February 07, 2011

'It Is Good to Hope for the Best'

"It's hard to let go of a desire," a baby-less Susie wrote last year. "Hard to say goodbye to a yearning that is so strong. It's hard to be content. Hard to accept God's plan."

Yes, it is hard. Commenting on the third chapter of Lamentations, Matthew Henry points to "a struggle in the prophet's breast between sense and faith, fear and hope; he complains and then comforts himself, yet drops his comforts and returns again to his complaints."

I am often guilty of that myself. Guilty of faithlessness masquerading as "realism." Guilty of undue pessimism. I remember when Anne Marie was in the hospital in Dallas. Everywhere you looked there were these little hand-sanitizing dispensers (pictured at right). I kid you not, I read those words in pink and my first thought -- instantaneous, unbidden -- was: "Yeah, but it's that other .01 percent that'll gitcha." Truly, sometimes I make Richard Lewis look like Norman Vincent Peale.

But through the years, God in his mercy is changing me. I have been pleasantly surprised by this. Here's Matthew Henry again:
We must never say, "We will go to our grave mourning," because we know not what joyful days Providence may yet reserve for us, and it is our wisdom and duty to accommodate ourselves to Providence. We often perplex ourselves with imaginary troubles. We fancy things worse than they are, and then afflict ourselves more than we need. Sometimes there needs no more to comfort us than to undeceive us: it is good to hope for the best.
It is good to hope that in five and a half months Susie will give Lincoln, Lillie, Mary Margaret, Jack Henry, and Anne Marie a new sibling. Because that's what is scheduled to happen. And if today's ultrasound is any indication, all is well with the baby.

How do you think the boys reacted when they opened this box and saw that the cupcakes were blue, not pink?