It was a shock last week, to admit to myself, that there’s times I don’t really like God. Our C-Group (community group) was reading a bunch of passages out of Jeremiah as part of our One Year Through the Bible thing, and I was starting to get bummed. As a Christian, I’ve always known I’m supposed to love, honor, fear, reverence, worship, obey and respect God. But I had to admit, reading some of the verses about the times God said and declared awful catastrophes for all kinds of people-it seemed so random and unfair! Where’s the justice in all that? Still, I was pondering this with a little a bit of emotional distance left….until Wednesday.
Tuesday morning, our beautiful little new grandson, Austin, made his entrance into the world. Strawberry blond, crying, wiggling….all those cute little newborn things. I was privileged to be there to watch the miracle of new life as he made his entrance and to rejoice that even with all the unexplainable ##*#* going on in the world, God still seems to be in favor of life. Things were good, and the gratitude level was high, even though there was this nagging question about whether or not it was blasphemy to admit I had some issues with Jeremiah.
Wednesday morning at 4:40 a.m., our daughter called to say their precious little guy had just been airlifted to a city hospital in severe respiratory distress. My voice and my words told her we’d be there as soon as we could catch a ferry to pick her up and bring her over to the little man (her husband drove ahead to meet the chopper but she had to wait for the doctor’s to come in and release her). My heart, however, did a quick trip back to Jeremiah and the God who isn’t always very nice and prayed (begged) with all sincerity, that He would be the nice, kind, loving, life-giving God this time to this one little family who has waited and longed to meet this precious little guy we’ve all already loved for nine months and one day.
Pulling my head and my heart out of maternal/infant mortality statistics I’ve read and focusing on what was instinctual, needed and helpful, my inventory of my available faith level at that point was on empty. So, I texted some people I knew would wake up, see their messages and pray. Then we got out of here and went to be with the Mommy.
At the hospital, while we waited for doctors to show up, get out of meetings, and get Mommy on her way, I used Facebook to put the word out to pray. People who don’t even know our daughter and her truly wonderful husband responded and there were prayers going up for this little man, and people sending words of encouragement and hope. Thank you!!!!!
As much as I would like to pretend that I was full of faith and knew God was gonna make things Ok, I wasn’t and I didn’t. I was AFRAID that maybe, like so many other people in so many other places who live with loss and disaster each day that has no explanation, that this little family might have to experience that because God was doing something else. Gratefully, my fears did not materialize and Austin’s doing much much much much better….
- There are times when your tank is empty, and that’s when the prayers of others who aren’t on empty can help carry you, if you just ask.
- The community of faith will respond if asked and their prayers may touch God’s heart, and keep yours from breaking.
- Pray. Ask others to pray. Pray some more.
- You don’t have to go through it alone….ask for help! Others can believe even when you can’t.
- Don’t forget to give thanks, regularly, privately, publicly and every other way as a matter of habit and discipline.
- Maybe, for now, I’m gonna focus on gratitude, and quit reading the Jeremiah sections (one of our amazing friends-a spiritually wise lady I really respect, said there was a time in her life where she couldn’t do a bunch of Psalms at once-they were too violent, and the priest just told her to pick a different reading….God bless him!)
To the two or three people who might read this, thank you. To all those who prayed for Austin and his family, THANK YOU SO SOSOSOSOSOSOSO MUCH!
Maybe there are times when the fear of God takes precedence over the love of God….and maybe whether or not I LIKE Him is irrelevant?
(PS I printed out the six pages of comments and prayers ya’all put on Facebook for Austin and his family and gave it to his Mommy and Daddy for his baby book)