You are too wise to err, and too good to be unkind. – Charles Spurgeon
God is good
I had never prayed from my gut before my second pregnancy. It was early in the first trimester and I was spotting and cramping.
“God, I’ll do anything. Please, spare our baby.”
The next day, I sat in the obgyn office. The doctor, studying the ultrasound screen, in the same breath said, “I don’t like how it looks, this looks like a miscarriage,” and then, mercifully, “Wait, I think I see a heartbeat.”
In his three second pause, as I registered his words and slowly nodded “ok”, I got a taste of the other-worldly peace God gives in the midst of our greatest fears. And in the months to follow, though I was wrought with graphic nightmares of pregnancy loss and sleep-robbing anxiety, our second child was wonderfully and fearfully fashioned within me.
The one whose heartbeat was barely detected at 5 weeks in-utero is the three year old who just the other day asked me to pray she’d grow up “fast-ly.” (Sorry, baby girl. I don’t know if I want to do that.)
God has been good to me.
God is kind
There can be no accidents, no mistakes, nothing can occur which ought not to occur. If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills—the worst calamity is the wisest, and the kindest thing that could occur to me if God ordains it. “We know that all things work together for good to them who love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact.
– Heart’s Ease, Charles Spurgeon
God is kind.
I believed it, even as I mourned, even as I wept for our newest little one, my third pregnancy and our precious baby who we’d only seen on a black-and-white ultrasound screen, whose presence I’d only known by my all-day “morning” sickness. For over two weeks, I again pleaded that we’d see the sweet flickering of a heartbeat. But three ultrasounds, each spaced one week apart, showed no signs of growth. In the same room where I had first experienced God’s perfect peace in a doctor’s brief pause, God’s presence was with me as we talked through medical decisions regarding my miscarriage.
God was kind, though. And in the weeks to follow, the truth of his kindness carried a force within my heart I had never experienced before. Even in weeping over our unborn child—not over a lost hope or imagined future, but our child— as I cried out, “my baby, my baby” with grief that surprised and rocked me, I never felt that God was being unkind. I didn’t have to work to convince myself that God was loving us in and even through our loss. I just knew it, and felt it, and believed it with my whole heart.
Our faith is proven as precious and true in the fire. And, it turns out, my faith is more precious than gold because it does not come from me. It has been given and is upheld by the One who is faithful and true. I experienced that in miscarriage.
Those days were hard, but God was kind and gentle, lavish with love through his people, clear in comfort from his word. I felt that he was near and found solace in the description of our Savior as a man familiar with sorrows. I rested in knowing my little one was in the presence of God who enabled me to worship in my pain.
God is wise.
Everything has worked for good as of yet; the poisonous drugs that have been mixed in the compound have, nevertheless, worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results—and so, believing this, that God rules it, that God rules wisely, that God brings good out of evil—the believer’s heart is fixed, and he is well prepared.
– Heart’s Ease, Charles Spurgeon
Not more than four months after my miscarriage, there were two new toddlers in our home and another round of morning sickness. This time though, I didn’t feel the assurance of God’s kindness toward me. Instead, I was worn down by the stress of dealing with extreme special needs and foster care, physical weariness from the burgeoning new life in my womb, and lingering pervasive sadness over my miscarriage.
A stomach bug passing through the whole family and a toddler screaming out in the middle of the night pushed me over the edge. God, don’t you know that I can’t handle this? I prayed as I lay in bed exhausted and anxious. And then for the first time, God, are you really being good to me?
In the months to follow, the things I knew of God set a boundary that kept my thoughts and heart from wandering too far off track, but none of Scripture’s promises about God’s revealed purposes in suffering seemed to click. Nothing resounded in my heart to bring comfort. It was hard, it didn’t feel worth it, and the worst thing was that God didn’t even seem near.
In that season, what ultimately brought peace was surrendering to divine wisdom. One night, as I prayed, the Holy Spirit brought to mind Job, and how even after all his loss, he never saw the full purposes of his suffering in his lifetime. In faith, I started taking hold of the truth that if I were to see things as God does, that if I could trace even a thread of his purposes in our story down into eternity, I would fall to my knees in awe and joyful worship.
God in his grace gave me faith in his ways, and with trust came increasing measures of rest for my soul.
God, the wise and kind Giver
Bring me which cup you will, my Father fills them all, and I will drink them as He sends them, not merely with resignation, but with sanctified delight. Send me what You will, my God, so long as it comes from You; never was that a bad portion which came from Your table to any one of Your children. My Father, write what You will concerning Your child, I will not, by Your grace, seek to pry between the folded leaves, but I will patiently hope, and quietly wait as leaf by leaf is unfolded, knowing You are too wise to err, and too good to be unkind.
– Heart’s Ease, Charles Spurgeon
These days, my circumstances are different, but I am again being asked to surrender my need to understand. I am learning to trust in his kindness and wisdom not in trial now, but in blessing.
Our son was due one year after we found out I was pregnant with our third child, the one we lost in miscarriage. One year to the day between baby three’s positive pregnancy test and baby four’s estimated due date – God’s ways are special like that.
Baby boy’s sweet presence has been God’s gracious balm to my heart and more than ever before my smiles are accompanied with grateful tears. My capacity for joy, it seems, has been made greater through sorrow.
As I cradled our son in the hours after his birth, I found myself wondering at it all. Why such blessing, God? Many days, I hold him close, kiss the top of his little head, breathe in his sweet baby smell and I don’t understand. Why this great kindness to us? Why such a good gift in the midst of such suffering around me and in the world?
Because he is a good God and he gives good gifts, his word tells me. Our son is one of his good gifts and our Good Giver’s ways are beyond me. So again, I am being asked to trust his wisdom.
I can’t fully comprehend the ebb and flow of God’s giving and taking away, of good gifts and needful trials. And because I don’t understand, I am tempted to question or worry or explain. But God, he is too wise to err. He is too good to be unkind.
Our Father is infinitely wise, rich in steadfast love, and perfect in all his ways. Therefore, in surrender and thanks, not understanding it all, I praise. With a baby boy snuggled in my arms and another precious one in the presence of God, I praise:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever.