After suffering through 2 miscarriages in a year, I had to wonder, “What have I done God to make you so angry?” I thought Pete and I were following God’s will, so why would He take away 2 children whom we would have loved and nourished? Why are you giving people babies that won’t care for them, yet taking babies away from your true servants, the ones who will obediently raise these children with unconditional love?
As I pondered this in prayer, God placed on my heart (through the words of a good friend) that He does not punish us, but He does allow bad things to happen sometimes. I was aging and my body was changing. God wasn’t punishing me for my wrong doings in life. He had forgiven me for those things. God doesn’t hold grudges.
Thumbing through the scriptures, I came across the story of Stephen. Stephen’s martyrdom was an instance that God could have stepped in and saved Stephen from a horrible death, yet He didn’t. In Acts 7:54-60 we hear the details of Stephen’s death.
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
After the stoning, people spread throughout the countryside to hide from the severe persecution of the church. Saul (also known as Paul) was working to uncover all those who had fled and send them to jail for following Christ. This is where God’s will is revealed. God allowed Stephen to be stoned to death under the watch of Saul. Later, Saul would have a change of heart on his journey to Damascus, and during this trip, Paul is blinded by a very bright light. In Acts 9:4-19 we read:
As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
Wow! Not only did God use Saul/Paul, but several witnessed the event and Ananias proved his great faith of God during this. Do you think Stephen ever would have realized the great things God did with his death? Paul was one of Jesus’ most faithful supporters after this incident. He would go on to lead the church just after Peter. Amazing. Ananias was used by God to lead this new disciple into the life of faith. Two beautiful stories that unfolded only because of Stephen’s great courage and ultimate death.
Now, I am not sure why God allowed my miscarriages to happen. I am positive I am not comparable to Stephen. One thing I can tell you is the next two years after the miscarriages, my family had tremendous struggles. Our youngest child, Kate, needed our undivided attention during this time. It was exhausting and overwhelming.
If I had a baby or even two babies to deal with, I am almost positive Kate’s issues would have gone unnoticed. If I was caring after two babies, I may have lost sight of the intense amount of pain and suffering that Kate was emotionally going through.
The blessing that God provided me with was additional time with my children. I recognized Kate’s needs and advocated for her at a very intense level. Not only did I insist that she be seen by specialists, I had behavioral testing done, and I found a school that completely changed her life.
God placed people in my life to guide me along the way. My strength had been zapped out of my body by the needs of my child. God gave me the strength to see His light and His word through people.
If I had one or two more small children, I may not have made room for God. Most likely, I wouldn’t have seen His words. For some mom’s this is not always the case. I have many friends with four or more kids, and they are wonderful, attentive mothers. I, on the other hand, tend to get overwhelmed and anxious with multiple children. God knew this. God knows me inside and out. He embraces my weaknesses, and helps me overcome them.
Maybe my timing was off for adding more to our family. Maybe God just needed me to find more time for Him, and used this struggle as a tool to get me to converse with Him. Whatever it was, I am grateful He used this very sad situation for something positive.
So when bad things happen, don’t let evil seep in your heart. Try to see what God is doing by allowing this struggle to take place. Don’t get angry, depressed or sad, but ask God to see what joy will come out of it all. Pray for God’s light to be shown through others and most importantly, through you!
Find purpose in your struggle, straighten your perspective toward God and persevere through the trial.