Monday, November 15, 2010

Into the lion's den a year later

Last week a friend had a baby boy. She had planned a home birth but ended up delivering her baby in a hospital. It was the very hospital where Samuel was born. The kids and I happened to be in town for a doctor's appointment and wanted to drop by some food and gifts for them.


It was strange. I didn't want to go...I did...but I didn't. I thought it would be fine, we'd just swing by since we were already so close, drop off the things at the nurses' desk and leave.


But as we entered the maternity ward and heard the different newborn babies crying I started to feel the walls closing in on me. I felt sick. My daughter kept asking question after question, my son was asking questions, I was lost weaving my way through the maze of corridors, the crying babies...I heard myself saying "we're going to find the nurse's desk, give them this stuff and get out of here..."

Not very comforting to the little people. Mama was stressed.

As we rounded a corner my sons pointed a ginger finger and said, "You were down there Mama." None of it looked familiar. I just remember my view in the room.


Finally, we were on our way out...we passed a waiting room. My oldest son said, "Mama, there's the room. That is where we were. I tried to sleep. That's where Mrs. D knit all night, where Desiree and Dawna slept." He spoke in an awed hushed voice, as if he were speaking of a special, sacred place.

He said, "I've always wanted to come back here." He said it in such a happy, satisfied way.

"Why?" (I never wanted to set foot in here again.)

"Because...we are so different. We are changed because of what happened here. God used it to change us." He spoke with a grateful tone and with a maturity far beyond his 13 years.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Remembering Samuel's birth - October 21

Desiree, Samuel and Dawna
Our midwives cared for Samuel in life and in death


The little birds trust God, for they go singing
From northern woods where autumn winds have blown,
With joyous faith their trackless pathway winging
To summer-lands of song, afar, unknown.

Let us go singing, then, and not go sighing;
Since we are sure our times are in His hand,
Why should we weep, and fear, and call it dying?
'Tis only flitting to a Summer-land.




He flew away to a summer-land. I like that. It feels so much nicer than thinking about how someone you love died.

He was our little bird, the Lord called him and he had to fly.

Hmm.

I get stuck on the dying part. It's hard to keep your mind straight. You know, focused on what is real, not what feels real here and now, but what is eternally real.

I had been thinking about Samuel's birthday approaching and felt, well, sad. I wanted to do something, to mark it. I didn't want it to just pass without doing 'something' special. One day, my friend Renee called and I just happened to be crying about it (literally) and happened to answer the phone and actually tell her the truth. Later, she surprised me by planning to have Desiree, Dawna and her come over for the day. Desiree has been our midwife with both Isabel and Samuel. Dawna was her assistant. They were all there that night Samuel was born so it seemed appropriate to have them come to remember.



So they came on a crisp, windy fall day. In anticipating his birthday I had this desire to make a chocolate cake with fluffy, light blue frosting. I had to do it and I loved making it. It was a so much fun to frost with. It felt like an art project.


Just look at it. Doesn't it look fun?


FLUFFY WHITE FROSTING
This frosting tastes like marshmallows, has a beautiful shine, and holds its shape well.

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.

In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

This is a perfect frosting for cupcakes-you can color it any color, then just dip the cupcakes in the bowl to frost them (you don't even need a knife!) Since it contains egg whites, it will dry out and become meringue-like if left uncovered. Keep the cake or cupcakes tightly covered and they should stay moist.


So they came for an afternoon, to remember, to discuss, to acknowledge...what happened, how it happened. To sit and talk about things often not talked about, things people are afraid to bring up. We talked about how we still can't believe it happened.


Here is the Baby Surprise Sweater that I (and my friend) knit for Samuel.
I learned to spin yarn for this little jacket.
We talked about the ultrasound, when we found out, how we found out, how Desiree stood in her bedroom on the phone and felt like she was in a dream. She couldn't believe she was going to have to tell us this news about another baby.

We talked about the night he was born. How afraid and alone I felt. How I dreaded doing it all again.

