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  • Behnaz Moludy

the journey

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

By: Behnaz Moludy

In the journey of devout servants dedicated to the Lord's pilgrimage, intricate challenges inevitably emerge, testing the depths of their faith and the resilience of their strength. Within these crucibles of trial, the genuine essence of discipleship is truly tested, demanding a response that forges a fortified spiritual path, propelling them forward with unwavering conviction. However, the gravity of these trials extends far beyond individual growth, reaching into the realm of becoming a source of unwavering strength for fellow believers, particularly those embarking on nascent faith journeys, navigating the delicate process of nurturing their beliefs.

Within the precincts of this sacred responsibility, a pivotal role is etched into the grand tapestry of the Lord's splendor. As individuals strive to surmount personal challenges while simultaneously uplifting others in their faith, they contribute to the collective growth of the faithful and amplify the Lord's magnificence throughout the world. This role takes on heightened significance when considering those who are new to their faith journey, as their tender hearts yearn for guidance and strength from those who have weathered spiritual storms.

In the gallery of faith narratives, a particular family within the church stands as a testament to the intricate nuances of this odyssey. This family ardently embraced their faith in Christ, journeyed through baptism, and, as chapters of life unfolded, embarked on a fresh adventure in a distant city. Despite the geographical distance, the threads of connection between them and the church remained unbroken. Shared prayers wove a bridge spanning the miles, upholding the spiritual communion that endured. These prayers encompassed a panorama of topics, ranging from personal supplications to collective intercessions.

While navigating this new phase in their lives, they demonstrated remarkable dedication to nurturing the growth of their spiritual journey, even as they welcomed a second child into their fold. Their commitment to their faith radiated palpably, as if their path was streaked with an unwavering ardor and fervor. Yet, as the chapters of life turned, a transformation unfolded. The radiance of their faith began to flicker, and a shadow of concern was cast upon their spiritual path.

Seeking to uncover the underlying reasons for this setback and to fathom the depths of their distress, I embarked on a visit to their new home. Through heart-to-heart conversations, their anguish was laid bare, revealing a heart-rending revelation that had cast a shroud of sorrow over their souls. The house they had chosen as their dwelling, a place they had leased with aspirations of building a future, was previously inhabited by a Christian family that had experienced a tragic car accident. This catastrophe claimed the lives of the parents, leaving behind a poignant aftermath. Their sole surviving child, a seven-year-old girl, found herself orphaned and entrusted to the care of a foster family.

The weight of this narrative gripped my heart, and tears welled up in response to the profound poignancy of their situation. It was evident that their waning spiritual zeal was rooted in a series of persistent questions that had taken root within their minds. These questions centered on the paradox of their prayers being answered for a suitable dwelling – a dwelling that happened to belong to fellow Christians and believers. The heart-rending twist lay in the realization that the family who previously occupied the house had met a tragic car accident, leaving their young daughter to navigate the emotionally isolating journey of foster care. The agony of such circumstances is unfathomable, particularly for parents who must witness their child grappling with such a profound loss.

Their questions resonated deeply within me, reflecting a universal dilemma – the mystery of why a benevolent God would allow such profound tragedies to befall the innocent. This question has perplexed generations, transcending age and intellect. The weight of this situation was not only borne by the family but by all who encountered this heart-rending tale.

The family's fervor faltered under the weight of these questions, casting doubt upon the benevolence of God's design. Their faith journey encountered an obstacle as they wrestled with the concept of a loving God allowing such profound suffering. As I stood beside them, immersed in fervent supplications for their comfort and steadfastness, their story lingered in my thoughts for days on end. The image of that young orphaned girl seemed to haunt my thoughts, her innocent gaze reflecting the depths of her loss.

Sharing the weight of my emotions with my spouse, we embarked on a determined journey of prayer. Together, we sought solace and tranquility for the burden that gripped my troubled heart. As days passed, our connection with this family remained unwavering, marked by joint sessions of supplication and the awareness that, while we might not possess answers to all questions, our support remained constant.

