Sunday, May 24th our granddaughter, Joy would have been four years old, but we lost her when she was just three months old. A few months before she was born there was evidence that she was having difficulty and might not even reach the delivery date. As a dad it was very difficult to hear the pain in my son’s voice as he shared the prognosis. Those were very difficult times for me. In difficult times I have a very strong desire to go off by myself and connect with God and seek His healing and His direction. So, I went to my favorite place, the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, and began to pour out my heart to God. I prayed for healing for Baby Joy. I prayed for strength for my son and daughter-in-law for whatever they might be facing. Before long, I ran out of words and just sat there and sobbed. I had reached a point where I didn’t even know how to pray. Romans 8:26-27 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
When I came to the end of myself, I got up and began walking to the car and as I walked, the song version of the Lord’s Prayer came to my mind and I began to sing. When I got to the phrase, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done . . .” I stopped. That became my prayer for my son and Baby Joy; “Thy will be done.” It reminded me of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, let this cup pass from Me, but never the less, not My will but Thy will be done.” As we know the cup was not taken away. Christ was tortured and murdered . . . “Thy will be done.”
I have found through experience that it is sometimes quite difficult to get to the place where I can surrender to the will of God in certain circumstances but I have also learned it is the only way to find peace. When I push my will and my agenda it only causes problems and ends in discontent. Hilary Scott sings a song called, “Thy Will” that has a phrase that helps me in the surrendering to God’s will and that phrase is, “sometimes I have to stop and remember that You are God and I am not”. I have only a limited view of any situation while God has an unlimited view not only of my situation but of all the situations that are all around my situation . . . past, present, and future. It is my faith in the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God that makes it possible for me to survive in this world.
The rest of the story? Baby Joy was born on May 24th 2016 and passed away on September 4, 2016. In those three months she was loved and cherished. In those three months we experienced “the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.” Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As an example of God’s working and God’s timing: I received my District Preacher’s License on July 12, 2016. Having that license allowed me to baptize Baby Joy on August 14, 2016 before she passed away in September 2016.
Surrendering to the will of God is sometimes painful. However, it is comforting to know, “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot sustain you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9--But [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. “Thy will be done.”