Sunday, March 25, 2012

“He is Not Afraid of Bad News”

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” Ps. 112:7

I have had bad news in my life. But I can say that personally, I have not had EXTREMELY bad news before now. I have had disappointments and losses. There have been hard times in my life that God has used to really refine me and teach me more about Himself. But it has only been in the last 8 months that I can say I have experienced the REALLY BAD news. You know, the kind that just completely rocks your world and you know that from that moment forward things will never be the same. My first experience with this truly awful kind of news was last July when our dear friends lost their little girl. Jesus took her to be with Him in heaven and she is experiencing such fullness of joy now. But oh how I mourned her and still do. I will always miss her. But it was still, no matter how much pain I felt over this loss, my friends who were the most directly affected.

However, now, in the last few weeks I have received news about my own little daughter growing in my womb. It was the “bad news” scenario you always hear other people going through and your heart just goes out to them and you pray you will never go through it yourself. The ultrasound tech saying he “is very worried” over my daughter’s bowed limbs. The doctor saying that he will be watching to see if her ribs grow correctly so that her lungs can grow and she will be able to breathe when she is born. The genetic counselor really pushing for the amniocentesis so we will know if she has one of the lethal diseases she is “high-risk” for having. The counselor telling us to not even really think of her as a girl because she may have one of the extremely rare lethal diseases where the baby’s reproductive organs don’t develop and we wouldn’t know if she was a girl or boy for sure right now unless we did the amnio. (And the unspoken—“you may want to know now in case you want to “terminate” the pregnancy.” Really, I wanted to tell them to not dance around this issue here. This is my child and I WILL NOT be ending her life no matter what diagnosis she is given!) Lots of bad news. (For a side note, there was a lot of good from this ultrasound that I choose to focus on that I mentioned in my last post. But, for the purpose for this post I am mentioning the bad news.)
We will just have to wait and see what God has in store for our Anna’s life.

However, I really took note the other day when I read in Psalm 112 that the righteous will not be afraid of bad news. I will be really honest. I DON’T want anymore bad news. I DREAD the next ultrasound. I just want to enjoy my baby and this pregnancy! But, when I read verse 7 I really paused. Why was the Psalmist saying to not be afraid of bad news? Because “his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” The beginning of the next verse says that “his heart is steady; he will not be afraid.” It was one of those moments when I really just dug deep into my heart. Is my heart firm and steady? Am I trusting in the Lord? I discovered that the answer to that was so multifaceted. When I thought back to when the ultrasound tech was giving us the first of the “bad news,” my heart had such peace. I was not doubting that God was in control. I had that same peace while speaking with the doctor and the genetic counselor. And, then, the crazy God-thing is that my heart KEEPS going back to that peace. Yes, there are times when I am fearful for my daughter and the future. I would just really like an easy pregnancy. I just want a “healthy” baby to bring home. But God, by and only by the power of the Holy Spirit, continually brings me back to His Word and His truth. I CHOOSE not to dwell on all the “what-ifs.” They really are not helpful. The Holy Spirit is continually aiding me in focusing on the Gospel. And when you focus on the truth and wholeness of the Gospel it is really hard to not be trusting. I mean, really, how can I not trust a God who sacrificed His own Son and poured out the fullness of His wrath on His child for me and for my baby? Because of the finished work of Christ on the cross HE has conquered sin, death, and the grave. This life is a journey that is leading me to my eternal home in Heaven with Jesus where there is no more sadness or tears or loss because sin is completely done away with. Jesus is making all things new and will right all the things gone terribly wrong. So how can I not TRUST my God. How can I not accept what comes from His hand? Should I not say with Job that I will accept good and evil from the hand of the LORD? Knowing that whatever He has in store for Anna, whatever her story looks like, He is working ALL THINGS for my good and her good. Knowing that if she were to breathe her last right now or not survive long out of the womb, she would be with Jesus and be whole and complete and experiencing happiness and peace that is indescribable! And my husband and I would be with her one day rejoicing around the throne for ETERNITY! All of these kinds of thoughts produce A LOT of faith and trust in my God. So, very slowly, I began to understand how the Psalmist could say that the righteous shouldn’t fear bad news because he TRUSTS in God. Bad news truly doesn’t last for the child of God---even if you are like my sweet friends who lost their precious little one. Yes, they will miss her their whole lives. The road will, at least at times, be hard as they walk the path of grief. But they have HOPE and will still experience joy and peace in this life. And when they are with their girl again in Glory, all the sadness and loss will melt away. Understanding the God we serve as we gaze upon the Gospel really does produce FAITH in our God. This is not to say trusting and not fearing is easy. But, focusing on the Gospel is how we fight for that trust. It is what gives lasting peace.

Our pastor who was preaching today out of Genesis 3 was saying that at the core of all sin is unbelief. Satan is the master deceiver and liar. He wants us to focus on what we don’t have. And man, in his foolish wisdom, will agree with him. But God gives wisdom that is from above and not of this world. He gives such grace to His children to sift through these lies and believe what is TRUE. Only a loving Heavenly Father, our Creator and Sustainer, knows exactly what we need and how to meet it. Only He can perfectly orchestrate our lives. I have asked myself: If God said, “You can decide. You can say what Anna will have. You can say whether she will be healthy or have a disability or have a lethal illness.” I still know, deep within my heart, that I would refuse to decide. I would willingly place the decision back in the hands of the Only One who is capable of making it. And I can TRUST whatever He deems right. And, by God’s limitless grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I continue to fight the fear of bad news. I continue to fight for I trust. This is NOTHING that happens on my own strength. It is ONLY by relying only on Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

We sang the song All I Have is Christ in church today. By God’s grace alone, I was able to sing the last verse and chorus and truly mean it.

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone and live so all might see
The strength to follow your commands could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life in any way Your choose
And let my song forever be my only boast is You

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ!
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!

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