none can stay his hand

every time i get up to feed wendy in the night (which is still more times than it should be), i pray over her as i lay her back down in her crib. i pray for all the good things anyone would want for their children–salvation one day, a healthy mind and body, a godly future spouse, safety and protection from the evils of the world.

one thing i have been struggling with the past six months or so is how can we trust God when he does not promise to protect our children? there’s the verse that says if you ask for bread, your father isn’t going to give you a snake; but there’s also hebrews 11 (i think?) that says some by faith were saved but some by faith were ripped to bits by lions, etc. so i don’t think God promises that he will protect our children. jesus prayed to not go to the cross if there was another way, and he still had to suffer. so i pray that my children will be safe, knowing that God may choose to not answer that prayer the way i want him to.

this idea i think i learned in my strict-baptist-christian private school when i was little sneaks in–that if we do 90%, god will do the other 10% (god helps those who help themselves). then i try to take on the role of “god” by protecting my children the best i can from every foreseeable danger, then trusting God for those other things that i absolutely can’t control–tornadoes, war, cancer.

i read today daniel 4:34-35

I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him “what have you done?”

in give them grace, elyse fitzpatrick writes “a strong successful family may not be the way he has chosen for us to glorify him. Perhaps his goal is that we glorify him by demonstrating weakness and even failure.”

i had a friend who told me recently that when she feels anxious, she follows her anxieties to their worst conclusion–with worries about her children, sometimes the worst conclusion is that they could die; but if they do, its the Lord’s will.

how to rest in that? how to accept it?

well this blog is more for writing about my questions than my answers, since i have so few of those.

4 thoughts on “none can stay his hand”

  1. I don’t think it’s realistic that anyone blindly accepts pain and death, saying, “It was God’s will.” Even Scripture speaks of a time for mourning. I see earthly pain as being part of a divine purpose that cannot make sense now, in our toddler-believer minds. I pray everyday that I never have to think about autism again. Because it is what I want, and because it would be good for Milo to speak, and it would free us up to do other ministry if we weren’t so concerned with the heaviness at home. But being Milo’s caregivers is our ministry right now. I think, for me – having my expectations (expectations for healthy children) shaken – made me less afraid, because I know, based on events leading up to this point, I can seemingly do “everything right” (breastfeeding, not using crib bumpers, cloth diapering, not practicing cry-it-out, etc.) and my 1+1 does not always add up to 2 because God is One who gives the sum at the end. And He is adding and subtracting completely different things, things I cannot see, mathematical problems beyond my comprehension. Just as Linus thinks if he says “please,” that should automatically mean he gets what he wants – I think, “I prayed about this, I prayed for this, I did this, so why did God not answer my prayer?” I have the pride to think that, in spite of God knowing all, God doesn’t have as smart of ideas as I have. But His love is profound even in suffering and I believe these are things we will only know in heaven. We will point to the sum of it all – perhaps only to be seen in heaven – and say, “That’s why.” For now, we are toddlers who must remember God is holy – and can only behave as such. Therefore, His decisions have holy purposes that spare and save and change and mold and take and give in a way we cannot always clearly decipher.

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  2. mmmm that elyse fitzpatrick quote. lately life has been falling apart at the seams and it is hard to have faith that God knows what he’s doing. it’s so hard to be humbled– by money not coming in. by my child being delayed. by my own emotional inability to handle the heaviness. and i hate being the one who’s always asking for prayer, for provision, for healing, for hope. i feel so needy in it. but i suppose that’s where we all are. whether we realize it or not, we Need him. it’s been really strange to see how as a family we have ministered to so many people in our lives, simply by being entirely open about the scary terribleness of life and how utterly desperate i am for God to show up. to be our rescue and our safe place. and i wrestle with that– needing Him to be our safe place but also knowing that he allowed us to be put in this hard place where we ache and groan for things to be made right. if you ever find an answer to your question– let me know? haha.

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