The Belief Test

Not long ago, I had to have an MRI to see if I had a pituitary tumor which might be causing my adrenal problems. The results came back that my pituitary was fine.

The MRI did, however, expose a cyst—or possibly a tumor—in a different place in my head. In the weeks between getting that news and talking to a top neurosurgeon at Emory about what to do about it, I struggled back and forth with my feelings like an emotional schizophrenic.

The cyst has likely been there for years. The symptoms did not change just because of this new knowledge of their source. But news like this brought out feelings that extended beyond the physical. I floated, dazed, from feeling this could not be really happening, to peace at God’s higher plan, to a glimmer of hope that maybe fixing this could fix multiple issues, to the sobering knowledge that: “The surgical removal of pineal region tumors ranks among the most difficult neurosurgical operations,” said one website.

Spiritually, I wondered what it all meant, while also knowing it was for God to know and for me to trust. Perhaps His purpose was to use this in some great way. Or perhaps the greatest purpose was for me to nestle closer to Him than ever before.

This latest health crisis was a gift, wrapped up in a test. Not a test by a hard taskmaster who wanted me to fail, but a loving Teacher, who wanted to show me not only where I am strong, but where I am weak; and in that weakness, to show His perfect strength.

Here are four things I believe:

  1. God is good.
  2. God loves me.
  3. God could eliminate this problem at any moment.
  4. God will do what is best.

My new circumstance did not make God any less good, or His love for me any less perfect. The question was, Do I only believe God is good when He is doing what feels good to me? Or do I believe He is good, no matter what?

Here’s why I think chronic physical difficulties can be gifts from God:

  1. They remind us our lives and our bodies are not really our own.
  2. They remind us not to take life for granted. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow.
  3. They keep us humble, as we have to ask for help and support from others.
  4. They remind us of our need for God’s daily help and presence.
  5. They remind us every breath, every beat of the heart, every part of the body that is working, is a constant gift from God.
  6. They teach us to accept that we can’t fix everything, and that’s okay.
  7. They force us to have courage, to face our fears, to accept what we cannot change, because if we could, we would.
  8. They force us to prioritize what matters most, because we physically cannot maintain lives filled with extra things.

I finally got to talk with the neurosurgeon, but I did not get the answer I wanted. Now, as I face this latest trial, I long to do so courageously, with joy and my face to the sun. Past the feelings and the flesh that want to give in to fear, anxiety, and the doubt of unanswered questions, into

the place of true peace, the place that knows my God is doing what is right; For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

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Your Turn

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How do trials test your belief in a good God?


by Kimberly Rae

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With five different health conditions, including Addison’s disease, asthma, and a cyst nestled under her brain, Kimberly Rae knows what it’s like to live tired of dependence on medication, guilty over needing help, and frustrated over fielding the frequent comment, “But you don t look sick!” Published over 250 times, Rae has work in five different languages. She writes from her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her very patient husband and two young children who regularly pray, “Please help Mommy get better,” and who both love cars and trains despite one of them being a girl.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.