It Will Be Well

August 31, 2010 at 1:21 pm (Articles, Attitudes, Godly Living, Trust, Worship) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Posted by Abigail

I’m losing a baby.

My client left the dimly lit counseling room where we’d been talking for the past couple of weeks, still intent on abortion.  There was nothing I could do to change the outcome.  The hardest part was this:  I’d known from the beginning that I was fighting a losing battle.  As soon as I heard the facts stacked up against her I knew that abortion would sound like the overwhelmingly best option.

But even as she walked out, and I ran upstairs to the bathroom and cried, the tears were just a cleansing.  Because God is not dead.  This path I had walked was rugged and hard, discouraging and wearying.  The whole way I was trembling, aware of just how fragile and how stumbling I was.  But I had seen God’s hand.  God’s work.  God’s power.  God’s provision.

Lately, I’ve been walking a lot of these paths.  As I round a bend in my life and I see the valleys stretched out below, I cringe.  I can see the path and I don’t want to walk it.  I’ve walked it before and I know what the end looks like—heartache, failure, confusion, tears.  I hate feeling fragile, wrestling for wisdom and pleading for clarity.  I hate making decisions that seem right, when my heart is torn.  And the lies!  The lies that assault me at the end of these valleys—that the outcome is my fault, that I destroyed what might have been good, that I didn’t do enough, that I was unworthy, that I spoke faulty words, that I have rendered a terrible testimony of the Lord—beat against me like fiery darts.  When I see those valleys loom in the distance, I start looking for short-cuts to avoid that path.

I am a wimp.

Because God is not dead.  The pathway is not about a destination.  There is only one destination of which I am assured—eternity with my Bridegroom.  And this is assured because of the pathway that He walked to purchase my spirit from bondage.  The end of that pathway was death.

Or was it?

Let me tell you a story of humanity.  There came a day when the prophet Elisha passed over to the Gentile city of Shunem.  There he was shown hospitality by a prominent woman.  As time passed, she and her husband built for him a room on the roof of their house.  In his gratitude, Elisha sought for a way to repay her kindness.  Regardless of her wealth, her good marriage, her comfortable circumstances, she lacked one thing: a child.  So Elisha told the Shunamite woman that she would embrace a son.

Her reply?  “Oh no, man of God!  Do not deceive me!”

I can only imagine that this woman’s heart held wounds from years of lack.  Perhaps years of loss.  And as she looked down a path that frightened her, she was afraid of the end.  Because a pathway that might end with joy, also might end with sorrow.

Soon she conceived and gave birth.  And almost as soon, her son suddenly died.

Quietly she laid him on Elisha’s bed and told her husband that she was going to run down to the man of God.  “Why?” her husband asked.  Her only answer:  “Shalom.”  Peace.  It will be well.*

When she came near Elisha, his servant came out to meet her and inquire about her family.  Her only answer, “Shalom.”  Peace.  It will be well.

Then she came to Elisha and flung herself at his feet and her words rushed out in a confused, hurt torrent.  “Did I ask a son from you?  Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?’”

In this moment, it seemed that the pathway had ended in death.  Heartache, failure, confusion, tears.  And she had seen it coming.  She had been afraid.  She hadn’t volunteered to walk this pathway.  Hadn’t she said “Don’t deceive me?”

But along the way she had groped for God’s purpose.  She had gone straight to the source.  To others who asked, she said, simply, “Shalom.”  Peace.  It will be well.  Her grief found expression in trust.

God was not dead.  In a dramatic display of power, which proved that it was not Elisha’s staff, nor even Elisha who held life and death, God raised her son.  About eight-hundred years later, He raised His own son.

The destination of these paths was neither death…nor resurrection.  Those were things that happened along the way—for God’s glory.  The destination was trust.

The pathway Jesus walked opened a way to God—through trust.  His example was trust in the Father as He entrusted His soul to a faithful Creator in doing what was right.  And He gave us something in which to trust—a tangible proof that God is with us.

