Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wagon of Fools

Contrary to popular belief, suffering is part of the human condition for people desiring to follow Christ.  But, I have come to know, that although painful and uncomfortable, suffering is a gift from a loving Father.  The longer I have been a follower of The Way, the deeper my faith and trust in God has become, and the more my eyes have been opened to His ways.   When I was a child, I thought like a child, but when I became a woman, I put away childish things.  And in putting away childish things, I discovered the fullness of Gods love and his immense grace towards His children.

Many years ago, Sir Knight and I lost a daughter to stillbirth.  We had planned for this baby and anxiously awaited her arrival.  Her death was devastating.  Many nights, Sir Knight lay helplessly listening to the body wracking sobs that can only emanate from a grieving mother.  Although I knew God, I railed against a Father that could have saved my baby, but chose not to.  One minute I was angry with God and the next minute I was crushed with guilt, knowing that my sinful life had most likely led to this moment.  Deep in my soul I knew that God forgave my sins but didn't exclude me from suffering the consequences.  I was broken.

One morning, as another day dawned, I walked through our neighborhood praying for understanding, peace and comfort.  As tears coursed down my face, my heart was softened.  I prayed to thank God for the sweet pregnancy I had enjoyed with Chase.  I thanked Him for the hours I had been allowed to hold her.  I thanked him for the two other children He has blessed me with.  I thanked God.

And then I saw her.  Just as clearly as I can see my children before my eyes, I saw my sweet little girl.  She sat on the shoulder of my Lord, looking at me with blue eyes framed by soft brown curls.  I reached for her and Jesus looked at me with intense love and said "She is not for you now.  Now, she is with me.  Someday, you will join us".  And they were gone.  The void, too, was gone.  The void in my heart was filled with the unshakable knowledge that my daughter was with her savior. I was at peace.  But even more than peace, I had been given the greatest of gifts.  God himself had stored a treasure in heaven - for ME.  One of my greatest treasures - my daughter - was waiting for me in heaven and with that treasure was part of my heart.  I was given an immense gift from the Creator of the universe.

Time and again, as I have sought to know God and be molded into the image of His son, I have suffered.  Many times I have cried "Why".  Often I have been sure that my suffering was punishment.  But over and over and over God has whispered in my ear of His insurmountable love, of His forgiveness and of the plan that only He can know.  And in the suffering, I have learned to know God and to trust Him and to love Him - and to know His overwhelming love for me.

And, it's not just me.  A couple of months ago, I was sent a book that was wrought with the understanding of the refining power of suffering.  It was life changing.  I had thought that I was the only one that could see God's best in life's worst.  I'm not.  Author Samuel Benjamin Gray put together a book of parables called Wagon of Fools that digs deep into the foibles of men and reveals the beauty of God's perfect plan.  It was so powerful, in fact, that I spent many mornings reading parables to the rapt audience of my children with tears streaming down my face.

Read this book at your peril, but only if you want to see the glory of God in a wagon of fools.


  1. Some years ago, I got into an argument with a hard-core atheist about visions,and near-death experiences. According to her, this was merely your brain conjuring up what you wanted to see-that your brain is just a computer with millions of years of evolution behind it,and that when you die, it's like throwing a CD in a fire-the music is gone. I would think such a view of life to be very depressing. A hardcore athiest is really the same thing as a hardshell hell-fire and brimstone type. Both are absolutely convinced they are right,and nothing will convince them otherwise.
    I suppose suffering for a purpose could be compared to tempering metal, or beta-testing a engine. It's the only way to get it ready for what it has to do.

  2. Dear one - You are not alone in your suffering and the blessings that come from such a loving and merciful Father who holds those of us who have felt the deep sorrown of the loss of a child, no matter what age.

    Being a child of God, somehow the suffering, grief and finally release to our precious Father there is comfort. I cannot imagine the passing of a precious child and being a parent and not knowing a God who gives and takes all life. He truly understands. His mysteries we cannot fathom.But ever so grateful for His hand of mercy and grace in our grief. Can we only receive the gifts and joy from YHVH and not suffer the cross in this life?

    There well be great hope and joy when one day we will dance with, hold close and love our precious little ones as they are at peace with their Creator.

  3. Redemptive Suffering:
    "Offering it Up"

  4. Reading about the loss of your daughter and what the Lord showed you reminded me of my mom. My mom died 12 years ago from breast cancer. Her entire life, my mother worshipped the Lord. During her last month of life, she suffered through the pain of cancer and many times appeared to have hallucinations. I say appeared because that is what it would look like from a nonbeliever's point of view. Those of us who knew better knew that God was allowing her to see more fully. She saw those who had died before her - my grandfather, my aunt. She would see them in the room and even told me that my grandfather was looking at me and smiling. But it was one profound statement that will stay with me forever. Between my brother's birth and my own, my mother had been pregnant two other times. One child died in a miscarriage; my sister was born premature and died at 5 days old. My mother told me that her two other children were waiting for her and that it was time for her to be with them. I truly believe this in my heart and know that one day I will meet my two other siblings when I go to be with my Lord, my mom and all those who have passed before me.