How Renee came and sat up all night long in the waiting room knitting and knitting, sometimes falling asleep knitting on this beautiful jacket (Baby Surprise Jacket) so that it would be finished by morning when Samuel was born.


How after seeing Samuel's lifeless body, Renee had gone home and laid on her bathroom floor and sobbed realizing how powerless we are, there is nothing we can do. We are the Lord's. He reigns in heaven and earth and does as He pleases.

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" Daniel 4:35

If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, 'What are you doing?' Job 9:12

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Romans 9:20

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11

The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:6


What did we learn and how has his life affected ours?

We talked about what I could have done differently? Is there anything that we can think of that may have caused this? Of course, you just rack your brain to try to come up with solid answers or reasons...something you can know for sure, but these are exercises in futility. The Lord reigns. He does as He pleases to accomplish His purposes.

Something that dawned on me the other day was that the Lord could have taken our first two babies. It could have been something that happened before we had any other children, then this would all just be a distant story to them. But He waited until they were involved. He is actively training them too. He is taking an interest in my children, He wants to teach them through this. He didn't want them to miss out on the jewels of suffering and loss. It's not just about my husband and I.


I love Dawna. Here she is pictured at the hospital a year ago. She played her guitar and sang worship songs before, during and after Samuel was born...

...and again on his birthday in our living room.



Dawna sat and held Samuel so tenderly. I remember her holding him, she had her forehead to his forehead and she was talking to him. I wonder what she said?

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Psalm 116:15






I wanted to share a little bit of the blessing that Dawna has brought with her music to this whole experience. She was there before, during and after Samuel's birth. Her worship was so sweet during such a hard time. I filmed a bit of her playing the other day on Samuel's birthday.


We had an apologetics meeting to go to that night. I had to bring something in honor of Samuel's birthday.

It wasn't spoken or announced and most people didn't know but I knew, and my kids knew...those little cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles were a small offering in remembrance of our son's birthday. To acknowledge the silent yet gigantic, gaping, bloody hole that exists in our family.

People are missing.

Happy Birthday our Sweet Samuel. How I wish you could be sitting in a high chair, with light blue, fluffy frosting smeared all over your face and us smiling at you while taking a million pictures, but that was not to be.

It never was.

It was never the plan.

We just thought it was the plan. We assumed. We expected things would go as we planned but God had a different and better plan. It doesn't feel better to me now, but in 100 years I will know how much better it was. And it will have been soooo much better.

So anyway, I made these cupcakes for you.




During the last year the biggest thing that I feel is the need to just be quiet. To sit, to consider, to get through, to survive...again.


This verse in Job has brought me great comfort amidst great sorrow. This is why I feel so quiet.


He knoweth the way that I take.

What else can be said? What can be done? He knows how devastated I am, how dashed my hopes, all that has happened, heard all the careless words spoken...he knows it all and that brings me comfort because I know this is His earth and his world and although things would seem to the contrary, I believe I can trust Him. Read and be comforted yourself...

Streams in the Desert - April 22

He knoweth the way that I take.
Job 23:10

Believer! What glorious assurance! This way of thine-this, it may be, a crooked, mysterious, tangled way - this way of trial and tears. "He knoweth it." The furnace seven times heated - He lighted it. There is an Almighty Guide knowing and directing our footsteps, whether it be to the bitter Marah pool, or to the joy and refreshment of Elim.

That way, dark to the Egyptians, has its pillar of cloud and fire for His own Israel. The furnace is hot; but not only can we trust the hand that kindles it, but we have the assurance that the fires are lighted not to consume, but to refine; and that when the refining process is completed (no sooner - no later) He brings His people forth as gold.

When they think Him least near, He is often nearest. "When my spirit was overwhelmed, then thou knewest my path."

Do we know of One brighter than the brightest radiance of the visible sun, visiting our chamber with the first waking beam of the morning; an eye of infinite tenderness and compassion following us throughout the day, knowing the way that we take?

