“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, ‘Great is the LORD!’ As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!”
– Psalm 40:16-17
When I was a little girl my favorite time of the day was when the mail came. It came every day at 11:30am. I would stand at the front door waiting until I saw the little white USPS truck pass our mailbox. Just as soon as the postman scooted on to the next box I would quickly run out and grab hold of everything that was delivered. The first letter I ever received addressed to my very own name was from my first Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Greer. I visited her class as a new 4th grader, and when I didn’t return, she sent me a card telling me how much she missed me. I cherished that card. It made me want to return to that Sunday school class and learn about the goodness of our salvation in Jesus from her felt boards. A few years ago, a dear friend started writing me letters of encouragement in my faith. I immediately turned into that 10 year old girl again waiting at the front door for the postman to place my treasured letters in my mailbox. There’s something about having something delivered to you. Mail, a baby, news, salvation. Last Thursday, however, we were delivered a letter that we were not expecting.
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Saylor,
This letter is to notify you that your application to adopt B was denied for the reason contained herein.”
This letter was delivered, or handed over to the proper recipient, to inform us that the little girl we have been pursuing an adoption with will be placed with another family. We were delivered news, not a child. We were delivered our future, not what we hoped for. However, it was delivered. Now, how do we respond to THIS kind of letter as children of the Most High God?
With proper praise and worship that God deserves in His infinite sovereignty… “Great is the LORD!”
Great is the Lord for knowing that sweet baby girl’s needs now and forever
Great is the Lord for fashioning her heart with all its chambers that, by His grace, might be filled with His precious Spirit (Psalm 33:15, Ephesians 1:4, 2:8).
Great is the Lord for showing mercy to our grieving hearts (Revelation 21:4).
Great is the Lord for bottling every tear we have cried. Our tears are precious to Him (Psalm 56:8).
Great is the Lord. Grieving the death of someone who is alive is a strange concept. One that the Lord has already started walking me through before I knew I needed to. But, we’re grieving. In ways that will forever shape who I am and my identity as a child of God. He promised us suffering in this life. But, He also promised us the grace we need to trust Him. Quietly, expectantly.
“I waited patiently for the LORD, he inclined to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD” (Psalm 40:1,3). This is my hope for this suffering: that many will see and fear the LORD as we trust Him with our grief, our dreams, our hopes, our hearts. And as they peer in on this suffering, may they see the richness and the goodness of the LORD and they themselves will put their trust in Him as well. My prayer all along throughout this process was that the Gospel would be on display throughout, and that the end result wasn’t to get a baby, but to get more of Jesus. To know HIM. To know Him, is to “know him and the power of his resurrection, and share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:10). There is more joy in knowing Him than any good gift this world could give me. There is a death, yes. But God also resurrects. I’m not sure what that will look like in THIS situation, but I know it’s coming. Resurrection will be delivered to us.
So, great is the LORD!