I started a new devotional this week and my reading for today was in Genesis 1. What a powerful introduction to God: One who carefully and intentionally orchestrated the beginning of the world. We Christians like to refer to God as “orchestrating” our lives, or the events of this earth, like he’s some kind of cosmic band director waving his baton this way and that.
But we always get tripped up when someone asks us about the bad things in life. Does God orchestrate the cancer in a loved one, or a massive flood that kills thousands? No, we’ll tell you, those things are a result of a sinful and fallen world, of a dark and lonely mankind. God doesn’t cause bad things to happen.
But God could stop them, you’d say. And you’d be right. And sometimes He does. Sometimes He cures cancer and rescues people.
But sometimes God chooses to redeem. To use pain and hurt and suffering to draw us closer to Himself. To give us the gift of learning to lean into Him, to trust Him with our whole lives. In the middle of pain we don’t want redemption, we want rescue. But a good story needs a beginning, a middle with some conflict and tension, and an end. And not only is God an amazing conductor, He is one incredible author.
Sunday night we brought our little girl to stay with her new family. They invited us into their warm home and we shared a meal together. We laughed as we tried to find something Miss Picky would eat and we told a few stories too. We squeezed that baby and smothered her in kisses and said goodnight before she was rocked and tucked in to sleep in her new room. And then we sat down, two families brought together by one tiny girl, and prayed. We giggled at the prayers of the children. We cried and we called out to God. And I will never forget the gift that prayer became as we asked our Heavenly Father to look after each other, and this precious little life.
And then we went home. And Daisy sobbed. And Dani danced. And I gathered up lingering baby things while Darin tucked the girls in, telling them a sweet story of a family of ducks who found a baby turtle egg and then helped that baby turtle find her turtle family to join. I took a glass of wine to the tub while Darin packed away a few more baby things. We know this house is full of memories that won’t be tucked away, but having a physical act to do seemed to help us. Kept us from looking around saying, “what now?”
And Darin and I cried together.
And then a good night’s sleep did wonders for our broken hearts.
The next day I got a call Rachel, as she needed to tell me a story. That morning she had been wondering what she had been up to when baby girl was born, so she went to her blog archive to find out. I want you to go and read the story she relayed to me for yourself (found under memory #2) because it is one of the most beautiful reminders that we serve a God who orchestrates and redeems.
And, man, can He ever write a great story.