Thursday, November 08, 2007

Understanding God's ways

There is a verse in the Bible which says, "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) It's one of the very basic beliefs I hold about God- that He is above all, and no matter how much I learn and grow in my faith- I will never have all the answers or be able to make sense out of everything that happens in life- good and bad. Simply put- God is above all and He operates on a whole different level than we do as human beings.
I write this today because I have been praying for a lot of people in life that just need answers to some of the big questions in their lives. Some of you have emailed me and I often get asked the questions about how Chip and I can have such positive outlooks in life after living through such horror and hurt.
Well, the truth is, first of all, that we have had bad days. We still have them on occasion, and we still have to choose to focus on the good in life in order to not be consumed by the hurt and the memories that still are a real part of our lives. It's a choice- everyday.
However, we firmly believe in God and therein lies the key to our faith. Our faith tells us that we will see Teagan in Heaven again someday. Our faith tells us that we can trust in God- that He does/allows things in life that may look like 'bad stuff', but in the end, He can use it for good. Our faith tells us that God loves us with an all-consuming love...and that He wants what's 'best' for us. That verse in Isaiah is key here- because it allows for us to 'accept the bad' and move through it holding on to a Hope that tells us that whatever has happened or is happening or may happen in the future- is something that God will somehow use for good in the end.
Our faith doesn't tell us that life will be easy or that it will even make sense along the way. Our faith doesn't tell us that we have to 'love the bad stuff' that happens to us- we simply choose to accept it and trust, by faith, that God will be there with us in the midst of it. He suffers and hurts when we go through trials and pain in life. He is the source of comfort and Hope and that is why I am able to look at life with a heart of gratitude.
Not becuase I'm in denial of what has gone wrong, but rather I am filled with hope and peace that God is continually at work to make it right.
I post all of that to lead into a really amazing story- which I believe shows such a beautiful example of how God is at work- in our world- in our lives all the time. Some of you may remember the Coble family from California, who back in May of this year experienced a tragedy which resulted in the death of all three of their children- Emma, Kyle and Kate. I cannot tell you how many people were moved by their suffering and grief. Hundreds of people were praying for them and couldn't imagine how they would go on in life after the sudden deaths of all their kids. I asked for my readers to pray too. I never have stopped thinking about them and praying- as I understand on a small scale the pain and ache their hearts have felt. I have thought about them on days like the last day of school and the start of another year this fall. I wondered how they would celebrate the 4th of July or how they got through Halloween. Sometimes when my kids splashed in their pool and had popsicles dripping down their chins I would whisper a prayer for Lori and Chris and all that they were missing without their kids physically with them each day. My heart has ached for them, with them and I have prayed feverently for their lives to be touched by God in a very real way. I have prayed for their marriage to be sustained through their heartache and for the pieces of their lives to be put back together in a new way, rather than torn apart even more.
That's why I share this link with you. It has touched my heart and many of their closest friends and family, I'm sure, to see that God is with them and has never left their side. They are expecting three new babies this coming spring, and I'm sure in the midst of this joy, they are still shaking their heads wondering why things have happened and are playing out in their lives the way that they are. Still, I can't help but think that if they keep trusting God and keep leaning on Him, that they may not fully have all the answers to their big questions, but that God will guide them and show them beauty and grace in ways they never even imagined.
That's what faith is. Believing that God is the way- surrendaring your everything to Him- trusting fully that His way is best; His ways are higher. He has nothing but good intentions for us when our hearts are placed fully in His hands.
That is when one can fully experience peace, hope, assurance and Joy- even in suffering at times. I hope that some of you will feel led to pray for the Cobles as they continue to grieve, to wonder, to question and to look forward to the hope of new life. My prayer is that God will fill their hearts to overflowing and that His hand will be obvious to them and others through it all.

17 comments:

Janna said...

Wow! That is amazing about Chris & Lori! I've never stopped thinking about them and praying either... their story completely broke my heart. I truly cannot imagine the pain that they've endured. This holiday season is sure to be incredibly difficult for them. I pray that they will remember that Kyle, Emma & Katie are in heaven and that they're safe with Jesus and will one day see them again.

God bless & take care,
Janna

Ralna @ Just Scrap It! said...

I'll have you know, I simply can not visit your blog without balling my face off. Thank you for reminding me that every minute I have to spend with my joyful, and spirited little girl is the most precious thing time I have. Sometimes I forget.

Keri said...

I am SOOOO excited for the Coble family! I don't comment often on your blog, although I read it religously and am so encouraged and inspired by your words. I, too, was completely overwhelmed with grief for the Cobles and their tragedy. I prayed and thought about them constantly and have often wondered how they are doing. Thank you so much for the update!

By the way, I had Lisa Leonard make custom necklaces for a group of my friends and we love them.....so thank you for showing me the way to her!

Keri

jewell said...

Wow! I could't stop crying after hearing about the Coble's miracle. What an awesome God we serve!!

sonja said...

Wow

amy said...

thank you...thank you ...thank you. just when i needed to hear these words-there they are. you are amazing.

amy

lize said...

He is our God and He is amazing! thanks Jodi your a constant reminder of what we should all strive to be, Amen, liz

Staci Compher said...

Jody...thank you so much for sending your thoughts and prayers to me and my girls.....I have been a reader...of your blog for awhile now....you're such an inspiration....your strength and faith..give me hope...thanks Staci

angi said...

Everytime I visit your blog, I leave feeling inspired & smiling. Thank you for that :)

Yellow Fence said...

Thank you for posting that link. I think about them often and I am so happy for their news. I pray that they have a healthy pregnancy and welcome 3 new members to the family next spring.

Linda Beeson said...

Yowsers, Jody - that was quite a little sermon there and soooo well said! I actually needed to read it too. My husband and I totally walk in the faith that God directs our lives, yet we get hit once in awhile by something in life that we weren't expecting. That is the case in this last week and while it doesn't change my faith in God, it does cause me to move back closer to the place where He can be God! Cool story about that couple too - our news has really been following their story.

Bre~Wiebe said...

Sometimes it's hard to understand God's ways, but if we just wait we'll soon understand :D
Lub you!!!
~Bre

Monica said...

Wow--thank you for sharing! I still think about them often, and am so happy for them. I got the chills when I read she's having two girls and one boy...definitely makes you think someone had a hand in that.

Kristi O said...

What a GREAT GOD. What an amazing story, we need to have these "shot in the arm" stories to keep going. I have not lost a child but I too am walking thru some deep dark muck, and to have you remind me that He is so ever faithful and so kind, it was what I needed. I will keep praying for you and yours and the triplet's that are on the way

karen said...

I was thrilled when I heard the news about Lori & Chris!!!

Truly a blessing!

Erin Merryn said...

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21767764/

Norah said...

Chris and lori's story reminds me of Jobs. God can take away all that we humanly hold precious but He also rains blessings on us that makes our future so bearable. Those dear people have truely been blessed by God in their healing season!