I've noticed that since we got Caroline's diagnosis, my worship at church has been much more sincere and authentic. It's kind of hard to hear words that point to God's glory and goodness and not be moved. In a lot of ways I'm so emotionally vulnerable right now that a lot of things are affecting me more than normal. But I know that part of the reason worship means more to me than it has in a while is because my relationship with God is so much more at the forefront right not. I hope it will always be this way, even when some of the emotions begin to fade. Having my focus be truly where it is supposed to be is such a sweet and merciful place to be. Communion with the Father through the Spirit is getting me through each day.
One of the songs we sang today was "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin. I've always liked that song but today it hit me once again. There was not a whole lot in this song that pointed toward our specific situation, but focusing on God's greatness was something God apparently wanted me to do today.
Over the past month or so, I have really been focusing on God's grace and mercy, on his comfort and strength, and on his power to do miracles. Today God reminded me that He is great just because He is God. He is eternal, He is powerful, and He is great. It was a time for me to be humbled today. I've been so caught up in what I need/want from God, I haven't spent much time just praising Him for being who He is. He deserves my praise and adoration regardless what He's doing for me right now.
Even with that revelation...I can't help but share what He's done and praise Him for it. He truly has lavished me with grace and mercy. He has given me supernatural strength to handle this situation. He has comforted me when I have been beyond comfort, and He has shown me His power to reassure my faith. He is so great because He knows what I need before I even ask Him, and He just...takes care of me. In some ways I want to echo David in Psalm 8:4 when he said, "what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" Who am I that He would care so intimately for me? Why does He spend some of His infinite power on my situation? Why does He bother to show me His grace and love in such abundance?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." -John 3:16-17
"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands."-Deuteronomy 7:9
"Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" -Psalm 66:20
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8
It doesn't matter why. God IS love. It's who He is. It's part of His character to show it to us, regardless of whether or not we deserve it. For, in fact, we DON'T deserve it. I know I don't. That's part of why I have been so humbled by His gracious love during this difficult time. He has given me far more than I ever deserved.
I've had some people tell me that if anyone deserves a miracle, it's us. I am flattered that they would think us worthy of a miracle...but we're not. No more than anyone else. God desires righteousness, surely, but He doesn't desire it as a way to measure us on a scale against others. His mercy and grace is not reliant on how good we are or how much we deserve it. Our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), because we are sinful creatures. God gives out of his goodness, not because of our goodness.
If God gives us a healing miracle, it's not for us or because of us. It's so He can be glorified in our lives. God loves us, and wants to give us good things. I think Caroline would qualify as a good thing. Haha. But it's not about us, ultimately. It's about Him. That's how I can live with the thought that He may not heal our baby girl. That's how I can still praise Him in the midst of the uncertainty. Our God is great, and He is way bigger and more important than I am. When my focus is where it's supposed to be, it's a lot easier to let Him be in control, and to let Him guide my thoughts and actions. It makes it a lot easier to CHOOSE to follow Him in every thought, every emotion, every decision. That's truly what I have to do. I have to choose every moment of every day how I'm going to handle this situation. It's never far from my mind. It's never completely gone from my mind. And every time a thought comes into my head about Caroline, I have to choose whether to be angry and bitter or humble and grateful. It is not an easy decision.
So in all of this, I must remember that our God is great. When He is the focus, and He is in control, things go so much better. And He is great. Only a great God could be getting me through this without losing my mind.
"How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God!"