Friday, May 21, 2010

The Lord's goodness

If you are reading from yesterday, you'll know that my son, Jamie and two other boys were in a bad car accident on their way to Cedar Point with their senior class trip.

When I got the call, a very unusual peace came over me. I knew intellectually that this is the sort of thing that causes waves of various emotions. All I could feel is the peace of God. I felt so close to God the entire time.

Many people have a deep understanding of the Sovereignty of God in relation to their salvation, but very few people have a peace about the Sovereignty of God in relation to the events in which there is no control. And if they happen to acknowledge God's power over these events, they also make him out to be a monster--a God who is totally non-plussed about what is good or bad.

Have you seen this? Have you experienced this? I know I have in the past. When something happens that I totally can not get my head around, my default emotion is to assume that God's wrath has somehow come down to "get" me. What KIND OF God do we serve anyway?

If we can not see the LOVE of God in every decision he makes, we are the most miserable creatures on earth--serving under the servitude of the biggest, most powerful monster imaginable. No wonder our children leave the faith for something "better" ????

I think I would also. And so this begs the question, so what IF the boys had died? What would our view of God be now? I can tell you this: I would be saddened beyond belief. The entire focus of this blog would be about this tragedy and me getting over it. I am not strong, and everyone knows it. I am one of the most emotionally fragile people I know, despite what everyone sees.

But here is something.

God had given me the peace which surpasses understanding. There is no peace as great as God can give. And he confirmed it to me in this way.

The very next morning on the Today Show, I saw our friends, Don and Susie Van Ryn being interviewed by Matt Lauer. (This video is a must see)

So, the morning after OUR accident there they were again on T.V. telling people about this tragic and yet beautiful time of God's love.. If I could summarize what Matt Lauer said to them,

"The thing that amazes me about you, Don and Susie, is your faith--your deep relationship with God.."

Don and Susie had the opportunity to say that the object of their faith is "Jesus Christ" in front of millions of viewers.

It's almost to say that Matt Lauer was saying, without really saying it is this: I've heard a lot of stories from religious fanatics and people talking about answered prayer, but I have never seen forgiveness like this. I have never seen peace and trust in the goodness of God... like this. I will never forget you.

And so, seeing this interview so close after the car accident with our boys, reconfirmed to me that even in the midst of tragedy, God's goodness is alive. God has used it, and will continue to use their story to touch many people with the message of the Gospel.

And here we are--WITH our children. We are doing boring things--putting in a garden, finishing up the bathroom construction, sipping coffee in my pj's and blogging, and doing laundry. In general, we are enjoying the goodness of God in a way that I can only describe as blissful. And yet, my heart goes out to Don and Susie. Does TIME ever take away their loss?

Incidentally, the Bible Camp where they are devoting their time to right now, is the same camp that I made my first profession of faith at: The Upper Peninsula Bible Camp in Little Lake, MI. Will and I had dinner in their home about 20 years ago, when we were dating. I am thrilled--thrilled beyond belief at how they are serving the Good God that they know even more intimately than they ever did.


Scottish Twins said...

What a great post. I am so glad that your boys are OK. Praise God!

Mrs. Parunak said...

Wow. Great post. And would you believe that when I read your first post on the accident, I thought of the Van Ryns?

Kathryn said...

I think that the problem of faith/doubt is because we understand so little of God. He revealed what we NEED to know in the Bible, although sometimes that is difficult because it is so hard to understand.

The Bible talks so much about "children being a blessing from the Lord" - which has the tendency to make my husband & myself feel "unblessed" & sometimes forgotten. The illness with which i struggle has that same tendency. I know so many people have life so much harder than i, but it is still a struggle.

But . . . really, isn't it that i make it hard because i don't understand God very well? The Bible may be what we need to know, but not always what we want to know. That's where faith comes in.

I struggle with trying to understand things that happen. I'm so thankful your boys are safe, but i've known other similar situations where they were not. It doesn't seem to make sense & yes, it is hard not to blame God when we know he has the power to prevent it.

Personal choices comes into it too. We'd have far less accidents & death if 100% of the population gave up driving. It is so confusing.

I simply have to say, when confronted with unfairness or the ugliness of life, that i just don't understand God well enough. But some day (not on earth) i will!

I'm so happy all the boys were safe & unharmed (i'd still get them to a chiropractor!) Hugs. :)

Ruby said...

Great thoughts, Jena. So many scriptures are running through my mind.
Eli " It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth good to him."
Job "Shall we accept good and not evil from his hand"
Romans 8 All things work togethere for good to them that love God, to tem who are the called, according to his purpose.}
Those people were a wonderful witness to true faith in Christ and accepting his providence.

Organizing Mommy said...

Thanks for those verses, Ruby! I was struggling for a few verses this morning, so I appreciate your input.

Kathryn, Oh Kathryn. Hugs. You just need a lot of hugs. If it were easy, it weren't be faith.

SuzyR said...

What an awesome testimony of absolute trust and faith in our Lord Jesus...We serve a wonderful God that will not ever forget all that has happened, to you or the Van Ryans. Praise God your boys are all ok and for you to share such a wonderful story


Angi said...

I am glad the boys are OK.

I nominated you for an award. Read my post for more information about the award.

Angi from Tim and Angi's Family Blog

MommaMindy said...

I saw this interview and it was amazing. He kept asking about their faith - he WANTED them to talk about it. Their answers made me weep. Recently, I read the book the families wrote, so the interview was a great post script. I didn't know you knew the Van Ryn family. That made the story even more personal.

Organizing Mommy said...


That was the distinct impression I got also. It's like this guy wants to get saved or something.

DarcyLee said...

You have definitely ministered to me today, Jena! The sovereignty of God means He is ALWAYS in control and not only knows what is best but wants the best for His children. I grew up in an environment that gave me the impression that God is going to withhold His love if I'm not good. I'm so glad I found out the truth! And thank you for sharing this story of the Van Ryns with us and, again, for ministering to me today. I'm so glad the boys are okay. Hugs.

The dB family said...

Wow! I am so thankful to read that everyone is okay. Somehow God gives us the grace when we need it most.

Blessings and hugs!