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."
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."
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?"
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.
Paul: For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever…
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.
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.