(Disclaimer:  I called this “My Story” because this post contains my thoughts and story.  Obviously, the experience and pain was shared by Marla, our family, and our friends.)

Sometimes things happen that are hard to understand. We already had 1 ½ year old Rebecca when Marla came to me with the news. “I’m pregnant,” she said with a huge smile on her face. We were excited, to say the least.

It was hard to hold in the excitement. As Student Pastor at our church, our entire church was soon buzzing about the news. I think I was still smiling from ear to ear two weeks later when I got the horrible phone call from Marla. “I’m bleeding,” she said through the tears. Doctors confirmed that she had miscarried our second child.

As a pastor, I was the one that usually had answers for people. This time I felt hollow.  I had questions and thoughts that didn’t make sense:

• “Why would this happen to us? We’ve given everything to You, Lord. Why us?”
• “Lot’s of babies were aborted everyday. We really wanted this baby.”
• “How do I now go back and tell everyone what has happened and protect Your reputation as a pastor, God? You let us down.”
• “Is there something that I did that caused you to take Your hand off of my family?”
• “Maybe I didn’t pray enough for Marla and the baby. It’s all my fault.”

Well meaning people came to me with “pat” answers to questions that I didn’t ask them. They said:

• “Maybe there was something wrong with the baby…”

I Thought: Well, if there was something wrong with the baby, God is God and couldn’t he just fix that?

• “God needed another angel in heaven.”
I Thought: Babies don’t become angels. That doesn’t make any sense.

• “It was just God’s will…”
I thought: My God wouldn’t play with my life like that. He wants the best for me.

• “You can try again.”
I thought: It’s not like I can just get another puppy but thanks for your permission.

To say that it was a confusing time for someone who was supposed to have the answers was an understatement. I was hurt, mad, confused, and wondering if this God that I had devoted my entire life to even cared about Marla and I at all.  It shouldn’t be about “luck.”  God should take the “luck” out of all of this.

Out of all of the above thoughts that I had, the one that was wringing in my ear the most was this one: I didn’t pray enough for Marla and the baby and that’s why this has happened. I felt like it was my fault.

As the pastor, I knew that I would dispel those thoughts in someone that walked into my office feeling they way I was feeling. I knew what I would say to others but it just wasn’t working for me.

After a sleepless night, I got up and went to a Bible Study that some guys at the gym had every Wednesday. I had never gone but I decided that since I was up all night, a 6:00 a.m. Bible study couldn’t hurt anything.

After being welcomed by the guys who had been inviting me, I sat down and didn’t tell them anything about what I was thinking or what had happened.

The study that day was on John 9. That’s the passage where Jesus was asked, ““Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus responded, “Neither this man or his parents, but this happened so that God would be glorified.”

I couldn’t believe that was the subject. God was speaking right to my heart from these muscle headed guys in the gym. I didn’t really get a lot of answers that morning but I did get one thing that I’ve remembered ever since.

God loves me. As I was wondering where God was in this nightmare, He reached out to me. He loved me enough to tell me through these guys who didn’t even know why they were leading the study on John 9. God reached down, put His arms around me, and said, “It’s not your fault. I love you. Trust me.”

When have you wondered if God really loved you? How has He shown you that He does love you?

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The story of Bethany Hamilton is an amazing story.  Bethany was only 13 years old when an attack by a Tiger shark left her with only 60% of her blood in her body.  Her left arm was severed in the attack.  Doctors who attended to her after the accident said that her survival was a miracle and attributed it to her strong faith in God, which kept her calm in the middle of the trauma.

2004 Teen Choice Awards red carpet

Right before the attack, Bethany’s youth leader led a devotion based on Jeremiah 29:11.

This verse became a really important verse to Bethany as she attempted to make sense of why God would allow her arm to be2010 Tahiti paddle smile ripped from her body.

Bethany said,

“After the shark attack is when I trusted in God the most…In the movie, they share that one verse: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’  And that was true.  It inspired me to just keep living and loving and enjoying…”

Padang Padang, Bali 2009

Most assumed that her goals of being a professional surfer were over.  Bethany began to wonder if her competitive surfing days were over too.  She wondered if her life would ever be normal again.  Loosing a limb is hard for anyone….especially for a 13 year old girl with dreams.

Bethany and the movie based on her life so far, “Soul Surfer,” is an inspiration.  Sometimes life is hard and it is hard to know what God is doing or why He allows bad things to happen to people that love Him.  Sometimes we just have to trust Him when we don’t understand.

Why does God let a good and godly dad loose his job?  How can God allow a child to get a terminal disease?  It’s hard, but sometimes we just have to trust God.