The world, in its cold vocabulary in the hour of adversity, speaks of "Providence" - "the will of Providence" - "the strokes of Providence." PROVIDENCE! What is that?

Why dethrone a living, directing God from the sovereignty of His own earth? Why substitute an inanimate, death-like abstraction, in place of an acting, controlling, personal Jehovah?

How it would take the sting from many a goading trial, to see what Job saw (in his hour of aggravated woe, when every earthly hope lay prostrate at his feet) - no hand but the Divine. He saw that hand behind the gleaming swords of the Sabeans - he saw it behind the lightning flash - he saw it giving wings to the careening tempest - he saw it in the awful silence of his rifled home.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"

Thus seeing God in everything, his faith reached its climax when this once powerful prince of the desert, seated on his bed of ashes, could say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."

- Macduff

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Long Goodnight by Matthew Smith

I first heard this song on Josh Harris' blog. His beautiful Mom just passed away this month. Before she died, she told him that Christians don't say "goodbye" but only "goodnight".

<a href="http://matthewsmith.bandcamp.com/album/goodnight">Goodnight by Matthew Smith</a>

I journey forth rejoicing

From this dark vale of tears,

To heavenly joy and freedom,

From earthly bonds and fears;

Where Christ our Lord shall gather

All His redeemed again,

His kingdom to inherit.

Goodnight, goodnight till then!



Why thus so sadly weeping,

Beloved ones of my heart?

The Lord is good and gracious,

Though now He bids us part.

Oft have we met in gladness.

And we shall meet again,

All sorrow left behind us.

Goodnight, goodnight till then!



I go to see His glory,

Whom we have loved below:

I go, the blessed angels,

The holy saints to know.

Our lovely ones departed,

I go to find again,

And wait for you to join us.

Goodnight, goodnight till then!



I hear the Saviour calling,

The joyful hour has come:

The angel guards are ready

To guide me to our home,

Where Christ the Lord shall gather

All His redeemed again,

His kingdom to inherit.

Goodnight, goodnight till then!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Death worketh in you


"I was crushed...so much so that I despaired even of life,
but that was to make me rely not on myself,
but on the God who raises the dead." 
II Corinthians 1:8,9



Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.


Streams in the Desert, May 18

Rough packages



"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him."
Psalm 25:14



There are secrets of Providence which God's dear children may learn. His dealings with them often seem, to the outward eye, dark and terrible. Faith looks deeper and says, "This is God's secret. You look only on the outside; I can look deeper and see the hidden meaning."

Sometimes diamonds are done up in rough packages, so that their value cannot be seen. When the Tabernacle was built in the wilderness there was nothing rich in its outside appearance. The costly things were all within, and its outward covering of rough badger skin gave no hint of the valuable things which it contained.

God may send you, dear friends, some costly packages. Do not worry if they are done up in rough wrappings. You may be sure there are treasures of love, and kindness, and wisdom hidden within. If we take what He sends, and trust Him for the goodness in it, even in the dark, we shall learn the meaning of the secrets of Providence. (A.B. Simpson, Streams in the Desert, May 6)


I just love Streams in the Desert. Sometimes I feel like Mrs. Cowman wrote this book just for me. Everyday the Lord uses it to nudge me along. And this one...oh how well this treasure has been hidden from me. And what a costly package Samuel was to unwrap.

How dark and terrible this has all 'seemed' (been). I long for the day when I can knowingly look back and honestly say how dark and terrible that all was but now I see the treasure the Lord gave.


"He maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth and his hands make whole." Job 5:18



Stay firm, He has not failed thee
In all the past,
And will he go and leave thee
To sink at last?
Nay, He said He will hide thee
Beneath His wing;
And sweetly there in safety
Thou mayest sing.





Sunday, April 25, 2010

Has God Predetermined Everything?



John Piper on God's sovereignty. (Go down and pause the music on the lower right hand column.)

