Monday, September 21, 2009

ALL things for good (Death of a dream, Pt 3)

Thomas Watson wrote a book titled All Things for Good, in which he wrote this:  "If it is good for us, we shall have it; if it is not good for us, then the withholding of it is good."  This quote became a guard for me in those days of battling the blues of infertility, and often afterward regarding other matters.  I recommend the whole book. 

More recently, I read a section about warfare in Ed Welch's book titled Depression: A Stubborn Darkness.  Regarding lies that attempt to focus our attention on temporal realities, and away from the God of all glory, he wrote the following:  
This popular deception is underway even before suffering begins. During the better times, Satan happily encourages us to see the goodness of God all around us.
"You have a strong marriage?  Isn't God good!"
"Your health is fine?  Isn't God good!"
"Your bills are paid and there is some money in the bank?  Isn't God good!"
"Train your eye on these earthly blessings, and gauge God's goodness by what you see, because life will not always be an accumulation of good things.  Then, when the hardships come, you will look out and have no evidence of God's goodness."
This is what Satan tried, albeit unsuccessfully, with Job.  Job had all the best things in life, and Satan assumed that once they were gone, Job would turn his back on God.  But Job trusted in God throughout, causing Satan to flee.

When sorrowing so profusely over not having something I want, I have to stop and ask myself what exactly is going on here?  Have I misplaced my affections?  Do I trust God is good, as He declares Himself to be, both in giving and withholding?  Or do I have my idea of good and project that upon God, then doubt His goodness when He doesn't deliver according to my agenda?  Ouch!  

I found myself repenting often in this season as God made it clear to me that the desire for children is a good desire, rightly placed in submission to Him, but when that desire becomes paramount it has become an idol of worship.  I wish I could say I have learned that lesson once and for all, but I find myself seeking His mercy time and time again.  I know I am not alone and hence I share this with you, so together we might grow in our love for God as He gives and withholds according to His sovereign wisdom and goodness.  

He promises us to be our God, to never leave nor forsake us...the Lord Himself is our portion and He is good.  Psalm 37:3-4 encouraged and encourages me still greatly: "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."  Where is our delight supposed to be found? In the Lord.  

When we delight in Him, we are indeed satisfied more than if we were to have every earthly pleasure available.  We were made for His we glory in Him, we know the joy we were made for.  That is why I can say NOW, I am so glad God did not open my womb in those days.  He has since granted children, three beautiful, milk-spilling, laughing, demanding, smiling, knee-scraping, delightful children...good gifts from His hand.  And I love them best by loving God most. 

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