Monday, September 18, 2006

 

You give and take away...

You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
"Lord, blessed be Your name."

Blessed be Your name- when the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be, Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name- on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering, Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say:
Blessed be the name of the Lord.


*Blessed Be Your Name by Tree 63 (and all the other copyright stuff I'm not saavy enough to enter but just know I didn't write the song)


Okay, but what about when my heart doesn't choose to say "Blessed be Your name"? Just being honest here. Remember my friend? As it turns out, God's number of days for the life of their child was few. I've only read of this and haven't actually talked with our friends about it. Chicken? Not really. Ironically, I am acting like the people who told me, "I'm sorry I haven't called, but I just didn't know what to say" when our Owen died. And truly, I don't KNOW how our friends are feeling. Yes, I know the kind of pain they are going through, but not the exact nature of it. Because for some reason, when it comes right down to it, it seems like Rob and I only had to imagine what it would be like to be pregnant again and BAM! there I was. Pregnant, that is.

I struggled yesterday morning. I found out that Coralie had miscarried just before I left for church. How my heart argued with me for reasons to stay home! If I'm being candid, I would have to admit that I was struggling with the premise that "God is good." I mean, we all know of people who have children and don't want them, don't provide/care for them, don't love them, abuse them, and even abort them. And here are two people who are committed to the Lord and would raise this child in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." So now what? I was wrestling, folks, plain and simple.

So I made it to church and then began our corporate worship time- opening with the above song. Uh-huh. Then the message began with the following:

"So often we hear the question, 'Why do bad things happen to good people?' (Fast forward a bit) But that is the wrong question to ask, because it assumes that people are inherently good. We should really be asking, 'Why do good things happen to bad people?'" Alrighty then. Why was I surprised that God would appoint that sermon to be preached on the very day I would struggle with his sovereignty? Well, that's just God for ya!

None of us deserves any of the blessings God lovingly chooses to bestow upon us. I do not deserve any of the children I have. I don't deserve my wonderful husband. I don't deserve loving parents. I don't deserve my great sister. I don't deserve our pastor and church fellowship. You get the idea. What I deserve is hell. How does that grab ya? Well, it surely grabbed me yesterday. Probably more so because this is something that I know textually, but obviously the Spirit saw need to apply this truth to my heart in a fresh sense.

So I am encouraged. I am encouraged through the teaching of the Word foremost. But I am encouraged by my friend's incredibly thankful heart. She says it best in this way:

"I thought of all the parents who wish they could just shield their children from pain, suffering and sin. I realized that I have a child who is permanently shielded from those things for eternity. It was the first time I realized that regardless of the earthly reality, I am a mother. The thought brings peace, and pain at the same time. How strange."

Please read her entire post here. I am encouraged that she will choose to say, "Lord blessed be Your name."

Comments:
Sherri:
I am putting this in my scrapbook of our painful journey. This song you quote has been a prayer of ours since we first heard it, and it has been an encouragement through very difficult times.
Thank you for being a faithful friend and hurting when we hurt.
 
I think Matt Redman wrote that song actually. Just thought you might like to double check...
 
Thanks for the message ... found your blog via links ... can't remember how I found it exactly. My friend recently experienced the loss of her baby at 31 weeks. I appreciated your words about clinging to the Lord, because as her friend, experiencing her loss at a distance, it still brings up the questions in my heart, "is God good?" I know he is but watching the suffering of a friend is hard. Yet I see her graciousness in grief at the same time, and her desire to cling to the Lord.
 
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