Tuesday, December 30, 2014


As we approach New Years Day, "relief" is not a strong enough word to express how glad I am that 2014 is finally over. Although it has been a year full of personal spiritual growth and our family becoming immeasurably closer, it has been the most difficult year of my life.

The year began with excitement and anticipation of the arrival of our firstborn son. Just five days into the new year our dreams were crushed. We found out Joses our son would die on his birthday. Half of 2014 was waiting for our son to die. Joses grew inside Megan to the normal size of nearly seven pounds. Every kick and movement caused us to love him more and reminded us of his impending death. Thousands of people prayed for Joses. Our prayer is that we would get some time with him alive. However, our son never took a single breath. Joses was stillborn on June 17th. He was still alive and moving just minutes before he was born. We still struggle with questions of "why".

Our excitement once again in November grew when we found out that Megan was pregnant. We immediately called our family and friends to share our news. We were full of hope and comfort knowing that God was blessing us with another child. So many people cried tears of joy for us at the beginning of the December when we announced our pregnancy on Facebook. However, Megan had a miscarriage just three days later. Almost exactly six months after losing our first child, we lost our second. Although we intellectually know it is not true, having a healthy pregnancy feels like walking through a minefield. If you take one misstep, death comes to your home.

We are so thankful for so many people who have been praying for us and offered words of comfort to us. No matter what they say, we know their hearts are hurting for us. Their prayers and the visible hurt in their eyes for us means more than they can ever know. However, I would like to make one point. I do not have anyone in particular in mind nor have we been offended by anyone by their effort to comfort us.

Although it has been rare for people to do so, some have assumed to completely know and understand God's plan in my life. Phrases such as "God is just using you for…", "God must be…", or the worst offender: "God just needed your angels more than you do". When you look at some of the greatest heroes in the Bible, they were unwilling to assume to know the mind of God. So many times, they used the words "perhaps" or "who knows".

Moses: On the next day Moses said to the people, "You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin."
(Exodus 32:30)

Joshua: "Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken."
(Joshua 14:12)

Jonathan: Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, "Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the LORD will work for us, for the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few."
(1 Samuel 14:6)

David: Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food." He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' "But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
(2 Samuel 12:21-23)

Mordecai: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"
(Esther 4:14)

Amos: Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
(Amos 5:15)

Paul: For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever…
(Philemon 1:15)

All are heroes, some were writers of the Bible, and one was an Apostle. If they were unwilling to make assumptions about God's plans in their lives, we should be careful about our confidence in knowing God's plan for us.

We certainly see in the Bible God having plans and working in the lives of His people, but many times, they did not know the complete picture until years afterward. Job certainly did not understand why he was in his circumstances. Joseph did not understand until years after the fact why he was sold into slavery and then thrown into prison.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Perhaps God is working in our lives. Perhaps it is simply time and chance.

I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.
(Ecclesiastes 9:11)

I do not know why things are happening in my life. But I do know "whom I have believe and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 Timothy 1.12). God is far wiser than I am. Although I may not understand it, I know God's plan for me is in my best interest and is for my betterment.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On Terminating "Terminal Pregnancies"

According to the government, my son Joses was not a real baby because he didn't breathe for sixty seconds outside of the womb. We never got a birth certificate. We do not get to put him on our taxes (it is not about the money it would save us either). It is like he never existed.

We felt his warmth. We kissed his cheeks. He had the same number of fingers and toes as any other baby. We held him as long as we could before he went for his surgery so he could give his heart valves so other babies might live. No one can tell me my son was not a human with as much value as anyone else.

When parents find out their child has Anencephaly, 95-98% of them decide to have an abortion. (The statistics are hard to track since they do not count as "real people" and you do not have to report it to anyone). If you are in a situation where your baby has been given a "life limiting" diagnosis, please consider carrying to term. According to the wonderful research at anencephaly.info, not one parent regrets making the decision to carry their Anencephaly baby to term. The same cannot be said for those who terminated their pregnancy early.

What is really sad is that the statistics are about the same for parents who find out their child has downs syndrome, a condition that is perfectly "compatible with life" (their term, not mine). 95-98% of parents kill their Down's syndrome child early on in their pregnancy. They say they are sparing their child from a hard life. It makes no sense to me. EVERYONE has a hard life and people with Down's syndrome are typically the happiest people you can meet. Have you ever met someone with Down's that does not LOVE hugs and has a huge smile on their face more often than not? I would love to see my Joses smile. I would go so deep in debt just to get one hug and hear him call me "Daddy." I am crying thinking about how many precious Down's babies are murdered every day.