The results of a pathway are in the hands of a Sovereign God.  But we can look at the pathway Christ walked and the power of God in His resurrection and have hope.  We confidently expect that God will bring us through life…and death…and resurrect us to an eternity with Him.  And if this is our eternal destination, why should we fear any path that lies before us?  If God is for us, who can stand against us? Immanuel means “God is with us.”

When my client walked into the clinic asking about abortion, it was an opportunity.  That hard path I dreaded was an opportunity to do what was right—and trust God to do what is right.  And it was not a path I walked alone.  Not a battle lost, the victory just looked different than I assumed.  And the victory belonged to God.  I’m not losing a baby.  The baby isn’t mine.  What God has done never ends at death.  His work goes on.

As I’ve come down what seems to be the end of several hard and painful paths—torn between hope and hopelessness—I’ve wanted to curl up, cover my head and hold as still as possible.  Maybe it won’t hurt.  Maybe I won’t have to see paths like these again.

But I know I will.  My life may be long ahead of me.  Or it may be short.  But the valleys will always loom ahead until I pass through the last valley.  And trust means that I don’t have to fear the valleys, because the Lord is there as well.  I must view them as an opportunity to do what is right—and trust God to do what is right.

He always does.

It will be well.

*The story of Elisha and the Shunamite woman is taken from 2 Kings 4.  According to Keil & Delitzsch (Commentary on the Old Testament, pg 220), the word “Shalom” that the Shunamite woman used means, literally, “Peace.”  It could be used as a simple greeting, but in her case probably denoted more of the concept of “It will be well” or “everthing is fine”—with a goal of politely avoiding questioning.

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Staying Joyful at Home

May 30, 2009 at 4:11 am (Announcements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

joyful at home

Being at home is one thing.  Being joyful at home is another thing entirely.  Jasmine at Joyfully Home has made it her mission, not only to be joyful at home herself, but to encourage others striving for the same goal.  She just wrapped up an excellent series on the topic that we’d encourage you to check out.  Even though her series is geared toward single young ladies, there’s application for the married homemakers as well!

From the top down ways to stay joyful at home:
Way Number One: Build a strong relationship with your mother.
Way Number Two: Find your sufficiency in the King of Kings.
Way Number Three:  Stay busy and useful in the sphere where the Lord has placed you.
Way Number Four: Learn to be a supportive daughter.
Way Number Five: Learn to accept reproof and filter criticism.
Way Number Six: Don’t be afraid to answer legitimate questions; but don’t let speculation cause you to fear.
Way Number Seven: Get to know your siblings.
Way Number Eight: Find the blessing in difficult circumstances.
Way Number Nine: Be a seed-planter.
Way Number Ten: Contribute to a joyful atmosphere.

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Judgment and Blessing

January 13, 2009 at 11:23 am (A Slice of Life, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

judgment-and-blessing
Posted by Lauren

Woe to you who call good evil
And call evil good
The Lamb will come
When time is done
And all will be understood.

Woe to you who lead the blind
Being blind yourselves
The Light will come
When night is done
And punish the sons of hell.

Woe to you who wash the outside
Ignoring filth within
The Judge will come
The Righteous One
And do away with sin.

Blessed are you who fall on grace
Believing in the Savior
Your Prince will come
The Mighty One
And shower you with favor.

Blessed are you who follow the Lamb
Making Him your treasure
Your Joy will come
The glorious Son
To be with you forever!

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All Things Well

November 7, 2008 at 1:33 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

abigail

And they were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak!” ~Mark 7:37

Dissatisfaction, restless urge
From my weary soul be purged
And with the strength to shout and sing
Stand before the Lord, thy King
What He chooses none can tell
But He doeth all things well.

Doubt and fear, sharp sorrow cease
Be filled instead with heaven’s peace
Peace with God means peace of soul
He comes to make the broken whole
What His plans are, none can tell
But He doeth all things well.

Complaint and bitterness depart
Fill with content, oh broken heart
His load is easy, burden light
And He disperses bonds of night
Of His wisdom none can tell
But He doeth all things well.

Thoughts of self flee from my head
Crown Him in their place instead
Vanish plans to make me great
Kneel before Him. Will to wait.
Of His promise I can tell
He will do it. All is well.

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