Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shortly after Ashley was born, one of the nurses at her pediatrician's office gave birth to a precious baby boy. Fourteen years later, her name has escaped my memory. But I can see her full well in my mind, and remember her sweet, bubbly personality, that was infectious! She was a beautiful person, both inside and out. When I met her, I felt a sudden kinship with her, partly because our children were so close in age. Three months after her son was born, her first child also, she died of an aggressive form of cervical cancer. She was diagnosed in the latter months of her pregnancy, but didn't want to risk the effects of any treatments on her unborn child. So she did nothing, ...but give her son life, as the disease took hers very quickly. I think this was the first completely senseless, unfair death that I really encountered. Not to say that any death is fair, or makes sense. But the thoughts of that small, precious boy that would never know his mother, just seemed so cruel and unjust.

The years, have brought about many more senseless acts and suffering I can't explain, that have left me wondering, WHY? I could fill the pages of this blog, with national and personal tragedies, beyond our control and our understanding. ...as I am sure you all could. My biggest question of all being, Why do bad things happen to the good and innocent??? This seems to be a question that has weighed heavy on my heart in the last few weeks. Not to say that I doubt the sovereignty of God, or do not have faith in His perfect Will. And I know that dwelling on such thoughts, proves fruitless, because I could never begin to understand the mind of God. Nor do I think I really want to. I know that His purposes and reasoning are so beyond my understanding, as a mere mortal woman. ..."Lean not on your own understanding," Proverbs 3:5. It is such an assurance to know, as Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 2, that when I get to Heaven and meet Jesus face to face, it will all make sense. I can't wait to sit at the feet of Jesus and talk with him, ....I'm sure I will be in that one place for quite awhile! "smiles"

Sunday in church, the choir sang, "We'll Understand it Better By and By." I love this song and it seemed to go coincide with my thoughts, of late. But the hymn I would like to highlight today is, "It is Well With My Soul," written by Horatio Spafford , in 1873. This beautiful song was penned by Spafford after great tribulation in his own life, and yet he wrote.....

"When peace like a river, attendeth my way;
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

My aunt passed along to me, Dr. James Dobson's Newsletter, from July. I would like to share some excerpts from it. They were particularly encouraging to me, and hope they will be to you as well....

"Clearly, the scripture tells us that we lack the capacity to grasp God's infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives. ....there will be times in every person's life when circumstances don't add up - when God doesn't appear to make sense." Remember what God tells us in His own words, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts," Isaiah 55:9. "There is nothing wrong with trying to understand, but we must not lean on our ability to comprehend, ....our trust in Him must be independent of our understanding." And, "when you think about it, there is comfort in that approach to life's trials and tribulations. We are relieved of the responsibility of trying to figure them out. It is enough to acknowledge that God makes sense even when He doesn't (seem to) make sense." (from "Family News From Dr. James Dobson/Focus on the Family" ~ July 2008)

Why? I certainly don't have the answers, but I serve a God who does, and trust that He is always in control of each and every situation, no matter how senseless and unjust they may seem! I leave you with these encouraging words....

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all." Psalms 34:17-19

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand." Isaiah 41:10
I'm so excited to have Pearl, at Pearl's Sentimental Journey, join
"Encouraging Words Wednesday", today! "smiles"
I encourage you to go over and visit her!
If you would like to join me any Wednesday, please let me know, and I will provide a link to you!

Blessings to You, on this Wednesday! ~Rhonda :)


Kellie said...

I love this blog entry today. "It is Well with My Soul" is another favorite hymn of mine. It is so true how we wonder why God allows things to happen, but it is not ours to wonder! He holds us firmly in the palm of His hand daily and we are to trust. I am so enjoying your Wednesday posts. I may have to try that myself if I can remember in the craziness of school. :)

Dawn said...

That was a thought provoking post. I think we all wonder why when things don't make sense and when grief is so strong. Thanks for sharing your words and thoughts.

take care,

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhonda,
This is such an amazing post today. The story of the nurse is sad but yet it really really touched me. Thank you for this today. The first song playing on my blog today is to encourage everyone who is going through something.

Hope you don't get rained on at the zoo.

Amelia said...

When things happen - yes we wonder why - but all we see is the small part that is around us...but God sees/knows the complete picture.

Our strength must come from Him always.

Hugs from hot Oklahoma


Beverly said...

Rhonda, have you ever read the book When Bad Things Happen To Good People? It is by Harold S. Kushner.

I read this book about twenty years ago, and it was not only thought provoking, but comforting. Kushner is a Jewish rabbi, and he was inspired by his own experience when writing the book.

I highly recommend this book.

Heidi Ann said...

