Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is “A time to weep . . . a time to mourn . . .” It is hard to explain all that God has brought us through during the past six weeks . . . In some ways, these weeks have been some of the longest in my life . . . The ups and downs in spirit . . . Such waves of weeping and peace . . . Feeling strong, and then feeling weak . . . But, as our Pastor preached on, New Year’s morning, our Lord has left us His Comforter! (John 14:6) And how thankful we are, that He did! Psalm 71:21 declares, “Thou shalt . . . comfort me on every side.” And how faithfully He has done that! Through His Word, through the prayers of His people, through song . . . Psalm 147:3 “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” This month of January has been a month of learning about God’s precious healing – a time like I have never known in any other stage of my life. So many afternoons, I’ve sat on my bed, with my Bible, a hymnal, a journal, and a ladies’ devotional book, and felt God re-wrapping the bandages on my heart.
Isaiah 53:4 “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows . . .” My Lord KNOWS, and He CARES . . . Through the alternating gloom and sunlight, I can pray the words of the beautiful hymn, “When life’s dark maze I tread, And griefs around me spread, Be Thou my Guide; Bid darkness turn to day, Wipe sorrow’s tears away, Nor let me ever stray From Thee aside . . .”
Sometimes, I have been much weaker than I expected to be – both emotionally and physically. But I try to say, along with the apostle Paul, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities . . . for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (II Cor. 12:10) I do thank God for these past several weeks in our home – even with cold viruses, and the like - snuggles and school with my girls; special projects and memories; being spiritually comforted, healed, and fed . . .
Even as our Healer, God knows best. The Bible tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8) This was my verse for Joshua, since the very first day we knew we were pregnant with him. In my human mind, despite our grieving and our physically recovering from a delivery of this kind, I thought we would be on a plane headed for Indonesia, come January or February – but that does not seem to be our Heavenly Father’s plan for us.
Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good . . .”
Psalm 145:9 “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
Psalm 145:17 “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”
Even when we do not understand . . .
Our support for this trip was raised in a remarkable amount of time. Brandon had an approval for all the vacation days he needed. We were at a good point in our pregnancy for safely flying that distance, and everything appeared fine . . . But then we found out that God had wanted our little boy in Heaven with Him, and everything changed . . . As most of you now know, we found ourselves delivering him, shortly before Christmas. It became necessary to cancel our original tickets, because three weeks later was not nearly enough time to recover for such an important flight, half-way around the world . . . Then we encountered the paperwork, and the phone calls, and the emails, as we tried to get things sorted out with our travel agency. Our host missionary wife had to suddenly make an unexpected trip back to the States, for an unknown duration . . . And present world events began making it more unsafe to fly with certain airlines or to have lay-overs in certain countries . . . The emotional strain has been difficult. Every time we’ve thought, “We can go!”, God has said “No!”, and every time we’ve thought, “We’re ready now!”, God has said “Wait!” But the Lord is GOOD, and His “. . . tender mercies are over all his works.” Even when we do not understand . . .
Ecclesiastes 3:11 promises us, “He hath made everything beautiful in his time . . .” God knows! Perhaps, we will be on a plane, only a couple of months from now! Or, perhaps, we will have to wait until after missionary candidate school . . . Or, perhaps . . . “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” We must surrender every detail to Him.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Even Joshua’s death . . . even our trip plans needing to be changed . . . ALL things – our verse for our wedding and our marriage still working itself out in our lives . . .
I have been reading through the book of Joshua in my Bible, this month, while thinking about the man of God we named our son after. Joshua 1:13 says, “. . . The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.” I believe with all my heart, that, just as God has been giving us His rest, He will also, one day, allow us to actually set foot in Indonesia. But it will be in GOD’S TIMING, and not our own . . . SMILE!
When the Israelites came to the Jordan River, God gave them a dry path, right in the midst of it. With water held back, on either side, they knew the path they should take, and it was dry and plain to them. In the book of Psalms, David prayed, “Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path.” (Psalm 27:11) This is where we currently are, My Friends – feeling God’s healing, finding God faithful, praying for feet that are ever-ready to step into “the brink of Jordan”, and waiting to see God continue to do wonderful things in our lives.
We thank God for the encouraging prayers and words of His people – We thank God for EACH OF YOU! God Bless.
With Our Love in Christ,