I have been having an email discussion with Mrs. Wilson lately, and she has been delightfully encouraging in her typical straight-forward manner. She never makes herself vulnerable, but she has a talent of pinpointing what others need to hear about themselves & their relationship with others/God/the world/what-have-you.
She reminded me, “God is not doing this to you, He is doing it for you.”
Of course, it frequently doesn’t feel like the death of my children is for me. But she’s right. I know she is.
And I think, as my darling Steven pointed out, it is for more than just me or us or our family.
Losing our three children has affected many people, and given us opportunities to minister to many people, and helped us learn alongside others to recognize the image of God even in little tiny people who fit in the palm of my hand.
(It has greatly expanded our view of what being Pro-Life even is; it has grown our view of covenant children in general; it has taught us to reach out to others in affliction; it has shown us to tame our tongues specifically around people in affliction… The list could go on and on.)
Anyway. She has an excellent new post. I could just link you.
But sometimes it’s nice to have it copied here for you too. And for my own reference, too, in the future.
When I need an extra reminder.
I need reminders frequently. 🙂
I know that many of the readers of this little blog have many heartaches and troubles, and what I write can only address a tiny bit of a tiny bit of the many disappointments and discouragements that Christian women can meet with in all stages of life.
But thankfully, God doesn’t rely on me or on my blog to satisfy the hearts of His people. If so, we would all be sunk! Nevertheless, I hope He can and will use me to encourage some of you who have heavy hearts about miscarriages, infertility, or the unmarried state. And how can I do that? By pointing you to the excellencies of Christ. You have a Savior and He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He, and only He, can enable the Christian to find hope and comfort, satisfaction and joy in Him and no where else. So I point you to Jesus. Look to Him for help and strength.
And as you do that, here is something to consider. I believe that if you can identify your trouble as what the Bible calls affliction, then you will have a handle with which to process your troubles. This is actually a very good place to start. This childlessness, this singleness or widowhood, this loss of a child or miscarriage is an affliction, and the Bible has much to say about affliction in this life. God always uses such things to sanctify us, to conform us to the image of His Son, to teach us to follow Christ. It is good to be needy because we have a Savior who loves to bestow comfort in affliction, joy in suffering, and help for the helpless. If we never had need, would we have an idea of His matchless grace?
Afflictions are good for us because they are God’s schoolroom in which He teaches His children many things. Learn to listen and learn to be a good student in affliction. He does all things well. This is not an accident, but part of His good (though hard) Providence in your life. This is an opportunity for faith, without which we will not see the Lord.
The rest of the saints need to also identify affliction. When we realize that to be childless is a hard affliction, we will deal differently with our sisters who long for children. This doesn’t mean we will pity them in an ungodly or unproductive way, but we will look to encourage them. If someone is in a wheel chair or using a walker, we know that is an affliction. But loneliness and heartache can be camouflaged. So be tender of those women and offer them a hand.
Turning a profit on your troubles means that your goal in them, as well as in all of life, is to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ. So what opportunities has God given you in this affliction? How can you glorify Him in this trial? By trusting Him, believing Him, rejoicing in Him, showing gratitude to Him, and resting there in His grace for you. This is how we glorify Him, and this is what makes it possible for us to enjoy Him and our fellowship with Him forever.
I must close with a little from Samuel Rutherford who knew well what it was to suffer.
Dry wells send us to the fountain.
Christ chargeth me to believe His daylight at midnight.
Look for crosses, and while it is fair weather mend the sails of the ship.