"...if you seek God, your God, you'll be able to find him if you're serious,
looking for him with your whole heart and soul.
When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you,
in future days you will come back to God, your God,
and listen obediently to what he says. [emphasis mine]
God, your God, is above all a compassionate God.
In the end he will not abandon you, he won't bring you to ruin..."
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 (The Message)
I bolded the above sentence because this verse really stuck out with me when I read this. This is part of why I haven't written in the last few days. I've just been mulling this verse over in my mind and haven't been able to figure out what to say, yet having so much I need to say about this verse. I finally decided the best way to figure out what to say is to just start writing. So, here I am, hoping the Lord helps me get my thoughts to straighten out as I go. :-)
"When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you,
in future days you will come back to God,
your God and listen obediently to what he says."
*insert sigh of relief here*
So, all the times I've had some awful times come my way He KNEW I was going to wander from Him and go through a period of "slavery" to my troubles, yet He ALSO knew I would come back to him. And ever better, He would meet me with compassion and not condemnation? He would be there for me and not abandon me?
The picture this paints for me is so overwhelming that words can't even describe what I'm thinking and feeling right now. (And have been thinking and feeling for several days now.)
That God knew that I would blame Him. I would even feel hatred towards Him, yet He still felt compassion for me during that time... well... that just blows my mind.
I pretty much turned from God after my loss of Trystan (my 7th miscarriage). Bitterness entered my heart and I couldn't even sing in church. I went (sometimes) because I wasn't about to turn my family away from God. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I also felt so powerless to stop it. I wanted to scream at God. I wanted Him to explain to me WHY He kept taking my babies from me.
Oh, people told me God NEEDED my babies more than I did. No, he didn't! God doesn't NEED anything or anybody! And He certainly didn't NEED my babies! I had people tell me all sorts of platitudes - none of which made me feel better. And I just wanted to feel better! I wanted to know WHY!
No one could tell me why and God certainly wasn't answering, so why should "I" give "him" the time of day?! Especially when He had to have known, yet another, loss would cause me to turn from my faith. He must have WANTED me to leave His side. So, I'd do Him a favor and leave Him alone.And I did.
I stopped praying. I stopped reading my Bible. I would come up with any excuse I could not to have to go to church. And if I wasn't able to get out of it, I'd go through the motions, but inside I felt dead. I wasn't going to sing praise songs to a God who stole my babies from me. I wasn't going to pray to a God who seemed to answer all my prayers the opposite of what I asked for. I wasn't going to listen to a person preach about a God who THEY claimed was full of mercy and grace, when I sure didn't see His "amazing" mercy and grace in my life!
But, then I kept hearing this still, small voice calling me back. I'd catch myself praying during the day and have to literally remind myself that I wasn't going to pray to THAT God anymore, so I'd stop. I'd talk to a friend who was going through a hard time and the next thing I knew, I was looking up a Bible verse to share with them and then remember I wasn't "supposed" to be doing that. Oh, I was in full-on rebellion all right!
Then my husband and I went on a retreat for people who have gone through the loss of their babies. I'll write more about that retreat another time, I'm sure, but tonight, I just want to say that this retreat caused me to come back to God, just as this passage talks about. When troubles came, I turned my back on God. But, "in future days" I came back to Him. And I'm trying to listen obediently to what He says.
I may never know why my babies had to die in my womb. But, you know what I do know? I know that God IS a compassionate God. I know that God DIDN'T abandon me. I know that God DIDN'T bring me to ruin. And yes... I know that God STILL loves me.