Sunday, December 21, 2008

Trust in God

This time of the year is mixed for me. I had two Christmas times in a row where many presents went unopened and the lights on the house were taken down by friends. The strongest images from both are the funerals of my daughters.

At times it slips my conscious awareness. Both Courtney and Jessica became sick just before Christmas. Courtney died on December 26, Jessica died on January 26. They were both born in February.

And then Robin ... Now Rachel, who is coping with Tourette's and other issues. Not to mention, the whole house has had seasonal illnesses. My parents and my wife skipped having dinner with me on my birthday because they were too sick, now Rachel and Heather have whatever it was. Sometimes the issues are overwhelming, sometimes all that overwhelms me is how precious my children are to me.

To trust in God. What does that mean? Can I trust God to keep me from pain? Will God keep me from discomfort, sorrow, loss or death? Will God keep me from the full range of life and from more than I think I am ready for? No. In fact, I am pretty certain that at the end, there will come a day when God does not keep me from death.

Then what should I trust God for? What can I trust God to do? That is a question that everyone has to face, what can we really trust God to do and not to do.

A few notes.

Other people's death's may affect us, but those deaths are between them and God, not between us and God.

Best part of my birthday was seeing Heather. Her flight was a little delayed, but she made it safely home. With everyone who was sick, I ended up with just Heather and Rachel at dinner (though we brought back a meal for Win and a selection of desserts for my parents). Everyone is still a little sick today. I had to take time to drive them home from Church early so they could be tucked back in bed.

But today has really been a good day as well. Silly to be so glad to have a child's birthday (on the 21st) and to be so delighted just to see them breath. But I am.

Other recent posts on trusting and understanding God:

Not to mention, the day after Christmas, I'll have a post at Mormon Matters that touches on some of these topics and my favorite related scripture:

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV

That is our trust, especially in this Christmas season.


BrianJ said...

I came home last week to a 5-yr old daughter who was suffering from a very painful UTI. As she sat on the potty and cried and cried she asked me, "I prayed so many times that this would stop---prayed so many times---and it still hasn't happened. Why hasn't it stopped?"

My answer was to hold her and be with her every time she had to (painfully) go. The miracle is, she slept all through the night and was fine the next day.

Thanks for your post, Stephen.

Garfield said...
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Garfield said...
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Garfield said...

hope this helps

Merry Christmas

Stephen said...

Garfield, I wrote that! ;)

Stephen said...

i just read this and it helped me with understanding suffering , its weird because its 3:45 in the morning and i had a crazy dream and just started to look up words i had in the dream and stumbled on all this , and just before the dream i prayed that God would give me a dream to give me some direction in life for christmas , i think he may be showing me to just do whats in front of me and not worry about the future so much, because in my heart i want to be able to help others with there problems in the future. i Guess what im saying is for me at this moment in my life trusting in god is taking things one day at a time and letting him in to heal me as much as possible and just waiting and hoping,im going to stop trying to explain this guys essay now and let ya check it out for yourself he does a much better job of explaining what im trying to say , hope this help.

grace and peace , and may God's unfailing love fill your heart on christmas and everyday to come

Just got th at as an e-mail comment.

Appreciated it. Thank you.