01 October 2010

Our Tribute to You - Part 2

"Dear Lord, we thank you that You are a sovereign and all-knowing God
and today we thank you for the precious gift of Charlotte Rose.

Lord, little Charlotte is SO loved and while we do not understand why she could not stay longer,
we want to thank you for the incredible impact her life has made on ours.

Lord we acknowledge that Charlotte was not a mistake,
but that she has an extraordinary purpose.

We want to thank you that while You have taken Charlotte home to be with You,
we will continue to see the fruits of her purpose fulfilled..." (Opening Prayer - Janelle)

Sitting in Charlotte's memorial service, I feel detached, like I have
been partially anaesthetised. I can see and hear what is going on but I am unable to absorb the enormity of it all. If I did, I know the pain would be unbearable. So for now, I remain somewhat protected from the complete onslaught of reality.

The songs we chose to sing that morning were particularly significant to me during my pregnancy.  "How Great is Our God," reminded me of how all-powerful and all-knowing our God is, that our lives are in His hands and that His hands are trustworthy. It was comforting to remember that He was in control of our situation particularly when I felt so out of control.
The song 'Blessed Be Your Name' became my 'theme' song. It was inspired by the prayer Job prayed after he had lost ALL of his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, sons and daughters!

At this Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.
Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
"Naked I came from my
 mother's womb,
 and naked I will depart.
 The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
 may the name of the LORD be praised."
Job 1:20-21

His response was truly amazing. He worshipped! He truly believed that God was completely sovereign. What a challenge! The words to this song repeatedly ministered to my hurting heart.

(To listen to these songs return to the main page and scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Our Pastor based his message on an article that I had read in a Billy Graham 'Decision' magazine. The article was entitled 'Is God Really in Control?' The topic was so relevant, so personal. This question often arises out of all kinds of tragedy... divorce, miscarriage, illness, physical infirmity, loneliness, injustice, racism, cancer, rejection, famine, war, bankruptcy, Tsunami 04, September 11.... - 'Where is God in all of this?'

Ecc 7:13 says "Consider what God has done: who can straighten out what He has made crooked?"

This verse reminded me that God alone was in control of Charlotte's life and only He had the power to change the outcome. The Bible repeatedly reminds us of God's sovereignty. We needed to choose whether we would believe what the Bible said and whether we would trust Him.

"Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?" Lam 3:37-38

Jesus Himself acknowledged His Father's sovereignty in His imminent crucifixion.

(Pilate said) "Don't you realise that I have power either to free you or to crucify you? To this Jesus replied, "You have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." John 19:10-11.

Jesus completely believed in His Father's sovereignty as well as being able to relate to our excruciating pain. He came to the point where He prayed -  

"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." Matt 26:39

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father." Matt 10:29

"Nothing, therefore happens unless the Omnipotent wills it to happen. He either permits it to happen, or He brings it around Himself."  St Augustine

His sovereignty is marvellous, yet at times totally mysterious to us, invincible but also incomprehensible. We cannot begin to understand why some things are allowed to happen.

Romans 11:33 His judgements are unsearchable, and His paths are beyond tracing out."

These truths are what have sustained me throughout the unknown and the extremely painful loss of my baby girl.

"... (I have) confidence that (my) suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; (my) suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He has brought it or allowed it into (my) life for His glory and (my) good."
'Is Good Really in Control?' - Jerry Bridges, Decision Magazine


OhlsonFamily said...

Jules, we sang Blessed be Your Name at church last week and you know ... you and Charlotte came to mind a few times while I was singing! I didn't realize that it was a significant song for you - but - you were there in my thoughts as I struggles to get the words out. What courage to claim these words. In spite of all the suffering ... Blessed by Your Name. Charlotte continues to have deep impact in peoples lives and her life is of deep significance in the way that you are honoring it and sharing your journey and your love for her with all who read your blog. I feel so very honored to walk this road with you. I will forever think of you and Charlotte when singing Blessed Be Your Name ... and I'm glad!!

Jenny Tonkin said...

What a powerful impact songs can have on us for many different reasons. What a joy to be able to sing and praise God and remember His unfailing love, His power and majesty and sovereignity. Praise God that you and Grant know Him intimately and acknowledge that He is in control. Job... what an awesome example...Blessed is our God who gave you Charlotte for a short time. Julie and Grant, I love and admire you. Jen xx

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