"The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD."  Proverbs 16:33

Friday, April 2, 2010

No small tempest

Christ In the Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rembrandt van Rijn 1632


Streams in the Desert - April 1
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." (Job 13:15)
"For I know whom I have believed." (2 Timothy 1:12)


I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
'I trust in Thee.'

I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I will believe it is an all-wise love
Which has refused these things for which I yearn;
And though at times I cannot keep from grieving,
Undimmed shall burn.

I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive.
I will believe the heights for which I strive
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And though I groan and writhe beneath my crosses,
I yet shall see through my severest losses
The greater gain.

I will not doubt. Well anchored is this faith,
Like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale;
So strong its courage that it will not quail
To breast the mighty unknown sea of death.
Oh, may I cry, though body parts with spirit,
'I do not doubts,' so listening worlds may hear it,
With my last breath."


"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."

This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.

Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.

You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may - winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers - no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus.

- Richard Fuller

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Enter the cloud


“The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud."
I Kings 8:12




A few months ago I was reading The Beginner's Bible to my daughter. We came to Exodus when God gave Moses the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai.


God called Moses up to the mountain.
He wanted to talk to Moses.
The mountain shook.
A thick cloud covered it.
There was thunder and lightning.
God had come to the mountain in the cloud.

As I read that I sat there stunned. I couldn't keep reading to my daughter. I just froze as that last sentence boomed inside of my head. GOD HAD COME TO THE MOUNTAIN IN THE CLOUD.

As I sat there frozen, this idea swirled around inside of my brain a few times and hit me smack in the face. The idea that God is in the thunder and lightning. It's exactly opposite of what I had always thought. When God comes down and is near, it can be a very scary and chaotic time.

It's stormy.

It's not always a cloudless blue sky, it can be crazy.

It's scary.




It's not what you think it will be.

I sat there and stared at that picture of the black mountain and the grey clouds and the lightning...I froze, taking it in. I realized that was us.

We were in the cloud.


 A few days later I stumbled across this picture in one of our coloring books.




Again, this image of the swirling storm, the lightning...it's a frightening image. I ripped it out and put it on my dresser. I just felt I needed to save it.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon that coloring page while I was trying to clear off the piles on my dresser. As soon as I saw it I stopped. I strained my brain because it was all coming back to me and at the same time I was putting it together with yesterday's Streams in the Desert reading.



"Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was."   Exodus 20:21

God has still His hidden secrets, hidden from the wise and prudent. Do not fear them; be content to accept things that you cannot understand; wait patiently. Presently He will reveal to you the treasures of darkness, the riches of the glory of the mystery. Mystery is only the veil of God's face.

Do not be afraid to enter the cloud that is settling down on your life. God is in it. The other side is radiant with His glory. "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." When you seem loneliest and most forsaken, God is nigh. He is in the dark cloud. Plunge into the blackness of it's darkness without flinching; under the shrouding curtain of His pavilion you will find God awaiting you.





Again, He is telling me to "wait patiently".


"He will reveal to you the treasures of darkness."

That struck me. We have always referred to our children as our Treasures, we call them T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5. Isabel and Samuel are our treasures of darkness.


"When you seem loneliest and most forsaken, God is nigh. He is in the dark cloud."

Oh, how forsaken we have felt these last many months, and how far God has seemed from us. Although I don't feel his smile upon us, I do take comfort in this. I know He is reaching out to comfort me and reassure me that although we are in the cloud, He is there with us.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

When right looks wrong


Samuel's footprints



Gideon is the son of a friend of mine. He is two years old. The other day, little Gideon toodled around in his fireman's hat at my house eating a tiny apple he picked off our tree. When questioned by his mother on his thoughts about firemen he looked at me and said seriously, "Bad guys."

His mother explained that they had recently watched a bunch of firemen burn down a house.

They set the house on fire.

They broke the windows with axes.

They sat back and watched the house burn to the ground.

In Gideon's mind they were bad guys.


They must have been.

Right?

