As Christians we acknowledge that God is in control. What a blessed, comforting truth that helps us get through life. But we especially need to hold tight to that truth when we are going through trials, or rather, as someone has characterized it, when we find ourselves beneath God’s ‘frowning’ providence. Our situation (not having closure on our housing) is certainly important to us, but we are reminded daily of how that pales in comparison to other trials and tribulations. And so we are reminded again and again of thankful we can be. And our providence ‘improves’ when we, by God’s grace, can see God’s undeserved, daily mercies poured out on us in the midst of difficulties.
A book that recently brought that home to my heart in a piercing way is Mary Beth Chapman’s Choosing to SEE. With raw honesty, Mary Beth (the wife of Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman) relates the journey she and her family have been led on by a Good God whose plans were not her plans. It has been a “journey of struggle and hope,” particularly painful after the death of their 5 year old daughter in a tragic accident. Yet from the depths of that loss, she shares how God has helped her and how, although it’s not easy, she is choosing to see God’s continuing love and sovereignty. And she shares how God graciously (and sometimes very unexpectedly) reminds her of who He is and what He has done.
We daily remind ourselves that our Lord is on His throne, and His timing is perfect; and we trust Him. Sometimes it is a minute to minute struggle, but we testify that God’s grace is sufficient, and we will glorify Him in all things. Scripture reveals over and over God’s amazing love for His people; we see His glorious consistency all over the place. Consider Ezekiel 36:8-11, “But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Notice how many times God says “I will”; He is the Lord and He will do it! And how amazing to hear God say, “I am for you”, and to understand that He is doing this for the glory of His own name! Praise God! He is the Lord! May my life proclaim that fact as I trust Him in and for all things.
Your love and prayers and concern are a great encouragement to us, and we thank God for you and the others who are lifting us and our needs up to the throne of grace. We pray that as we minister together with you in the years ahead, that we would have keen eyes to see others who need that same encouragement to SEE, and that we will be able to come alongside of them and point them to our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To God be the glory!
P.S – Along with Choosing to SEE, two other books offer similar help. Sharon Betters, the wife of a PCA pastor, wrote Treasures in Darkness after the death of their teenage son. J. I. Packer’s book A Grief Sanctified, brings to us puritan pastor Richard Baxter’s writing following his wife’s death. Both of these I would highly reccommend.