Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthday Gift

Heather and I are excited to let you know that we are expecting our fourth child who will, Lord willing, be born to us sometime in April of 2013.  Today, on my 36th birthday, Heather and I were able to see the heartbeat of our 4th child.  What a wonderful birthday gift! Following Micah's death, a friend prayed that we would see "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living.  (Psalm 27:13).  His prayer has been answered. With two living boys already in our home, we cannot express how very grateful we are for the Lord's provision for our (growing) family.  Please join us in thanking the good Lord for how He has blessed us. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gratefulness for the Past and Joy for the Future

"With all that has happened to me in my life, I feel very grateful."  These were the words of a recently-widowed client of mine as we discussed her own grief following the death of her husband.  She shared how she viewed the universe as just a random set of forces wrecking havoc in a haphazard manner.  Given all that could have happened in her life, given all the pain and suffering that exists in the universe, she lives life now with gratefulness because of how "lucky" she and her husband were, in the past, to have had the life they did together.  In other words, her future joy is based upon the gratefulness for past circumstances that, according to my client, were purely the result of fortuitous luck. 

Gratefulness is not a bad thing.  Of course, in my client's case, there is no one to be grateful to, given her view of the universe.  For those of us who out to follow Christ, we ought to be grateful for every blessing we have received from the creator and sustainer of the universe, the God from whom we receive all good things.

But unlike my grieving client who has only the past from which to derive joy, parents who are grieving in Christ need not be "stuck" only in the past. We can, and ought to, look to the future with joyful anticipation. Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that he was "...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead... [to] press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  We grieve not as those who have no hope, but with the sure expectation that we will see our children again, in Heaven.  (1 Thess 4:13).  In Christ Jesus, we can focus our mind not on the past, but on the prize of Heaven, where Christ will have made all things new, even our precious little children.   

All of us will inevitably grieve the death of a loved one.  The question is, will we focus only on the past with them, or do we expect to have the future, too? In Christ, we can have both.