There are moments when I look around and wonder, “Is this my life? How did I get here?” I never wanted my child to die. I never wanted to be sitting here staring at her picture grieving the fact that I will never hold her again this side of Heaven. I never wanted to have to visit the grave of one of my children. I did not plan this. This was not supposed to be in my life, was it?
In our humanity, we plan out our lives in our heads. It looks just right with all the pieces in place. There is nothing missing or scattered. It is serene and beautiful. But, it is a house of cards.
More than likely, you will face a time in your life when what you see before you resembles something more like the aftermath of an explosion rather than the beautiful watercolor painting you had envisioned. One day, you may wake up and say, “Is this my life? How did I get here?”
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'”
Do you think the Israelites looked around at their situation and thought, “What a great life! It is all so beautiful!” No, probably not. But, yet the Lord is adament that His plans are for their welfare. They are plans of hope. There is a future there. It just doesn’t look exactly as they thought it would look.
But the Bible tells us, “The ways of the LORD are right.” (Hosea 14:9b) The loss of my child is somehow “right.” That is hard to say. There are times when I beg the Lord to give her back to me, just for a moment. I promise Him that I will hand her right back to Him. But, if I really think about it, would I truly want my little girl to leave the beauty of Heaven and the comforts of being in our Lord’s presence just so I can hold her during this vapor of a life I live? No, I would not. It would be all selfishness on my part and not at all in her best interest. In fact, it wouldn’t be in my best interest. The Lord had my welfare in mind when He took Emmy. To ask Him to go against that perfect plan, would be going against His authority, and ultimately, the blessings He has in store for me as a result of living within His perfect will.
Take a look at the verses that come after the above passage in Jeremiah…
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” (Jer 29:12-14a)
Do we call upon Him when life is a perfectly painted picket fence? Do we seek Him when the waters are still? Not with the depth of surrender we do when our world is less than perfect.
Losing Emmy was not in my plans, but the Lord held every moment of her little life and her mama’s life in His hands. So yes, this is my life. And I’m here because I’m in the Lord’s will.
But, there is even more to this equation…
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Isn’t that exciting? Every horribly-overwhelming grief-filled moment I endure in this life is serving a purpose, all within His perfect will for me, and it will lack in nothing! I am not going through this trial for no good reason. It is not some random thing that just happened. My faith has been tested…it is producing endurance…and will eventually have a perfect and complete result!
What a beautiful mess!