Good Morning Rhonda, What an uplifting & encouraging post!....As usual, your writings are so sincere & heartfelt!...Enjoy your day!...Heidi Xo

chelle's winks said...

I love this post...you have a beautiful blog.

Pearl said...

Hi Rhonda... This was such an excellent post... I just love how you're able to express youself so well through the written word... my Daddy would have called you a "WordSmith" ~smiles~ I've had the very same thoughts as you... and I probably spend way too much time pondering over the "WHY?" of things. Your post has helped me to try to remember that I need to TRUST more in our Lord and wonder "WHY?" a lil bit less! Ohhhh... just love, love, love the hymn you picked today, too...

"When peace like a river, attendeth my way;
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

If I close my eyes, I can hear my Mom singing those words... does that ever happen with you? Recalling someone dear singing in your head? I was so glad you visited and it touched me to learn that the song I shared today was one of your dear Father-In-Law's favorites. Also, thanks Sweetie, for doing a link to my lil blog-home in regards to your Encouraging Words Wednesday! This is such a great idea you had and I am not only enjoying it, but I truly do feel many blessings upon me because of this. I just love you to pieces! ~huggs~

I hope your trip to the Zoo is fun and refreshing for everyone! We have a Zoo not too far from here and we enjoy it alot, too... Can't wait to hear all about your day... God bless...

~hugs 'n love~


Charlotte said...

Very good post. Why bad things happen to good people is probably the most troubling thing anyone has to deal with. You did a good job of explaining it. We have to let God be God and know that his will shall be done.

DebbieCalif said...

Thank you Rhonda for this post. "It is well" is my favorite hymn to do at church for worship. What an amazing song, and amazing story. Thank you Rhonda,
Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com

Shelia said...

Evening Dear Rhonda and thank you for your post today! I love the hymn "It Is Well" and the story behind it is a testimony to our dear God. You're a jewel.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Picket said...

Great post sweetie....it rains on the just and the unjust...we just have to believe that God will take every dark situation that happens in our lives and bring some sort of light out of it..They are alot of hard questions..we can't answer for anyone but ourselves..In this day and age we have to trust and believe God for the impossible...we have to hope against hope...God still does miracles...He will not force his love and mercy on anyone..many people believe in God so to speak but they truly don't believe he will move for them like he did in the days of old....many people want to keep God on a shelf and only get him down when a crisis comes along...it doesn't work that way..Somethings we will never know...then like the song says...further along we'll know more about it...great post girl!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Rhonda,
We had a very similar experience in our community with a young mother. I won't ever forget the day she died...I didn't know her that well, but her death effected me so profoundly! And I think it's humor nature to question things. We just can't help it.

You are a great witness for all of us bloggy ladies. Thanks for posting your thoughts, and the others. Especially the scripture.
Have a great day,

onlymehere said...

Rhonda, I knew first thing this morning I'd have to check out your Wednesday post and I'm glad I did. I look forward to your Wed. blog and I'm so glad that you aren't ashamed of Jesus Christ and that you share his teachings and your thoughts about them in your blog. When bad things happen to good people I just have to remind myself that God is always in control and that there is a plan for us. Easier said than done when you're going through such a trial but it does give me comfort and peace during those times. Thanks sweetie, you made my day! :)

Penless Thoughts said...

Wonderful post Rhonda!!! Years ago I read a book "The Day Christ Died" and in it I read the statement that the one question God never answers is WHY. Even when Christ was on the cross and said "Why have you forsaken me". God did not answer his own son's WHY.

David Ingles who writes such wonderful music based on the Word of God even wrote a song called, "Don't You Say "Why?" Here is the chorus:

Don't you say "Why?"
Don't let your lips cry, "Why?"
Though you may wonder, don't make the wrong reply,
Such as "Why?"
Don't say "Why?"

I just was reminded of these two things as I read your post. Thanks for the reminder, Rhonda. God is working out a wonderful, beautiful tapestry of each and every life and all we get to see down here is the tangled "mess" on the back side. We will someday see the beautiful tapestry that He has wrought.

Judy said...

Thank you Rhonda for such a beautiful post today and a reminder of how God has us all in His sights and hands!

I'm going to playlist.com and find this song and play it here at work!


Heather said...

Another beautiful post Rhonda! I am loving these Wednesdays!! The story of the mother is absolutely heart- wrenching but also very uplifting! I am sure that her child is well aware of who his mother was- she basically gave her life in order to save his. Beautiful and familiar!
Another verse that is appropriate here is Ecc. 7:14. So good! I think I saw it on someone else's blog not too long ago but can not remember who. I have always liked it and read it often when I am questioning why.
Thanks sweetie!
-Heather :)

Pink Slippers said...

I missed Wednesday encouragement day but would love to join in next week. I'll stay posted. Thank you