In Bethany’s case, her dream to become a professional surfer was realized.  When asked if she would change that day that she was attacked, she said, “No.  If it wasn’t for the attack, I wouldn’t have the millions of people looking to me for influence so I wouldn’t change a thing.”  Wow!  Keep pointing people to Jesus, Bethany!

If you want to be inspired, don’t miss Soul Surfer, the movie.  Guys, we won’t mention the man tear that will be in your eye as you watch.

I’ve spent most of my life talking to people about God and trying to point people to Him.  Even in my high school years, I lived for Him and I led devotions for my high school football team before games.  I’ve always cared what people thought about God.  I love Him and people’s attitudes towards Him have been important to me.

Those who know me, know that I’ve never claimed to be “Super Believer Guy” or anything like that.  I’m just a goofwad that is blown away that God loves me and I want to be used by God.God has answered prayer in my life and sometimes He has answered prayer in pretty dramatic fashion.   I’ll have to write about some of those sometime.  It just blows my mind still how he has come through in my life at times.

Even so, sometimes I have felt like I should “cover” for God just in case….  What if I ask Him for something and He doesn’t come through?  I remember a time or two that I did ask God for a miracle and it didn’t happen.  (Though, other times I have seen miracles.)  Another way that I’ve “covered” for God is by tacking on “if it be your will” at the end of a prayer.  That way, He has an “escape clause. “

Sometimes I think that if I ask God, especially in public, to do something that only He could do and He doesn’t do it, there are two possibilities that come to mind.

  1. God failed because He didn’t deliver what I asked and He looks bad.
  2. I look stupid myself because God didn’t deliver and I look bad.

Neither of these outcomes have seemed desirable to me so I’ve usually just asked things that I knew He would probably do.  Nothing too crazy or too public.  I mean…  I’ve got my reputation, right?   As a Christ-Follower, I’ve got to “protect” God’s reputation, right?

I am coming to realize that God is big enough.  He is big enough to do His will, no matter how BIG my request may be if it is in line with His will.  God is also big enough to take the “heat” or disappointment from anyone if He decides to say “no” or “later.”

I encourage you, whether you are participating in the Daniel Fast or not, to ask God for something that only He can do. Forget worrying about His reputation…  or yours.  Stick your neck out if you need to, but trust God.  Do you know what worrying about your reputation over having faith in God is called?  It’s called Pride.  Let it go.

I’ve spent most of my life talking to people about God and trying to point people to Him.  Even in my high school years, I lived for Him and I led devotions for my high school football team before games.  I’ve always cared what people thought about God.  I love Him and people’s attitudes towards Him have been important to me.

Those who know me, know that I’ve never claimed to be “Super Believer Guy” or anything like that.  I’m just a goofwad that is blown away that God loves me and I want to be used by God.

God has answered prayer in my life and sometimes He has answered prayer in pretty dramatic fashion.   I’ll have to write about some of those sometime.  It just blows my mind still how he has come through in my life at times.

Even so, sometimes I have felt like I should “cover” for God just in case….  What if I ask Him for something and He doesn’t come through?  I remember a time or two that I did ask God for a miracle and it didn’t happen.  (Though, other times I have seen miracles.)  Another way that I’ve “covered” for God is by tacking on “if it be your will” at the end of a prayer.  That way, He has an “escape clause. “

 

Sometimes I think that if I ask God, especially in public, to do something that only He could do and He doesn’t do it, there are two possibilities that come to mind.

  1. God failed because He didn’t deliver what I asked.
  2. I look stupid myself because God didn’t deliver

Neither of these outcomes have seemed desirable to me so I’ve usually just asked things that I knew He would probably do.  Nothing too crazy or too public.  I mean…  I’ve got my reputation, right?   As a Christ-Follower, I’ve got to “protect” God’s reputation, right?

I am coming to realize that God is big enough.  He is big enough to do His will, no matter how BIG my request may be if it is in line with His will.  God is also big enough to take the “heat” or disappointment from anyone if He decides to say “no” or “later.”

I encourage you, whether you are participating in the Daniel Fast or not, to ask God for something that only He can do.  Forget worrying about His reputation…  or yours.  Stick your neck out if you need to, but trust God.  Do you know what worrying about your reputation over having faith in God is called?  It’s called Pride.  Let it go.

Trust God.

Go ahead.

Dream.

ASK!

Ask him for something that only He can do if it is going to happen.

Have you ever felt like you had to cover for God?  What have you been asking God for lately?  Am I the only one that has had thoughts like this?

Trust God.

Go ahead.

Dream.

ASK!

Ask him for something that only He can do if it is going to happen.

Have you ever felt like you had to cover for God?  What have you been asking God for lately?  Am I the only one that has had thoughts like this?