We know that it was a controlled burn, but to Giddy's mind it was just plain wrong!

My friend shared how this had struck her in regards to our situation. She prayed, "God, do we say you are bad when we really just don't understand what You are doing?"




It reminded me of the March 6th Streams in the Desert. The verse is from Luke 24:21 "We trusted".

Lord, may we continue to trust in you despite the perceived crumbling, tearing or burning down of so many things that we hold dear. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sitting at His feet


I was cooking some meat yesterday. I had some bits that I was going to throw out so I decided to give them to Jack, our weimaraner. He would love them, but they were extremely hot. I told him to sit and 'leave it' and put them in his bowl.

He sat there very still at attention staring at me. He would quickly glance down at the bowl but mostly he sat there staring at me. He didn't take his eyes off me. His head was barely cocked sideways. I felt a little bad for him because I knew how much he wanted it but I also knew that if I let him eat it he would burn his mouth.

I kept working in the kitchen and would glance his way occasionally, he did not move. He was frozen at attention, waiting for me to give the command. He would be ready when he got his okay.

It made me think of the Lord. How different He must see things than we do. Jack may be wondering, "Why can't I have it already Lady? It's right there in front of me. You like torturing me don't you?"

He doesn't know what I know.

It's hot.

It's dangerous.

It's not time yet.

I'm protecting him.

I thought how pleasing it was to me to see him being such a good boy, obeying my command despite how hard it must be for him. It made me want to give him more.

Mostly, I felt it was the Lord reiterating what he had shown me a few days earlier with Jack.

I don't know if I can explain how I feel right now. I feel totally hopeless with nothing to look forward to or hope for. I was wondering where do we go from here? Do we try again? Adoption? I felt frantic inside, wanting to know what is going to happen, how do I move past this place, where there is nothing but painful memories and broken dreams.




So this is where Jack came in. He is a puppy in the top picture. Now he is a BIG boy and he lives in the house with us. We have mostly hardwood floors and he isn't allowed on the carpets.




Yes, that is my foot and Jack's feet. He has some big feet! Do you see those toenails?! When he walks on the hard floors those very toenails make some serious clicking noise. He follows me wherever I go so I get to hear "click click click click" I stop...silence. I start again, "click click click click".

I'm sorry to say it bugs me.




So the other day I walked down the hall (clicking toenails behind me) and went into the bathroom, closing the door and closing him out! Most of the time he will lay down outside the door and wait. This time he walked from room to room looking out of the windows.

All I could hear was "Click click click click....click click click click click click click click click click click click click...click click click click click click...click click click click click click click click click click click click...click click click click click click...click click click click click click click click click click click click...click click click click click click.

It seemed like a lot more clicking than that too!

It was driving me crazy. Why was he walking from room to room like a nutcase?! He is so neurotic. Why does he have to look out of every window and then go back and do them all again? Just lay down outside the door and rest! Wait for me.

DING.

The bell went off in my head.

It was God.



Stop going from room to room looking out every window looking for your answer. You won't find it that way. Just come and sit at my feet. Rest. Listen to me. Wait on me. I alone have the words of life.


The word "burden" is described as being "what Jehovah has given you."




But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  John 6:68


So now you understand why the first story of Jack was more of the same idea. He just sat there waiting for me to tell him when he could eat. And I wanted him to eat it, I was just waiting for the right time.

So that is where I am right now. Trying to sit, trying to rest at the Lord's feet. Reading his word, asking for wisdom, thanking Him for the simple pleasures we have in our life.

Today it was very cold. Today we were thankful for dry wood, a woodstove to heat our house so nicely, a roof over our heads, good food and a wonderful church. (okay there was so much more but I won't list them all)


Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cookies in heaven

Tonight my daughter said "Mama, I'm thinking about our Samuel right now.

I'm thinking that when I get to heaven he will say, "I've been saving some cookies for you."



