This Is The Day

Sunday, July 05, 2015

I recently began working in a grief workshop. Not so much because I am in the depths of grief, but because I thought I may learn a bit about myself.

Today we were asked to tell others what our "mantra" was, and I shared mine:

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps. 118:24)

Every morning I say this to myself before I roll out of bed. When I have a disagreement with my children or my husband, I repeat it in my head. I say it to myself when the money is gone before the bills are, and I whisper it out as I lay down to sleep.

It was what I posted on my Facebook profile when my water broke, at 34 weeks, the night that my sweet Beatrix was born.

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps. 118:24)

One recurring theme throughout my post-loss life has been the concept that God always has a handle on things. I have a difficult time comprehending this, at times -- but I still have faith that it's true.

In Christian faith circles today we have a trend of calling people to "claim God's power" over their life, or to "believe in the power of prayer" to fix their problems.

The problem is that within this mind-set there is a tendency to begin believing that we have some sort of control over every situation we may face. We just need to claim God's blessings or pray harder. When faced with baby-loss this becomes a terrible weight -- is it my fault my baby died?

Didn't I pray hard enough?

I claimed that blessing over my life, why didn't I receive it?

Was my faith too weak?

Working in the context that we have some type of power through prayer isn't just defeating -- it's not Biblical. All power resides in God. As difficult as that is to swallow, it's the truth. We can't believe ourselves into controlling God's will. No matter how long our prayer chain is, it will never be capable of outpacing God and his plans.

When we  say, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps. 118:24), what we are stating is that we understand that while we have free-will, this doesn't give us control over the ultimate outcome of the story. We are saying that we comprehend that God has it all under control, and we trust that his outcomes are part of the work of salvation.

I would not claim to know what God was thinking, but I know that my daughter's death was not part of His plan. His plan did not include death and disease. His plan did not include sorrow.

Could He have changed things and given her life?


But He didn't, and the declaration in Psalm 118:24, the declaration which I make daily, is that I have put my trust in Him as the creator of days. I have made the decision to trust His plan. It is not ever easy. I don't always choose trust joyfully, but I always choose to trust completely. My trust delivers a promise for me, as well:

 "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." (Ps. 4:8)

We search so diligently for peace, especially in this post-loss world. We all want to find some answer, some reasoning for such tragic circumstances. Really, this side of heaven, we will never be satisfied with the answers we are given. 

But this trust, this rejoicing in each day with its triumphs and sorrows is a beginning. This accepting our powerlessness is the first step in healing. 

This day is the day the Lord has made -- and thank goodness for that. Because of that promise, I know I will eventually see my daughter again, and I rejoice without ceasing at the thought of that reunion.

{For more information regarding Power of Prayer here's an excellent post about the subject.

For more information about the "name it, claim it" philosophy, here's an excellent article about the subject.}


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