I hate that people decide to kill their beautiful children. If anyone reading this post decides they do not desire to raise their child, Megan and I will take your baby. If you have any questions about what I have written, free to contact me: seththepreacher@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three Months Later

Today marks three months since I said hello and goodbye to my son. We miss him so much. I would love to hold him, kiss him, and say "I love you" one more time. I would empty my bank account for five minutes with him. It is difficult to imagine having a three month old. Seeing little babies, especially boys always make me think of Joses. I can easily count fifteen (it seems like more) babies of my friends that were born within three months of Joses. Nine of them are boys. There are at least three dozen kids among our friends that will be within a year of him. For the rest of our lives, we will see pictures of these kids and know that Joses would be the same size, learning similar lessons, and getting into the same kind of mischief.

I say all of this to remind you to tell someone you love them. Give them an extra hug or kiss. If you are one of my friends or family with a daughter or son that is about the age Joses would be, I ask two favors. First, do not stop posting pictures of them. While we are happy for you, it hurts because we miss our son; but it is a hurt that we never want to go away. We want reminders of Joses every day. Second, give your child an extra hug today for me.

Thanks to God and His children, we are doing better than anyone expected. Please keep praying for us.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

At 10:18 a.m.

As we were sitting in church services this morning, my wife showed me the time. It was a quarter after ten. I noticed a tear running down my wife's face. On June 17th, Joses was born at 10:18 a.m. but had already lost his life. We were three minutes away from the time Joses would have been two months old. A flood of emotions rushed at me. I miss my son. Instead of holding a two month old to care for, we got a phone call that his grave marker was placed above his grave this past week.

When 10:18 appeared on my phone, we were singing the hymn "Hallelujah! What a Savior!" written by Philip P. Bliss. That hymn focuses on how amazing it is that Jesus came to die for an unworthy people.

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heaven exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

No one could have imagined the Son of God would willing take the title "Man of Sorrows" on behalf of unworthy sinners. But that is exactly who Jesus is. While thinking about these words and how unworthy of Jesus' death I am, I als
o thought of the hope I have of seeing Joses and thanking Jesus in person. At this point, tears were streaming down my face. I cannot wait to see Jesus face to face. Then I realized it was time for me to stand up and preach.

At 10:22, I stood up before my church family and told them the significance of the time. I would like to share with you those opening remarks and a few points from the sermon this morning. Below is an summation of what I said.

As of four minutes ago, my son Joses would have been two months old today. I miss him so much. While it is true that death, by definition, is a separation, it can also unite people. My family is closer now than we ever have been. I am closer to each of my siblings and siblings-in-law and I am certain that each of us are much closer to God because of our short time with Joses. Not only has the death of Joses united my family, it has brought us closer to our church family in Clearwater, Florida.

My past few sermons have been on the importance of unity among Christians. After all, how we treat each other is how people of the world know if we are Christians (John 13.35) and the standard by which we are judged (Matthew 25.44-46). The single most important commonality among Christians is based upon the death, burial, resurrect, ascension, and return of Jesus. One of the most important way we celebrate this unity is in the weekly memorial instituted by Jesus long ago. One of the purposes of the Lord's supper is to remind Christians of this unity and is the reason Paul calls it a "communion" (1 Corinthians 10.16-17). 

We are united and forgiven sinners who all desperately need Jesus. When gathered around the table, there is no room for selfishness, bitterness, or jealousy. It has been said by many people that we are all "equal at the foot of the cross." As Paul reminds us that when we eat and drink of the supper, "we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" (1 Corinthians 11.26). We equally proclaim and preach our faith that Jesus is reigning as Lord and will return again. It is so vitally important that Christians serve together in unity until that day.

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

As I Lowered His Casket

Yesterday, I lowered my son's casket into the cold ground. My precious boy, Joses Andrew McDonald was still-born on June 17th, 2014. As I lowered his tiny casket, I contemplated the subject of death. If you would, please be patient with me as I share some things that are vitally important to me and should be important to you as well. The Bible discusses four different kinds of death.

Death brought by Mortality
The first one is glaring upon me today. My son is dead. There is no sign of life in his tiny body. Everyone is going to die someday. It comes sooner to some than others, but as Hebrews 9:27 teaches "it is appointed for man to die once." Death will happen to us all. We grieve especially hard when life is cut short, or as in our son's case, before life even begins. Every single funeral I have ever attended has reminded me of my own mortality. If Jesus does not return first, I will die someday. I do not know when death will come, but I know it will.