"Or cake and ice cream"



"and we will all sit down at God's long table to eat."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skipping the dot

Through this whole ordeal with Samuel, our family has had many meaningful discussions. While I was still pregnant T1 (my 12 year old) and I were talking about our life...

I told him that our life just wasn't working out the way I had hoped. Papa and I had tried to serve the Lord since we were married and in my mind, somehow I thought if you are doing the right thing, life will be "good", or maybe it's just that what I thought was good wasn't really as important to God as it was to me. But our life has been hard in many ways of late. My husband was unemployed for most of 2009, we have a FOR SALE sign outside in the front yard...and we were going to be burying another baby. But as I pondered all of these things, I realized that what is most important to me, all that really matters is that we all get to heaven.

My son got really excited and told me that while he was reading this book, he started thinking about how loooong eternity is. It's mind boggling. He said, "Our lives are so short compared to eternity and yet where we spend eternity is all based on this short little period of time that we live."

Then he said, "When you think about it, who cares if our life is bad? Really Mama, WHO CARES?! As long as we make it to heaven. It's all that matters."

It's so true.

If you think of eternity stretched out as a never-ending horizontal line and our life represented by a small dot on this never-ending line, we realize how short our lives are. We can endure hardships for a mere 80-90 years can't we? Especially if we have an eternity of happiness to look forward to?

At Samuel's Memorial service they had an open mic for people to share. My friend's daughter (10 years old) shared that in her Bible study she was reading about how Jesus healed the blind man and how Jesus was the first person the blind man ever saw. Then she said, "Jesus was the first person Samuel saw."


A week after Samuel was born the kids and I were laying on my bed. I said, "Samuel has been in Heaven for one week today."

T1 said, "I remember when you said that about Isabel."

Really?

I did?

And you remember?

That was depressing.

I probably did.

I can't believe my kids had to hear me say that twice in 3 years.





So after I got over that, we lay there talking about what it must have been like for Samuel. We were daydreaming about it. He was in the womb, safe and warm and unaware of things, and then he was in heaven. It must have been like emerging, not as a baby hazily emerges from the womb, but waking up, fully conscious, fully aware...into heaven. That was all he would ever know in his life...heaven.

We lay there staring up at the ceiling, thinking of this concept in quiet contemplation when my son said,

"He skipped the dot."

"Samuel skipped the dot and went straight to the line."


We smiled together (me through tears) at the thought. We had just received a costly nugget of truth from God, something we had worked hard to earn.

We are living the dot.

The dot isn't important.

The line is.

Are you living your dot in order to get to the right line?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Death cannot divide


E'en for the dead I will not bind my soul to grief;
Death cannot long divide.
For is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall
Has blossomed on the other side?
Death doth hide,
But not divide;
Thou art but on Christ's other side!
Thou art with Christ, and Christ with me;
In Christ united still are we.


To us it seems our Samuel and Isabel have slipped through our fingers and are gone forever. But in reality, they are simply on the other side.

As the poem says, Death doth hide, but not divide. We all will live forever. As long as we're living this life, where we live out that forever is yet to be decided.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vineyards in the Wilderness


This is from the Streams in the Desert devotional for today, my birthday.


"I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness…And I will give her her vineyards from thence" (Hosea 2:14-15)

A strange place to find vineyards--in the wilderness! And can it be that the riches which a soul needs can be obtained in the wilderness, which stands for a lonely place, out of which you can seldom find your way? It would seem so, and not only that, but the "Valley of Achor," which means bitterness, is called a door of hope. And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth!

Yes, God knows our need of the wilderness experience. He knows where and how to bring out that which is enduring. The soul has been idolatrous, rebellious; has forgotten God, and with a perfect self-will has said, "I will follow after my lovers." But she did not overtake them. And, when she was hopeless and forsaken, God said, "I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her." What a loving God is ours! --Crumbs

We never know where God hides His pools. We see a rock, and we cannot guess it is the home of the spring. We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell it is the hiding place of a fountain. God leads me into the hard places, and then I find I have gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs.