before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Believe God

Yesterday a year ago, my precious little son William Livingstone Samuel, was born, having already departed this earth.  Today a year ago, I laid his body in the earth.  Each day since, his mother and I have mourned, but not as "others which have no hope" (I Thessalonians 4:13).  "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (II Timothy 1:12).

It is from the Lord through His word that we find comfort.  "This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me" (Psalm 119:50).  

God desires His children to pass on the words of comfort that He gives to us.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies,and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (II Corinthians 1:4).  This I wish to do today.

That morning a year ago, fresh in the pain and anguish of the loss of a son, we found great comfort from a good many verses in Isaiah 25 and 26, from our regular reading.  Here are a few of them, with some thoughts.

Isaiah 25
 8 "He will swallow up death in victory; and the LORD God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it."  O Death!  Where is thy sting?  O Grave!  Where is thy victory?  I look forward to the promise that God will wipe the tears away for good (Revelation 21:4)!

 9 "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."  I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.  Look what my God will do!  My Lord worketh "all things together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose".  My heart should not depend on the ups and downs of circumstances for its rejoicing, but rather, as Jesus instructed, "...but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven."  No matter my sorrow, my salvation in Christ is secure.  Therefore Job in utter grief could still cry, "The LORD gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the LORD" and "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him."

Isaiah 26
 3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, who mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."  When upon life's billows we are tempest tossed, let's not be discouraged, thinking all is lost.  Rather than allow our hearts to be washed overboard, should we not instead seek the face of Him Who stilled the winds and the waves?  Should we not join him in the hinder part of the boat and find rest for our souls? 

 4 "Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:"  His strength is EVERLASTING!  I am weak, but His strength is made perfect in my weakness, whereby I can say "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"  Let the weak say, "I am strong!" 

"I hear the Saviour say, Thy strength indeed is small; 
Child of weakness watch and pray, Find in Me, thine all in all."

16 "LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them."  Many have been the prayers poured out in mourning, many the cries in the night.  God hears the supplication of His saints.  We are told that he keeps our tears in His bottle.  Are they not in His book? 

17 "Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD."  
18 "We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen."  How this describes our situation!  To be with child.  To have the expectation of a little babe to hold and cherish.  To prepare for their coming.  To lose that seed.  To go into the pain of delivery, knowing the baby is gone.  To feel empty, as if all that was brought forth was vanity and wind.  Those who have suffered miscarriage know this pain and loss.

19 "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.  Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead."  What a emotion fills my soul!  To know that the dead shall rise!  That the grave shall give way to victory, and the earth will cast out her dead! That I shall meet my child in glory.  Because of the Gospel!  Because of the Almighty Redeemer, we have the certainty of victory.  What unspeakable joy!  

This evening, Deana (carrying our third little one in the womb), Tirzah, and I went out and laid flowers on the grave of little William Livingstone Samuel.  We thanked the Lord for William, for the honor of carrying him, even for that short while, and for the assurance that we would see him again.  I read verse 19 again, and as we turned back to the house, I considered the words from the verse, "Awake and sing", and so we sang as we walked home,

"When I can read my title clear to mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to every fear, and wipe my weeping eyes.
And wipe my weeping eyes, and wipe my weeping eyes.
I'll bid farewell to every fear, and wipe my weeping eyes."

  So, in all things I am able to declare, even through tears, Jesus Christ is my Saviour!  He it is which giveth "beauty for ashes" (Isaiah 61:3).  As Paul declared, even in the teeth of the storm Euroclydon, "...I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me"