Just as Abraham bought a field and a cave in Genesis 23 to "bury [his] dead out of [his] sight," I lowered my son into his grave out of my sight. As Megan and I climbed into our car again without Joses, we could not help but think that we will go the rest of our lives without seeing our son or his precious body again. We drove away and left our son in a grave yard. Death was all around me.

Death brought by Sin
Because of the nature of my son's neural tube defect, I do not know if my son felt any pain just before he died. This is a question I will probably always have. I hope his passing was not painful. One of the most comforting thoughts to me is that my son never had to experience the pain of sin. The word "death" simply means "separation." We normally think of death when a person's spirit has separated from their body. The Bible speaks of a death that is far worse than physical death.

Isaiah 59:2 "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear."

Joses never had the opportunity to sin nor the separating nature of it. I know my son is with God now because he was never separated from Him. I, however, have sinned. My sin has separated me from God. Sin is the reason Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from God in the garden. Sin only leads to death. In fact, Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sin is death." Just like at my job, if I work, I deserve to be paid. That is my wage. The Bible teaches that if I sin, I deserve death. This is not just any death, but an eternal separation from God.

Eternal Death
The worst kind of death is the eternal separation from God.

Matthew 10:28  "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 25:46  "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Revelation 21:8  "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

2 Thessalonians 1:9-10  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,  (10)  when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed.

The thought of being eternally separated from any and all good is a thought that is almost too terrible to contemplate. But here I am, today, thinking about death. I want to do everything I can to avoid such a terrible place. A place of both eternal darkness and unquenchable fire.

Death to Sin
Thankfully, Jesus came to earth to save me from my sin. Only by His mercy and grace could I ever be saved. The apostle Paul goes into a great discussion about this topic in the sixth chapter of Romans. In the context of this chapter, Paul was answering some Christians who, evidently, were believing that they were free to sin all they wanted because God's grace would cover it all. He then talks about being "dead to sin."

Romans 6:1-7  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?  (2)  May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?  (3)  Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  (4)  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  (5)  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,  (6)  knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;  (7)  for he who has died is freed from sin.

Once a person symbolically dies with Christ in baptism, he is raised up out of the water like Christ was raised from the dead. That new Christian walks in a "newness of life." That old body of sin should be done away with.

Romans 6:10-13  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  (11)  Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  (12)  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,  (13)  and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Paul commands us to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. This command was given to Christians in Rome who obviously still had the choice whether or not to let sin reign in their lives. The old man of sin should be dead, but they were digging it up again and playing with it. It is a dangerous game that Paul says will result in an eternal destruction:

Romans 6:16  Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

It is my job to present myself as a slave of obedience. This begins by submitting to the call of Jesus and being baptized. Your old life of sin cannot be "killed" without submitting to God in baptism.

Just as the Romans did, Christians today have to make the daily decision not to let sin reign in their lives. I am either going to be a slave of sin (resulting in death) or a slave of obedience (resulting in righteousness). The question is, what are you going to choose today?

I know that my thoughts here might contradict what you believe or have been taught by others. If you have any questions, please email me.

I welcome any feedback. I want to go to Heaven to forever be with God, Jesus, the angels, the faithful, and now my son Joses. I want to avoid Hell. If I am in error on anything you have read, you would be my greatest friend to help me correct myself before it is too late.

Feel free to contact me: seththepreacher@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Reason We Cry

It has been exactly two weeks since we said both hello and goodbye to our son. Megan and I are learning more and more about grief. There may not be any great spiritual truths in this blog post, this is mainly a place where I feel like I can express what we are feeling right now. Perhaps you can get a glimpse how you can assist others who are going through a great loss in their lives.

When we found out Megan was pregnant with our first child, I am sure we were like most naive new parents. My head filled with ideas of things I wanted to do with my child. There were dreams about going to ballgames, plays, Disney World, and the zoo. I looked forward so much to seeing our little one and our dog Philo grow up together. I knew we would sing and have a Bible study together every night. I knew we would try our best to raise our child to love God. I had already dreamed of one day baptizing my child when he or she decided to become a Christian.