Preparations for an upcoming sermon led me to delve into the verses of Romans 8:28, a passage that resonated deeply within me. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..." (NIV). In a moment of profound illumination, the words shone with renewed significance. It was as if the divine message was speaking directly to my soul, unraveling the complexities of their questions and the broader mystery of suffering.

In that transformative moment, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. A deep understanding washed over me – the suffering, the tragedy, the questions – all fell within the assurance that even in the darkest hours, God's ultimate purpose was at play. This insight offered comfort amidst complexity and reignited a revitalized faith in the divine plan underlying even the most bewildering circumstances.

The question of why suffering exists in a world crafted by a loving God has perplexed philosophers, theologians, and believers alike. In my quest for answers, I explored various perspectives on the mystery of evil, delving into the depths of moral and natural afflictions. Yet, it became clear that only a revelation from the Divine could provide a satisfactory response to the profound question of suffering's existence.

In a moment of internal reflection guided by the Holy Spirit, a truth emerged – the journey of abiding in the presence of Jesus through prayer paves the path to obedience, nurturing a deep-seated faith that matures into trust. This progression seamlessly aligns with the essence of Romans 8:28, resonating steadfastly regardless of circumstances – that the goodness of the Lord endures regardless of situation or condition.

Truly, the Lord possesses the extraordinary ability to fathom the depths of our hearts. He comprehends our needs even before they find expression in prayer. This profound connection transcends verbal communication, delving into the core of our thoughts, emotions, and longings. In the midst of this deep heart-to-heart communion with the Lord, His devoted followers embrace the conviction that God orchestrates each situation for ultimate good. This perspective extends beyond moments of joy and well-being, encompassing even periods of hardship, sorrow, and discomfort. This all-encompassing outlook encompasses navigating challenges such as illness, grief, and even mortality.

While embracing this principle might be straightforward during seasons of prosperity, the true test emerges during times of adversity. It is in these challenging moments that the essence of faith shines, revealing the authenticity of one's devotion. The very challenges that shake our faith also provide the arena to demonstrate its strength and unwavering nature.

For fervent followers of the Lord, the concept of "good" goes beyond material blessings and worldly comforts. It delves into the realm of eternity, inherent goodness, and divine favor. This perspective does not diminish the Lord's concern for physical well-being; rather, it underscores the truth that seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness paves the way for the provision of essential earthly needs, as articulated in Matthew 6:33.

My life revolves around unwavering obedience to the Lord and faith in His wisdom. However, I am also a co-laborer on Earth. This realization led to discussions with the family. We decided to initiate legal proceedings for adoption. This choice was challenging considering the needs of my own family. I embraced the responsibility of co-laboring with the Lord, advancing His kingdom.

I reached out to the family to adopt the girl. Legal challenges prevented her uncle from assuming custody. He appreciated the offer and hoped to resolve his issues. Balancing my family's needs, I considered adoption.

At times, God allows hardship not out of indifference, but as a channel for personal growth and spiritual advancement. This perspective finds echoes in passages such as Romans 5:3-4 and James 1:2-4. During these moments, it becomes evident that challenges are not signs of abandonment, but rather opportunities for deeper growth and increased reliance on God's providence.

The pivotal decision that crystallized within me was not made lightly. Balancing the needs of my own family with the desire to extend love and care to orphaned children required careful consideration. However, the realization that God's plan is intricately woven into the fabric of each individual's life provided a solid foundation. The journey of discipleship, illuminated by the understanding of God's ultimate purpose, highlighted the importance of seizing every opportunity to embody God's compassion and nurturing.

Amidst uncertainty, the family's story persisted as a shining emblem of hope and a reminder of the complexities of faith. Shared prayers continued to bind us together, even as we wrestled with unanswered questions. The journey of discipleship is not devoid of trials but rather flourishes within them. It is in these trials that the essence of genuine discipleship is illuminated – a commitment to embracing the divine purpose, trusting in the Lord's goodness, and actively participating in the advancement of His kingdom on Earth.

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