Walking in the Midst of the Fire

fire

It was a year ago, March 5, that I had to bury Isaac, my newborn son. It seems so long ago. I was meditating on my experience this morning. I was asking God to not let me forget what I learned about Him through my little baby.

 

When we go through a severe trial, the question comes: “Where is God?” Somehow, we have bought Satan’s presupposition “If God is good then nothing bad should happen to you”. If we buy into that lie then it leads us to conclude: “If something bad happens then God is not good or He isn’t present.” I want to address this in my post today.

 

You might wonder, “Where was God when your baby was in NICU struggling to live?” Isaac had to go on dialysis which was $600.00 a day. After a doctor friend discovered Isaac caught pneumonia on day eight of life the hospital covered the cost of dialysis. When we needed a neonatal catheter, which were not available in the country where we serve as missionaries, a couple that had imported one for their son were willing to donate it. God was showing us there was no need that He could not meet. As we stared at the huge medical bill after Isaac died, God began to pay that bill through many of our friends and family members without our prompting.

 

After Isaac departed to be with the Lord, his body was resting at the funeral home awaiting burial. The wife of the funeral home owner was barren. The couple shared with us how having Isaac in their home brought such peace and blessing. Their business had improved while Isaac was there. A very worldly husband of a lady who attends our church stood by our side to make all the funeral arrangements. He had been hardened toward Christianity but was moved with compassion to help us. A couple who were on the verge of divorcing, upon hearing about our severe trial, decided to persevere and restore their marriage. God moved in the hearts of many because of Isaac’s life.

 

On the day of the funeral, we held a memorial service at our small community church. I happen to order a flower arrangement of all white flowers. I was so touched when a member of our church brought in another arrangement almost identical to the one I purchased. God was showing me He was there and cared about those delicate details. God was there when I delivered the eulogy of my dear baby Isaac. I was enabled to deliver the eulogy with strength, love, tenderness and poise. In the culture where we live, the father carries the casket but God gave me the strength and honor to carry the casket with him. This is something unheard of here. Mothers are devastated and shattered at the funerals of loved ones, particularly children. God’s strength was seen as I helped carry my son’s casket.

 

There were not a few women who told me that they had never seen such strength in a woman. They commented that if it were them they would have been destroyed. They couldn’t figure out the joy that I radiated when they themselves where stricken with grief. I realized that Jesus was walking with me through the midst of the fire just as Daniel was thrown into the fiery furnace and he was un-singed.

 

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged from the fire, Nebuchadnezzar spoke in Daniel 3:29. He said, “There is no other God that can deliver after this sort”.

 

I recall I had been given a word of encouragement from a dear friend in Christ. Before burying Isaac, he told me that my grief would last 40 days. I thought it was a joke and laughed thinking about how impossible that is. The death of a child is horrendous. It brings unspeakable grief. I recall in the twilight hours after Isaacs funeral that these words came to my heart, “It is finished.” The next day I was perplexed cause I didn’t experience the grief I had just one day prior. My husband helped me remember what my friend said about the forty days. From the day I want into the hospital until the day of his funeral were forty days exactly. God delivered me. I can truly say, “There is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” I may be sad at times but I am no longer engulfed by it.

 

You may be walking in the midst of the fire. Know that the Lord Jesus Christ is standing with you. He will deliver you. God is using this for His glory and none of it is in vain. May others say of you, “Blessed be your God who delivered you because you trusted him and yielded your body, that you might not serve nor worship any god, except your own God.” Dan 3:28

 

“Blessed is the one whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca (tears) make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” Psalm 84:5-6

 

Till next time beloved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

House of Mourning

tears

“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2

We live in a day and age in which the old fashioned values of our parents, grandparents and greatgrand parents have almost ceased to exist. If you just look at the news or social media outlets you can ascertain what we now value as a world culture. Everything is designed to escape the hardships in life. Beauty to escape aging, vacation to escape work, movies to escape boredom. Previous generations didn’t consider aging, hard work nor boredom things to be dreaded. They were considered stages and aspects of life to be experienced. In fact, if you spend the majority of your time pursuing the former it would have been considered superficial, jovial or immature. I guess that’s what the newer generations have become; a bunch of work loathing, pleasure seeking, age defying loafers.

Remember the old adage “ If it feels good just do it”. That’s become our highest virtue. But, here we have in Ecclesiastes something altogether different. Solomon was saying that’s it’s better in the “house of mourning”. So he is suggesting being in a place of pain is somehow better than “the house of feasting”.

I find myself at times breaking down in tears. I feel like a valve giving way to pressure built up. It’s the grieving process that I am going through since the death of my son. God in His wisdom created human beings to dispense of our grief in steps. Although we want it now, since we don’t want any kind of pain in our lives, it is something that takes time.

Solomon talks about how in the house of mourning we realize that is the end of all men. One day our lives will come to an end. That’s something that, without hope in God, we all dread. It says, “the living will lay it to his heart.” It means to reflect upon or to ponder.

I can say that in this time of mourning God is building something in me of deep meaning and value. I now desire to use my time for things that have purpose and will have effect long after I am gone. The trivial and transient things in this life no longer have an appeal for me. Mourning truly has a purpose. It clarifies our priorities. It helps us to aim for higher in life. It builds our character to become people who can make a difference in the life of someone else for the good.

Sometimes going to the house of mourning just means taking the higher and sometimes painful road. God may be asking to make the harder choice. It’s going to cost you something. But, know it’s going to do a deeper work in your life. Let Him walk with you every step of the way.