Greetings in the Name of Yeshua!
Living in the Gap between Promise and Fulfillment
Patty: Last month I said good-bye to a dear friend, Marcia Corbett, who went home to be with the Lord on Shavuot. She died from Melanoma cancer after several surgeries and chemo treatments. During this season she remained vibrant and full of faith without missing a beat. For as long as I have known her, Marcia has never spoken a negative word but always spoke the truth of God’s Word. Her zeal for God was reflected in her worship and her exhortation to others to sell out wholeheartedly to God. She did not once verbally express any doubt that she was healed. Even up until the time when she could no longer speak she told the doctors that she was not dying. Surely she had faith the size of a mustard seed! Yet, she did not obtain the promises she so fiercely held on to. What happened?
Alas, many more wise than I have attempted to answer this age-old question of suffering and why bad things happen to good people. What I know beyond all shadow of doubt is that God did not create pain and suffering; it is the consequence of man’s disobedience and we live in a (now) fallen world. God has promised in his Word that all our sins and our diseases were dealt with on the cross. But the promises for healing and wholeness often evade us, even from those who seem to walk in faith. We are stuck in the gap between the promises and their fulfillment. We can either change our theology on healing or trust God in the midst of not knowing why. This is the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, the suffering that comes to man in this world where the promise of the Kingdom is here but not yet in fullness. Mary and Martha said to Yeshua about their brother who died, “If you were here, Lazarus would not have died.” And some nearby comforters said, “Couldn’t this One, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have also kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37). Hear the depth of their pain and disillusionment. And Yeshua wept with them. Even Yeshua was tormented by his adversaries at the cross when they said, “Couldn’t he who saved others also save himself?” (Mark 15:31).
Yet we are called to contend for the promises and keep declaring the truth of God’s Word. One day we will find out the “why’s” but for now we embrace the suffering while living in the gap. As we do so, we enter into the suffering of others who are living in that gap, embracing and weeping with them. One day we will be able to declare that not one of God’s promises has failed. The great chapter recounting the faith of the great men and women of God, Hebrews 11, commended those who remained faithful even though they did not receive that for which they believed. Hebrews 11:39-40 states: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” I am holding out for that “something better.”
So, Marcia, we love you and honor you. Your name is written in this great chapter and I can hear our Savior saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And let us remember Ron, her husband, and her daughter in prayer, coming alongside them in their grief.