Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Remembering God's Grace

We are not always blessed with the opportunity to move away from bad memories.  Moving away from those memories can leave them unresolved in our hearts. I have had the opportunity to leave a particularly trying season behind by moving away from. I thought I would never return as I set my eyes forward to what was to come. God has a way of bringing our lives full circle; He knows we need closure.

I read Psalm 77 this week and verses 11-12 had me remembering the deeds of the Lord. I am back in Virginia Beach and memories I thought had faded are once again fresh with me. Thinking of those memories in the light of what God has done makes them just sad memories. The define me and will always be with me but most of the memory is of the surpassing grace and power of God.

Remembering leave us awe struck at all the Lord has done. We see His beauty and the wonderful tapestry He has woven in our lives.

I visited Hannah daily during that season, I went to the temple and cried with her, “Father bless my womb.”  I imagined how inapt she must have felt when standing next Peninnah in the temple, who relished in the fact that she had sons and daughters. I asked the questions I imagined Hannah asking. Why not me Lord?

I imagined Hannah strength of character living under those circumstances. I had no rival walking by my side and my friends offered me compassion. 

I had a few opportunities to show Hannah strength of character. After each of my losses I would have some annoying doctor tell me that it was God’s way of weeding out the weak, a definite question of my faith. I will admit that it only made me see them as incompetent. 

How often would you blame God before you acknowledge that something was wrong? How often would I have to listen to a heartbeat and have you assure me that all was well, only to know in my heart that something was wrong? How often would I repeat my Hannah journey?  

She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”

I prayed for many things that season, some not so pleasant. I was glad that God choose which prayers to answer. And in God’s season just like Hannah I had a son. A son I was determined to raise for the Lord, so that someday I could return him to God.

“ The first offspring from every womb belongs to Me,
and all your male livestock,
the first offspring from cattle and sheep.

My labor pains were over and I no longer remembered my anguish because of our great joy. Our baby was only two months old when we moved away and left the places that reminded me.

Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain,
because her hour has come;
but when she gives birth to the child,
she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.

A lot has changed in Virginia in the past fourteen years. Yesterday I returned to the place of many losses and my greatest joy. As I walked the halls, much has changed, it does not look like the same hospital where I miscarried in the Emergency room and sat quietly in my grief listening to human explanations.  My heart was sadden by my return but elated that now I full confidence in the Lord.

My story ends a little bit different than Hannah.

1 Samuel 1:27:28
For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

My son decided to take up the call of discipleship and was baptized into the Lord. I love and admire him for having such clear and strong conviction at the tender age of fourteen. I am not sure of what his future holds but I have confidence in the promise of:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

I am thankful that I have the memories of what God has done. The bitter herbs have made my journey with Him something extra special.

and my three boys are true treasure from God.....
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

What memories are you thankful for?
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