It started out as an ordinary day, running around, doing my ordinary errands in my ordinary way … but I knew there was “trouble” when I slipped into the car after one of my stops. I had left my phone in the car and had picked it up to see if there were any missed calls. To my chagrin, there were not just one or two missed calls, but there were seven! And they were all from the same person — our daughter Alicia!
This did not look good.
With trembling hands and palpitating heart, I reluctantly hit the “call back” button.
My suspicions were correct. There had been an accident.
A mother never EVER wants to receive one of those calls!
Alicia told me that Rebekah, our youngest daughter, was, at that moment, on her way to the hospital in an ambulance with her three-year-old daughter, Hadassah. A refrigerator had fallen on her, completely severing two of her fingers from the first knuckle up.
As bad as that was, it was a small miracle. Hadi’s baby brother had been crawling on the floor close to where the fridge had fallen. It could have fallen on him which, most assuredly, would have killed him.
But it didn’t fall on him.
Like I said … a small miracle.
The full weight of that beastly appliance did, however, fall on little Hadi’s hand.
What does a woman do when, on an ordinary day, doing ordinary things, she receives extraordinarily devastating news like this?
First, she groans with every fiber of her being. She resists the pain …
… then come the tears.
And then she realizes that the only thing to do, being 2000 miles away, is to fall at the Throne of Mercy and cry out.
But what does she cry? I don’t remember. She just cries
…from the depths of her soul
… groanings that cannot be uttered
… groanings not only for her grandchild, but for her child.
Being a grandma doubles the joys, but it also doubles the sorrows.
It seems so senseless. What possible “good” purpose could God have for allowing two digits to be severed from the hand of a sweet little girl, she wonders?
Her precocious little granddaughter had awakened that morning with a perfectly intact body, and it was now broken, never to be the same again. How does a grandma wrap her head around that one? It’s not easy.
It’s not easy at all.
Numb with shock, and (naturally) worried about my baby girl, Rebekah, who was dealing with her own pain, I knew I had two ways to respond.
1) Curse God because of this, or 2) Praise God in the midst of this (Job 2:9-10).
I opted for Choice #2, for shall we receive good at the hand of God and not receive evil?
I decided there is no tidy pattern for who gets pain and who doesn’t.
I decided that God allows pain into our lives because we are most near the broken heart of Christ when we slip into the “broken places” of life.
So what am I going to do about this?
It’s all about perspective. It’s all about choosing to think on what is lovely.
Choosing to trust.
Choosing to believe that good will come of Hadi’s loss.
Choosing to believe that God will use her story for His glory and for her good.
Choosing to believe that all the days of Hadi’s life were written before there was yet one of them (Psalm 139:16), and that this event came as no surprise to the God who created her for a purpose.
So when we don’t know why sorrows come our way, all we can do is go with what we do know. And we do know that God is good and that He loves us …
We do know that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 35).
Hadi has a strong little spirit, and I have no doubt she will rise above this. She will one day step upon this platform of pain to proclaim and praise the wonderful Name of her God and Savior Jesus Christ.
She has incredible parents whose faith is set in stone, and in the words of Hadi’s mama, I will close:
“Will you rejoice with us in praising God for preventing what could have been? As much as we’re grieving over it all, I’m thankful that I still have all four of these sweet babies living and breathing tonight. Thank you Jesus!!!”
Gratefulness like that from a grief stricken mother can only come from a fully surrendered heart. That’s my girl.
And that’s my God — the One I serve — and His praise will continually be on my lips no matter what … by His grace.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. ~ Psalm 34:1