kentuckian, and one Ethiopian), a writer, beach lover, and is addicted to radical grace, Perrier, and yoga pants. Here at FaithGateway she is the editor, the leader of Faith.Full, our women's community, and curator of Devotionals Daily.

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