As Christians who have been called by God out of darkness and into His glorious light, He has opened our eyes to see His sovereign hand in even the smallest of blessings. A couple of weeks ago, we had a giant storm. After Megan woke up several times to check for tornadoes during the night :), we went out in the morning to find this in our front yard.
This huge limb broke off the tree out front and landed branches down right next to our van...and then stood straight up in the air without falling to the right or the left. God could have made that limb fall on top of our van and crush the roof . . . but He didn't. He could have landed it next to our van and allowed it to tip over, breaking the windows . . . but He didn't. There was certainly no reason why we deserved to experience His kindness that day, but He decided to show it to us anyhow in order to remind us that in the midst of life's storms, He is in perfect control of everything.
The Lord Taketh Away . . .
Some of you know how excited we were a couple of months ago when we found out Megan was pregnant again. We had previously lost a baby through a miscarriage, and with other following complications, it had been a number of months before we were even able to try for children again. When we finally got pregnant we were very happy, but waited to share the news with many people until Megan was farther along. Soon came the first ultrasound and we were relieved to see our baby moving around on the screen--and with a healthy heartbeat to boot.
We immediately informed our family and friends of our happy news, only to find out a few days later that we had, once again, lost our baby. In the days to follow we were overwhelmed by the love and support of our family and friends. From the meals, to the cards, gifts and flowers, to Megan's mom coming to stay for a week to help with the girls, we were blessed to know there are so many people who care for us.
More than these things, though, we once again experienced God's inexpressible peace and comfort in a time of great sorrow and loss. This peace and comfort isn't the result of a mindless trivialization of life's hardships. It is the result of an unshakeable trust in Jesus Christ--the Holy, Sovereign, Omniscient, All-Good, Perfect Creator of the Universe. Our peace and comfort result from knowing that God the Father, before time began, chose to save Megan and I through the sacrifice of His son, and to orchestrate everything in our lives with one goal in mind--to make us more like Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29). Sometimes he uses little blessings like a fallen tree limb to remind us of His goodness. At other times He asks us to trust that He knows what He's doing when He allows us to experience a heartwrenching miscarriage. Both are the careful work of a loving Father who knows what is best for His children, and both result in a resolute faith that is strengthened by His hand. In the New Testament book of First Peter, after introducing the wonder of salvation in Christ, God reminds Christians that we can rejoice even in trials, because like a fire purifies gold, so trials in our lives purify our faith, resulting in praise to God and the salvation of our souls (1 Pet. 1:6-9). What a joy to know that the God of the Universe has our best interests at heart!! We are so thankful for Jesus and for the fact that we will one day be with Him forever.
We know that there are some who would routinely put events like fallen tree branches and miscarriages into the categories of "coincidence" or "nature." Nothing could be farther from the truth. The One true God created the world and is still at work in the lives of His children, who are His through faith in Christ. Only those who repent of their sin and trust in His payment on the cross on their behalf can know this presence and work of God in their lives. Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus that He has opened our eyes to this truth--we pray that more eyes would continue to be opened through the gospel.
Thanks again to everyone God used to encourage and uphold us in this difficult time. We love you and thank God for you every day!