I have begun reading through the Bible chronologically. In 2009, I followed along with others in our church with the read-through-your-Bible-in-a-year program. Ashamedly, this is the first time I read through the Bible in a systematic manner (not counting when it was assigned as class work for Faith). What a blessing! At this point, I have read through the books of Genesis and Job. The following is a snippet from an entry in my notebook after reading a passage beginning with Job 23:8 which I titled "A prayer, a goal a mission..."
Even though I can't "feel" God around me, He is there and knows my thoughts, words, and actions. If I successfully lean on Him and keep His commands through this test, I will be refined and come out as gold. But I must keep His way and not turn aside. I must treasure the words of His mouth more than food. God knows His plans for me and He will complete that work within me.
I am so thankful for the education I received at Faith Baptist Bible College and the foundation in Biblical studies and understanding that was provided to me. Going through something like the birth, life, and loss of Malachi would simply be unbearable without the knowledge of the perfect God I am blessed to serve. Even though there were many points where I lacked (and still do lack) understanding of why all of this had to take place in my life and how it will lead to His glory, I was able to hold on to that knowledge. I was generally able to fight off misguided thoughts and push aside untruths that haunted practically every moment spent next to Malachi's hospital bed. Even though I felt lost, confused, helpless, and scared, I was not without hope. The Holy Spirit was quick to remind me that we were not in this struggle alone. It is not an easy road that John and I have been called to, but it is a calling. We know that this suffering--if properly kept in its place and used to pursue a closer relationship with the God who created and sustained our son for almost seven months--will continue to refine us. With each test and trial, we have the opportunity to experience God's grace in ways that many people just can't understand. For that grace, I am thankful.
He Giveth More Grace
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.