Sunday, February 17, 2013

thankful

Today during worship we sang "Bless the Lord oh my Soul" by Matt Redman, and at one point during the music playing some of the musicians came up and shared things they were thankful to God for doing in their lives.  For me it was a moving moment, and very precious.  I have blogged about miscarriage, some of the hassles of military life, and religious/relational problems, and yet to hear other people sharing how God has worked was very healing for me.

As I have shared in an older post, I have struggled with a lot of pain over losing our first child early in pregnancy, and deployment soon after that did not help the situation.  I have since spoken to many people who have lost children through miscarriage, and it puts huge pressure on marriages and families, and most people who have not experienced it often don't understand how to respond helpfully.  I don't fault people for not knowing how to respond, but I would humbly suggest from what I have seen and heard that in these situations that no two marriages nor do any two people respond the same way to such deep hurt, nor does it affect everyone to the same degree.  In my view, the most helpful people in tragedy of any kind are the ones who offer emotional support to those who hurt, rather than those who offer conversation or try to put context to the grief.

Death is not something that ever happens "for a reason"; it is arbitrary, pain-inducing, and a part of the fallenness of this evil world.  Just because my pregnancy would have been difficult with my husband being deployed during the second and third trimester does not mean it was "for the best" when we lost the baby.  God understands this and allows his children to grieve without having to give them answers. What I learned during that most painful time in my life, though it was not the only painful time I'd ever had either before or after, was that God was (and is) competent to comfort me.  The God of all Comfort doesn't have to explain himself to me, but he does love me.  Perhaps that time built my faith more than any event before or after it.


The beauty of God's loving comfort is that he can cope with my pain.  It is to God's credit that my husband and I got through that time trusting him, and God was and is able to handle our lingering hurts and fears.  To know God in the depths and find myself held onto by him is the biggest blessing of my life.  From false things I had believed about God, I was led to the truth of who God is.  I had feared I was being punished by God for things others had accused me of being or doing, but instead I have found grace and peace from him.  God has since blessed us with a son, and another on the way who is kicking rather well.  He does "give and take away," may God's name be glorified in my life.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

my struggle

I think in our culture currently the danger for most of us Christians is for us to be too earthly minded to be any heavenly good.

I say this because we have a multitude of resources on how to have the perfect Christian marriage, children, and family life, yet we seem to have forgotten that even if our marriage fails, our children rebel, or our family life is tainted and torn apart by relational stress and strain, God's glory is our reason for being.  God's glory, not our perfect picture that ultimately glorifies only us for our perseverance.

What if God is glorified by our struggles to love and forgive each other?  What if God is glorified by our awareness of how much we need Him?  What if God is glorified best in our lives by creating us to be wounded healers, rather than spiritual heros?

What if?

Would it change our perspective if we really knew God in all His glory, sovereignty, love, and power?

Would we change?

Or are we too busy enmeshed in the things of this world- even the good things- to realize that this life is a speck in the existence of our loving Father?  

This is heaven: to know Him.  This is what we were created for, whatever the mess we find ourselves dealing with daily.  The perfect life does not exist now; it never did.  We were however created for glory.

I need a reality check daily; I need to remember that heaven is worth the process, rather than being enmeshed in the futile pursuit of trying to "fix" (get out of) the (messy) process now.