Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Promise of Himself

I don't really know what I want to post about today, but I know my mind is a buzz.  I am continually working to rest in the Lord, to let Him be enough for me.  I am at Starbucks right now thanks to my dear college-aged cousins who volunteered to watch Caleb and Joel for a few hours, so I could get some time alone.  I spent quite awhile in Psalm 34 when I first got here, and it's a Psalm I've visited several times since Samuel's death.  Different verses jumped out at me today than the last time I read it a couple of months ago. 

Today I am dwelling on verse 8: "Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him."  I am trying to remember that He is indeed good (that part is usually pretty easy for me because I have experienced it with such intensity and clarity) and that what He gives me is good too.  This part is harder for me to remember.  What God gives me is good, for "every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17).  And I am thinking about the joy of trusting in Him.  When I trust Him, I don't have to fear what is -- or isn't -- ahead.  I can have the joy of knowing everything is in His hands, and I don't have to worry about the next step.  This is harder for me these days because I now know how painful the next step could potentially be, but then I am reminded how faithful God has been in my heartbreak, how He has given me what I need to face the death of my son and to lean on Him in the sorrow and now in the hope for what is before us.

Verses 9 and 10 both reference God's taking care of and providing for His children, and I find myself wrestling with these verses.  Verse 9 says, "...for those who honor him will have everything they need," and verse 10 says, "...But those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing."  In some ways, they don't feel true to me because He didn't give me Samuel, whole and well, to watch grow up and to have run into my arms someday.  But what has God given me?  He's given me Himself.  And He is truly all I need.  Do I want more?  Well, yes.  But has He given me Himself in abundance?  Absolutely.  Has He been everything I've needed to grieve my son and to find there is still joy and goodness and wonder in life even without Samuel?  Yes.  And is there any good thing greater than my God?  Not a chance. 

I find myself thinking about the main promise God has made to me.  He has promised me Himself.  He has not promised me an easy life, healthy children, more children in the future, or a life spent living out everything I hoped for.  But He has given me the ultimate promise: life with Him.  I cannot look forward and expect God to grant me what I ask.  I can't expect Caleb and Joel to stay healthy and to live to be old men, married, with plenty of kids to play at my feet as a grandma.  I can't expect God to open my womb again someday and to bless me with a healthy child with a perfectly working heart and strong, full lungs.  I can't expect Him to let Bryan and I live out our days together in relative health.  But I can expect Him to walk with me down any path that may arise.  And He will be all that I need in every trial, in every fear, in every devastation.  He will be "close to the brokenhearted;" He will "rescue those who are crushed in spirit" (verse 18).  And I can count on Him to keep that promise.  He has promised to be enough for me.  Can I rest in that?  Can I live a joyful, satisfied, content life with only the promise of Him?  Today I can answer the question with a firm "yes," but I keep having to work my way back to that place of peace and confidence.  It's a daily reaffirming of my faith in Him and His goodness and sufficiency for me. 

For today, I can say I truly believe "The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one" (Psalm 34:19).  He rescues me with Himself and with the promise of His presence in every moment and every turning.  And I am praying for the faith to rest and rejoice in that truth.


  1. Thank you again for your open heart and strong faith. I've commented once before. I suffered 2 miscarriages last year and I'm trying to move forward. The thought of becoming pregnant again is so scary!! Your words are so inspiring to me. I wish you and your family the best in the new year.

  2. Having just survived the second Christmas season with out my wife, I can identify with what you write. God hasn't promised an easy life; He has promised to walk with us through whatever happens in our lives. Thank you for your eloquence in expressing how you are processing your grief. It helps me too.

  3. Friends, I've tried to post twice now, and I'm tired of typing out the same thing over and over. I'll tell you on the phone! I love you! Ki