We were not supposed to find out the gender of our baby until January 6th, but we decided to surprise our parents for the holidays. We went in early December to "Pregnancy Treasures" in Largo, Florida to have an ultrasound. When she confirmed that we were having a son, that is when the ideas became more solid in my mind. We decided for certain in that parking lot that his name would be Joses Andrew McDonald. Thoughts of Joses learning to walk, run, hit a ball, ride a bicycle, start a campfire without matches, drive a car, preach a sermon, and so many other dreams rushed through my mind. Though I could not plan his life out completely, I was so excited for all of the new experiences I would have teaching my son new things.

Less than a month later, we found out that Joses had a neural tube defect called Anencephaly. That night, we cried harder than we ever had before. My eyes had never throbbed in such a way. All of those dreams were crushed. My son would never call me "daddy." He would never walk, crawl, or even cry. If my son were born alive, he would be blind and deaf. My heart was aching because of the many things that my son would never experience.

Now things are different. My son is dead. We still cry. Our eyes have once again throbbed from crying so much. But there is a major difference. After meeting my son, it was obvious that his body was not made for this world. Those dreams of mine for my son were never his to be had. Now that I have met my son, it is hard to imagine him playing golf on a Saturday afternoon. No, he had his own purpose. Our little "son of consolation" (Acts 4:36 KJV) was meant to encourage us and touch so many lives in ways we had never dreamed. Joses was special and served a special purpose that he was always meant to fill. He was not built in order witness the simpler beauty of this life, but to go on to the next. I no longer cry for my lost dreams for the son I wanted to have. Those dreams are meant for other children for another time, but they were never meant for Joses.
Now I cry for a different reason. My tears have come every day because I miss the son I did have. His kissable cheeks, his perfect fingers and toes, and his long black hair are what I think about now. I crave being able to hold him again. Those few hours we held him passed by so quickly.

Yes, we are grateful that our son is in a better place now. It is unbelievably comforting to know that Joses is being cared for by the almighty God. Thankfully, we do not grieve like those who have no hope, but it doesn't mean we do not grieve. I will see him again one day, but for now, my heart is broken. I miss my boy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Asking Why with Job

The following post was written in a collaborative effort with my wife and is written from her perspective. She wrote her part three days after our son died.

"We haven't seen any signs of life in a while. He's already gone." I had been pushing for over three hours when my doctor confirmed what my heart already knew; Joses' little body couldn't take all of the stress he was going through. Up until I had started pushing, my labor had been easy, his heartbeat was incredibly strong, and I could feel so many of his movements. As I felt him lowering before I pushed, I remember looking at my nurse and saying "He's fighting! He's going to make it. I'm going to see him alive." How could he not be born alive? He was so far down and just a few pushes and he would out, right? They could see his head. He was so close.  I thought God was going to answer my prayer with a "YES!".

My pleas to see Joses healed or at least to see him alive were not answered the way I wanted. Even while I had him in my arms, I just wanted to know "WHY?! Why didn't I get to see him alive?! Why does his little body have to seem so broken? Why didn't God save him?" I almost felt robbed.  I wanted answers.

I have felt comfort from the Bible account of a man named Job who lived thousands of years ago. He not only lost one son, but all of his sons and daughters on the same day because of a natural disaster. On the same day, he received news that all of his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, and many of his servants were either killed or taken by robbers. Job lost everything. He went from having a houseful of children to having an empty home. Job never lost his faith. He still worshiped God. But having faith in God didn't change the pain Job felt. He was so low, he wished for  his life to be taken, too.  Job didn't know why he was going through these trials. He wanted to plead with God for answers. His friends thought they had the answers and they tried to "enlighten" Job. Now, more than ever, I understand Job asking God "why?". Fortunately for us, the last five chapters of the book are devoted to God answering Job's question of "Why?". However, God never says exactly why those terrible events occurred. Instead, God takes a different approach.

In Job chapter 38, God first comes to silence Job's friends. He made it very clear that he was not pleased with the counsel of Job's three friends by asking "Who is this who darkens counsel WITHOUT knowledge?" (Job 38:2). His friends might have guessed at why God acted this way or that, but God says that no one knows His mind. We have been given advice and council from a number of people who are guessing why God chose to take our son away. The truth is, not a single one of them knows the mind of God and why I never felt him breathing. Thousands of people were praying for his healing and God said "no" to every single one of them. Why? Only God knows.

