Sunday, September 20, 2009

He's Got the Whole World

Tonight Howard and I watched a video sermon of Andy Stanley, a pastor from North Point Community church in Georgia. We enjoy his books and messages and since we missed church this morning due to severe Albion Fair hangover and a case of pink eye we thought we would have a little church right here at home.

I digress, the sermon we watched was titled "He's *Still Got the Whole World in His Hands." It was encouraging to me. It didn't seem like a pastor up on a stage, preaching to those in unimaginable circumstances with cliches and fast fixes, or just believe it because it is. It was compassionate and thought provoking.

He spoke about how most often God uses extreme brokenness in this life for the most remarkable things. I often have people come up to me and ask how I go on living after losing two of my sweet children, or tell me how brave or strong I am because I do continue to put one foot in front of the other. I am here to tell you my friends, I am neither brave nor strong. God is. There have been SO many moments in my life thus far where the hand of God seems a miss. He seems completely absent, and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt He is there.

There is nothing even remotely remarkable about me. I am ordinary, I am a sinner, and I fail miserably and yet God continues to love me. He picks me up dusts me off and uses me as only He can. When life began to spin out of control on that July day in 2005, the day of Isaac's birth I never for one minute could begin to comprehend how a God who supposedly loved ME could allow such intense pain and heartache into my life and to be honest I still wrestle with it a little. How could he take my little boy from me as I wept and prayed over him? How could he allow that little guy to come into the world only drift back out of it six days later? What was the point? Then to get the diagnosis of our Asher in November of 2007 after being told that we had no reason to be concerned about losing another baby I hit a low. I felt targeted, I felt lost and abandoned.

After Isaac died it took me a while to catch my breath, but I did and I regained my footing, and I put my trust in the only One who could bring beauty from the pain I was living with. To get hit with another such loss seemed like a low blow. I honestly began to question everything. The world was spinning and I was standing still I knew nothing for certain anymore and God? Heck what kind of God would allow such things? And yet again I caught my breath. Then we were pregnant again, there was question about our new baby girl's 18 week sonogram and her brain and head size, then her diagnosis of EB and currently difficult finances. All of these things are stressful, they cause confusion and uncertainty. Yet one thing remains certain. Our God is NEVER uncertain. He works all things for the good of those who love him...eventually. :)

In today's world EVERYTHING seems so uncertain. He is the only constant we can cling to. In those times when all seems lost, can you still put your hope and trust in the One who loves you with a passion you cannot even imagine? How has your faith changed or been stressed in your times of darkness?

In a broken world filled with such uncertainty isn't it just comforting to know that there will ALWAYS be one constant?... He does STILL have the whole world in His hands.


Emily said...

Hmm, sounds like we might have been standing on the same soapbox... or pulpit... or whatever. ;)

He is GOOD.

Kristin said...

Andy Stanley is my absolute favorite!! As I watch his sermons online I always remark that I don't walk away with a "that was a good message" response, rather a "wow, I my life needs to change in some way" response. His sermons on money, suffering, God's will etc. are so meaningful to the lifelong believer and yet amazingly impactful for someone who is newly seeking.

One of his great sermons on suffering was from a series called "Twisted" and I think it was the 6th one maybe, if you could get that I'd encourage you to view it. It's a bit old and may be on the free section, but is wonderful. I bought the DVD and use it in a college class I teach.

I too often wonder about how God allows such unimaginable suffering. I look to my own kids and, sure, a certain amount of suffering brings lessons, humility, repentance, but as parent there is a limit to what I would allow for my child before I would step in. I think, Lord, isn't this too much. But I have to remember that HE is not the best human I know times 1000000, He is the GOD who's ways I do not always understand. I think if I wrote the story I would have not sent my son to die on a cross, yet He did. I would not have allowed Moses and his people to suffer under slavery for 400+ years before stepping in, but HE did (and many more examples).

He is not one of us and it is so hard to trust in the midst of suffering, but where else can we go? HE IS. And only He can bring hope, peace and joy in the midst. Please Lord, keep our eternal (rather than earthy) perspective near to us.

Thanks for the reminder!

malibukat said...

how would we get thru all the terrible things we face without HIM

Paige said...

Very true and so well said- thanks for sharing! I am so glad to read your baby girl is doing so well. What a blessing!!

Amy S. said...

What an awesome post Kristy!
Lots of Hugs to you..

Love and Hugs...

Amanda said...

Wow. I needed to hear that. God is using you through all of the hardship. Thank you for being willing to share it with all of us.