I've recently been reading 'Blessed Be Your Name' by Matt and Beth Redman. This book was written following them writing the well known worship song of the same name. This book shares stories from their own personal experiences and shows how painful experiences and our choices can either propel us toward God or away from Him, build up our faith or break it.
For those of you who are Christians you will have probably have heard this song but for those who haven't I recommend you listen to it. http://youtu.be/PnWKehsOXu8 It's a great song and in essence it is a song that talks about worshipping God always being a choice. The book explains it as 'when life is peaceful and painless, the choice to respond to God in thanksgiving and praise may not be such a hard one to make. But at other times in our lives worship becomes a much gutsier decision'.
I hadn't realised until a couple of weeks ago that Beth (like me) suffered three miscarriages in a row. This experience was part of the reason behind writing the song. Here are a few snippets from her story told in the book:
'When Matt and I suffered the loss of a baby again and again, I began to do what so many of us do when we're in pain - to notice how others around me were being prospered and blessed...
... To see the tiny frame of a baby's body, lifeless on a screen, with no heartbeat; and then at an early stage of pregnancy , to have to go through a mini-labour and hand that baby back to Jesus - that was one of the hardest times of my life. Why was it happening? Then to lose two more babies in a row, even when I'd sought God so hard, was almost more than I could handle. Bitterness started to beckon'
Beth says in the book that she realised as she grieved each loss that the longing for a baby was becoming all that she could talk to God about. The need to have a baby had become everything and she needed to realise that even if she never had another baby, God had already given her everything she needed in Christ Jesus.
As a Christian, Beth's story has really challenged me as I relate to every single part of it - the all consuming grief that has at times taken over all my thinking, the jealousy of other peoples' blessing. Beth explains that she came to a point where in the depths of her heart she knew that God himself is all that she needs. She came to a point where she knew that 'if it was God's will for us to hold another baby in our arms, then no closed womb, no condition doctors cannot explain, no age barrier or genetic condition could ever hold back his plan'.
I am so challenged by Beth's testimony - to stay in the place that continually trusts God and acknowledges God is all I need! I believe in miracles and know that if God wants me to have a baby then it will happen but I equally need to come to a point where in the depths of my heart I know that God is all I need.
Soon after Beth's miscarriage, her and Matt felt challenged by the words of 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 which says 'Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus'
I encourage you to read this book as it has reminded me that through the good and the bad God remains faithful.