Next, God says:
"Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!" (Job 38:3)
Notice how God starts by telling Job to put on his big boy pants and get ready for a series of questions. He starts by asking:
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? "Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, And I said, 'Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop'?
(Job 38:4-11)

God created the world with a plan. Job did not know any more of the details of that plan than I do. We are overwhelmingly ignorant of how God created the world. Not only did He create the world, He maintains it by His decree.

"Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place, That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it? (Job 38:12-13)

Sure, we have science which somewhat explains how we have observed the way some things work, but we cannot command the sun to rise nor to stop it. We can study and observe, but we still know very little of everything there is to know about this earth. In fact, there is an entirely different type of world underwater of which man has explored very little. God asks Job:

"Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep? "Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? "Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. (Job 38:16-18)

He asks about light, how light travels, the source of light, and the relationship between light and darkness. Even the greatest experts today still have many things they cannot yet explain. The truth is, no one is old enough remember when set all of these things in motion. In a beautifully sarcastic sentence, God tells Job; "You know, for you were born then, And the number of your days is great!" (Job 38:21)

But God does not limit the discussion to this earth. God then asks about the stars and their constellations.
"Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion? "Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? "Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?
(Job 38:31-33)
We may be able to study and observe from a far distance, but we have no power over stars that are light years away from us.

In the next chapter, God asks Job about how much he knows and controls the behavior in animals. For example, He asks, "Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, Stretching his wings toward the south? "Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up And makes his nest on high? (Job 39:26-27).

We see that in all things, great and small, God is in control. God's hand cares for all things.

After two chapters of unanswerable questions, God comes to Job in chapter 40 and asks "Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it" (Job 40:2). Job had no answer but to say "I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth." Job could not answer, Job had to see how small he was in comparison to God.

God again tells Job one more time to put on his big boy pants and this time, not just to answer some questions, but this time to do God's job for Him. If you really want to question God, He will look at you and say "you think you could do better?" Notice this "if you can" inquiry:

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said, "Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. "Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified? "Or do you have an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His? "Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity, And clothe yourself with honor and majesty. "Pour out the overflowings of your anger, And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low. "Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him, And tread down the wicked where they stand. "Hide them in the dust together; Bind them in the hidden place. "Then I will also confess to you, That your own right hand can save you. (Job 40:6-14)

Do you want to annul God's judgment and condemn Him so that you might be justified. Are you really sure that your way is the best way? He then challenges Job to an arm wrestling match and then voice comparison. If you can Job, just try to adorn yourself with eminence and dignity. Why don't you try, by your own power, to clothe yourself with honor and majesty. Job does not have the power and complete control over the destination of the wicked like God does, but God challenges Job to try. Then and only then would God have to confess to Job. However, that confession would only be that Job can save himself from his trouble.

God's plan is complete, perfect, and is exactly what needs to be done. Who am I to condemn God so that I could get my way. I do not have an arm or a voice like His. I do not know the entire plan like He does. I cannot obtain righteousness, eminence, dignity, honor or majesty without God. I need God's salvation, grace, and mercy in my life. Who am I to turn around and demand answers from Him?

The Lord never tells Job why anything happened to him. Instead, he questioned  Job  and in beautiful detail He reminded Job that there was so much more to His plan  than what Job could possibly imagine. Job was not there when God put all things into motion. Job couldn't see the big picture. He had no grounds on which to argue with God.  God's reply to his servant Job reminds me that God does not answer to me and I do not have the big picture. He is aware of all things, great and small, because He is the Creator of all things (Job 38-42), He declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), knows and wants what is best for His children (Mathew 6:25-34), and is the giver of every perfect gift (James 1:17). That should be enough.

God did bless Job. He not only became wealthy again, he was given far more than he had before. Job also went on to have ten more children. Even so, Job still went through a great loss. Those first children were never brought back to him. I will likely have more children, but my Joses will never be brought back to me. He is gone until I meet him after I die. We are never told that God explained to Job why those children had to die. In the past several thousands of years, who knows how many people have found comfort in Job's story. Yes, Job had great pain when he lost his children, but it is mind blowing to think about how much that event has impacted the world.

 I'm realizing that I have a very small viewing window of God's purpose and how he uses his servants.  I only have glimpses of how God has used Joses' life.  Just as I don't know how far God has and will make Joses' life reach, I also don't know why God allowed Joses to leave this Earth when He did. I do  know that for eternity, my son is in God's care and there is no greater joy than that (III John 1:4).

I don't know why. Only God knows His purpose for Joses. All I know is God is the giver of all good gifts and my sweet son is a good gift. May God use my life and my son's death for His eternal purpose.