Exquisite Timing

A few Sundays ago I sat in the worship service and could feel it coming. One of those times when it hits me from out of nowhere. Oh no, I thought. Please, not in church. Don't let me start crying now. I don't want the kids to see. I don't want Brandon to see. I don't want anyone to see. But the tears came anyway.

And then during the sermon the questions came. Just five minutes before the sermon started I had confessed my fear and unbelief and yet, there I sat, still full of fear and unbelief. I began to listen to the sermon and from my heart I cried, "Why? Why didn't you heal my daughter like you healed Jairus' daughter? I wanted You to say to Anne Marie, as you said to Jairus' daughter, Sweetheart, come here. Why not me? Why not Anne Marie? Why couldn't things have been different? Oh, God, if only things had been different."

This is not a place I can pull myself out of. I can't give myself a pep talk, or pull myself up by the bootstraps and keep going. On my own, I only sink further down. And the hole is deep and dark. I sat listening with my head down, tears dropping onto my skirt, and through our pastor's sermon the Holy Spirit spoke. He reminded me that His timing is perfect -- "exquisite timing," our pastor said. The Lord reminded me that He loves Anne Marie more than I ever could. He reminded me of His power and providence and of His complete redemption. He, once again, reminded me that He will also redeem this pain and that we were made for another world.

The Lord has given me and many others a testimony. I recall the marvelous things He has done for me. The specific, direct, answers to prayer. I know the changes He has made in my heart, the besetting sins he had freed me from. I recall the comfort He has given me when I was certain comfort would never come. It is a good and right thing to remember what the Lord has done. And yet at times when I am at my lowest, it is only the testimony of the Lord that gives me any strength at all. It is hearing His word preached and proclaimed that creates faith in my heart. It is in hearing our pastor say the words of Christ -- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" -- that my soul finds rest.

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