Last Sunday I quoted some words from the hymn-writer, John Newton. Newton said, 'everything is needful that he [God] sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds.'
On one hand those are the most comforting words that I can imagine. Your life is not the subject of blind chance or chaos. You don't have the unbearable responsibility of being the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.
On the other hand these are amazingly challenging words. How do we trust the God who is in control when our life seems to be stranded on the rocks?
Hazel Oakley was a wonderful woman who attended our church until her death, a year and a half ago. She experienced Multiple Sclerosis for most of her life. I met a man in Bandon who knew Hazel as a young woman. He said that when she was diagnosed Hazel declared with great faith that ‘if God intends Hazel Oakley to have Multiple Sclerosis then Multiple Sclerosis must be the best thing for Hazel Oakley.’ She then held God's hand through the storm.
She lived the truth that, 'everything is needful that he sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds.'