Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year took on new meaning for our family. As most of you know by now, we went to the doctor on Monday (11/20) for a routine ultrasound and to find out the gender of our baby. The technician was unable to find a heartbeat and we ultimately found out that we had lost the baby sometime since Erica’s last appointment (between her 13 week check-up where she heard the heartbeat and the 17 1/2 week ultrasound). While this has happened to many couples, it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to go through. The ensuing hours and days seem like a blur now, but the fact that it was “thanksgiving” week was a constant reminder to us that a very important aspect of the Christian worldview is the recognition that we rejoice and give thanks to God even when things happen in our lives that we would not have chosen for ourselves. In other words, Christians don’t (or shouldn’t) change their tune about how great God is when things like this happen. We recognize that God still does all things well. Some might call that blind faith, but it might be better termed “complete” faith since believers are expected to have the kind of faith that doesn’t reserve the right to call God out when we think he messed up. That’s not to say that either of us did this perfectly, nor does it mean that we will never falter in the future, but, ultimately, it’s good to know that none of our changefulness will negate the character of God.

Reflecting on the past two weeks, there are a few verses that have come to the forefront of our thinking on several occasions. Erica had been working on memorizing the first chapter of James since that is what her Bible study group at church has been studying. I had been thinking these verses in the wake of the news, and several people have written them in cards. The verses come from the first chapter of James (vv. 2-4):
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Sometimes, we want to know why, why, why-what is the purpose? Why did this happen? And while our minds can come up with possible reasons, we have objective revelation that tells us simply that trials produce perseverance. So we’re going to stick with that and try to persevere.

These words are reflective of the attitude we hope our hearts “choose to say”:

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

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  1. We will be praying for you all during the days to come. Hal and I have been through this several times and understand so well the emotions surrounding it. He is faithful and will use you to testify of His Grace and be Glorified through this time.Carol Selstad

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  2. You are still in our thoughts and prayers. We will have to start planning a get together for next Thanksgiving! We love you guys. Can’t wait until you’re in Chicago.

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