Friday, August 28, 2009

When God cuts a story short...

I just received a very tragic news today. A very close friend of ours was rushed to the hospital, at 7 months in her pregnancy, after the doctor failed to hear any fetal heartbeat at the clinic. The cesarean section hours later led to the most difficult revelation this would-be parents have ever received - their baby girl came out into the world silent, still, lifeless.
I could not begin to imagine what it would feel like to be anticipating the delivery of a healthy baby girl in as short as 2 months and finding out that God had placed a "BUT" in this chapter in life. I am so sure the nursery had already been decorated. Walls have already been painted pink. Stuffed hypoallergenic toys were already waiting for the new arrival to the family. The crib was ready for the stork's delivery. Thoughts of anticipation already fill each and every day of mom and dad. Little cries would soon be heard, coos will soon echo through the hallway, giggles will soon fill the air. But all this preparation and anticipation was left high and dry with only a silent burial placed in the end as a period. An empty nest is left by tragedy itself. 
The family mourns, as well as all of us friends during this time. There were no words to say that might help fill the void that's left within the hearts of those left behind. Questions will be raised like the usual "Why?" and "How come?". I don't know the answers... and in times of tribulation like this one, I fall down on my knees and hide under the wings of the Almighty. I pray for my friend's family and for strength and comfort. Then slowly as I lift my head up to finish, I start to ponder on another tragedy that's happened a long, long time ago. A tragedy that struck the life of one man.
He had everything that this life can offer. He had a fat bank account. His children were plenty. He can easily throw parties here and there if he wants to. He has servants that he can call anytime he needed something. He had everything he ever dreamed of in his life. His name was Job. Amidst all this flourishing life that Job had lived, God eventually placed a "but" in his story. I have blessed you so much in this life, Job, BUT... God allowed for Job to be tested beyond measure. And tested he was for he lost, not one child, one sheep, one limb, but he lost all his children and all his property and even lost his good health as he was inflicted with sores all over his body! Sores that he had to scrape! It was very unimaginable but Job received the news - ALL of your children are dead, ALL of your livestock stolen.
Yet, the bible tells us that in all this Job did not sin. His very words challenges me:

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." (Job 1:21) 
I really wonder sometimes if I would ever be a Job in this life. I sometimes wonder if I am also able to say the same when everything else is taken away from me. I always wonder if my real treasure will really be revealed if I get stripped of the very things I hold dear in this life. I wonder but I eventually know the answer. I know that I will be able to praise God still. I know that amidst all tribulations I will still acknowledge that it is HE who gives and takes away. I may grieve alright but I know that in the end, God's purpose will prevail.
I know this because I put my hope in Christ. I trust in His promises. And even if I find myself exhausted after all the mourning and grieving, God will allow me rest. I will be able to hide in the shadow of His wings. I know my soul can rest in Him and Him alone. I know this will also be the case of our friend's family. For they know God and have trusted in His promises. They have placed their hope in Christ. No matter how grim the situation is for now, God holds their future. He has promised of plans that are good and not evil. He has promised to allow ALL things to work for good for those who are called to His purpose. 
For now I grieve with the rest of my friend's family. But together, deep down in the recesses of our hearts, we all know that God is in control. The God who restored Job's latter life more abundantly than his former is ready and able to do so with my friend's family.
(We keep you in our prayers always, D & R. God is our refuge and our comfort. He is in control. We all are here to share that burden with you. Know that your little Dara is safe in our Father's arms right now. She is sleeping quietly, peacefully, and safely breathing in heaven's air. God bless you both now and always...)

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