When God has other plans…

Last Wednesday evening I was approached by one of the women at our church and asked if we would be willing to share the story of Jen’s miscarriage with a friend of hers.  It seems like such a long time ago that we lost the baby and I hadn’t thought about it in quite a while.  Not because I didn’t care or had gone cold, but since baby Lydia was born last December we’ve been occupied and life continues to move forward.  The baby that we never knew had faded in my memory.

As I thought about this it seemed only too obvious to share this experience.  God is glorified in our lives and for us He receives much more glory in the difficult times.  I say this to our shame because we should be praising Him all day and everyday but we have a much deeper sense of our need for Him when things are tough.  When we don’t have the answers, these are the times the Lord draws us to Himself in a much more intimate way.

Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am alone and afflicted.

Today I have the privilege to introduce you to my beautiful wife of over 21 years.  I trust you will be blessed by what she wrote.

I spent some time going through my journal today.  I have not opened it for awhile, let alone written in it.   It was edifying to see the Truths in scripture and the constant grace He has poured out to our family. Reading what I had written and seeing the many blank pages following my last entry has prompted me to start writing in it again.  Anyway, I DID write about the miscarriage.  It isn’t very long or poignant but I’ll share it with you.

Feb. 5, 2011
Psalm 9:1-2 ”I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart:  I will tell of all Your marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in You:  I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High”.

I’m not the same person I was two months ago.  Again, through God’s grace I am growing, learning to Trust in Him with everything.
What a gift, if only for a moment.  I’ll never forget the excitement and twinkle in my husband’s face when he found out I was pregnant.  It was a Thursday.  It also was a Thursday, about 7 weeks later, when I found out this precious gift would stay with Jesus.  How could I be sad, if only for selfish reasons?  It’s God’s will and He is my perfect Father.  Grace and Madeline were so excited for the news of a brother or sister–that is after the initial shock wore off  🙂  They would have loved this child so beautifully but God’s love for this child is perfect, so, I will keep Him as my focus and praise Him for His purposes.

Kevin had been on “cloud nine” all month!  I am grateful He trusts in You also.  Lord, may we find contentment in Your will for our lives no matter what we may want for ourselves.  Thank you for Your many blessings.  You know my heart-I couldn’t possibly name them all!  You know what I am asking today even if I can’t put it into words.  Please provide comfort, understanding and clarity to our family, if it is Your will. Love, Jen

that’s all I wrote.

I do remember the spring in Kevin’s step, the air about him, the smile you couldn’t wipe from his face, the excitement in his voice as he called people to tell them about the pregnancy.  I remember us holding each other in the early morning as I got back into bed, after a night of bleeding and I had to tell him I was losing the baby.  I remember us being sad and surprised about the unexpected loss but so grateful at the same time for God’s presence in our lives. His embrace was very tender and I was so grateful to have him as my husband.   1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” and Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

As I did my daily Bible reading, the following scripture verses and the previous sprang forth and I could share them with my children, as Madeline and Grace were very sad in the following days.  It was amazing to read to them, directly from the Bible, His Truths. It was a blessing to share God’s Word with them, talk about them.  They could see I trusted the Words I read.  They took comfort in my faith and their hearts were calmed.

Isaiah 55:8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways.  And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 43:18-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

 “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

In closing, I found this quote in my journal from Oswald Chambers,”FAITH IS DELIBERATE confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”  I praise God that we could have deliberate faith during that time.  I almost put “during that time of loss” Today I can ask, Was it loss? How much did we lose?  He gave us so much!  He gives us so much!

Love, Jen

Does God have a sense of humor?

“God sure does have a sense of humor!”

Have you ever said this?  I know I have and I’ve heard it a lot more than I’ve said it, so I wanted to see if it’s true or not.  I know what you are thinking; what an odd topic and who cares.  Please hang in there and let’s see if it matters.

I recently heard someone say this and it really had me thinking about whether God does have a sense of humor or not so I began a search to see what I could find.  I searched under the attributes of God from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.   I scoured the incommunicable and communicable attributes of God but couldn’t find anything resembling a sense of humor.

I decided to dig into the scriptures to see what God’s word has to say.  God talks a lot about laughter so this might be a good sign that God has a sense of humor.  So what does God find funny or what does He laugh about?

Psalm 59:8 But You, O LORD, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision.

Proverbs 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes…

This doesn’t sound like God is enjoying a good chuckle with the rest of the God Head, far from being comical God the Father seems to be pretty serious about this.  Maybe God the Son is a little more lighthearted.

John 11:33-35 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  And He said “Where have you laid him?”  They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him:  He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Nope, the Son seems pretty serious, how about Solomon he was very wise, certainly he enjoyed a good laugh now and then.

Proverbs 14:13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.

Ecclesiastes 2:2 I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?”

Ecclesiastes 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.

Ecclesiastes 7:6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

This is just a small portion of what I found and I don’t find a strong biblical example of God having a sense of humor.  The best thought I had is since man is created in God’s image and we have a sense of humor God must also and what I think people are really trying to say is that God had a different plan for my life and they really find that funny when they realize those plans were different from their own.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 21:1 A king’s heart is like streams of water in the LORD’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses. 

Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

In my flesh I really love the idea of a funny god, a god that I can hang with and laugh and joke and have a good time.  We are buddies, we are pals.  This god dismisses my sin and says “it’s okay Kev, you’ll do better next time” He’s like my grandpa, he loves me no matter how I behave because at the end of the day I always go home to my parents.  He doesn’t have the day to day responsibilities.

In stark contrast to this god is the God of the bible.  He’s serious about correcting the ones He loves (Proverbs 3:12), He cares about holiness (1 Peter 1:16), and He desires a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51) from those that claim they are His.  He hates sin so much that it pleased Him to crush His Son (Isaiah 53:10).  This God goes to extremes to rescue the lost (Philippians 2:7-8), he is not my buddy, and he is not my pal, He is my Lord and my God (John 20:28).

When I was saved I began a relationship with the God that showed me my sin.  He challenged me to understand that my sin and your sin put His Son on the cross.  Yes I must come to an understanding of that but I must also keep in mind that it was His plan, and the Son went willingly (John 10:18).  I cannot fully grasp the glory of a God that paid such a price and I’m a beneficiary of that grace, for His glory.  Not for my benefit although I benefit but so He can receive honor and praise by His people (Ephesians 2:10).

James 4:9-10 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

If you are a believer remember when you lamented and mourned over your sin.  Remember that God hates your sin so much He killed His Son to pay for it.  If you are a un-believer you are separated from God and the wrath He poured out on His Son will one day be poured out on you, so repent and turn from that sin and be saved (Acts 2:37-39, Acts 8:21-23).

Proverbs 9:6 Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.

It’s no laughing matter.