Sunday, August 26, 2012
The Mystery Of the Wonders He Performs
By Rick Marschall
Special to ASSIST News Service
SWARTZ CREEK MI (ANS) -- Life happens. As they say. So does death, which merely is to repeat oneself: “Both life and death are parts of the same Great Adventure,” Theodore Roosevelt said, after his son Quentin was shot down over France.
How do we respond to death? Or to the mystery of life? Ironically: how to cope with death’s certainty and to life’s fragility? Sometimes we “lose it.” Sometimes we see through a glass darkly. Sometimes those of us left behind proceed headlong into the business of life. Sometimes we pray to discern God’s will. Sometimes we meditate upon His Word.
My idea is that God does not always hand us multiple-choice quizzes. Sometimes we can do all these things together. They are not mutually exclusive responses.
But always we should trust in His mercy. This is HARD sometimes, fighting the tendency to lean to our own understanding. “His wisdom, yes,” we want to cry; “but where is the mercy?”
Almost exactly a year ago our family was saddened by a miscarriage my daughter Emily suffered, and I wrote a message that attempted to collect my thoughts. This week my other daughter, Heather, lost her baby. Emily and Norman’s came early in her pregnancy; Heather and Patrick’s daughter Sarah, however, was born and died after nine days. The challenges of a 24-week-term birth eventually overwhelmed Sarah’s wracked little body. And I am thinking of a friend this week whose nephew drowned, was recovered but was unconscious, and died after several days.
Our natural minds tend to take over when we try to understand the ways of God.
It is a natural idea that, say, God wants the little baby in Heaven more than He wants her down here. But if that were the entire story, we should wonder why a few days of life, which ultimately adds grief to parents’ joy, can be part of His plan. Yet it is. That we cannot understand it all means, basically, that we are not God, and His mysteries are just that: mysteries. There is sin in the world, so there is death in the world. But after our questions and cries and withdrawal, the mysterious ways of God are to be accepted, embraced, and trusted.
One thing is certain. We shall be united with the living God, and re-united with the healed Sarah, in Heaven some day. We will look around for her, and when we see her, we will have to wait one more brief moment to embrace her, because she will be in Jesus’ lap and in His arms, and then He will pass her to us.
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Some of my meditations on these subjects are well reflected in the lyrics of a gospel song from a few years ago. It is not a line-for-line representation of anyone’s actual thoughts over a baby’s death; not anyone I know. But surely many people, from casual Christians to devoted believers, entertain some of these thoughts. Please listen to the moving performance, and watch the tender pictures. And meditate.
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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.