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Joy is available in our lives each and every day.  God gives us the joy.  We may need to look around or change our perspective to see the joy.  You can be joyful no matter what you are facing today.

Galations 5:22-23 says

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.

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In His Time

He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

Ecclesiastes 3:11

I awoke one morning with a song in my mind – one I badly needed to hear. “In His time, In His time, God makes all things beautiful in His time.”

My infant son Blake, who was born with spina bifida, was being treated in the neonatal ICU. My sister had traveled to visit us that week for a few days. When I woke up in my hotel room near the hospital, I told her about the song lyrics filling my mind.

“You know, sometimes God gives us a song to help us through something. Or to speak to us in some way,” she said as we made our way to the hospital.

I certainly needed to hear God’s voice that week. I was exhausted. We lived in a small town, and Blake needed specialist care in Dallas, which was two hours away. My husband Erik and I were taking turns visiting Blake for a few days at a time while the other stayed home with our five-year-old daughter Katie. On the weekends, Katie would join us to see her little brother. She waited anxiously for those visits.

Erik and I wanted one of us to be by our son’s crib everyday, that way our faces and voices would be familiar to Blake when it was time to bring him home. Our visits also gave us a chance to hear updates on Blake’s progress and learn how to take care of him.

“In His time, In His time, God makes all things beautiful in His time.”

Those days, time definitely was frustrating. On one hand, we adored seeing and holding our adorable, brown-eyed boy. But it was so difficult not knowing when we’d finally be able to bring our son home.

In His Time was a short song our church would often sing, and it would sometimes play on the local Christian radio station, but I didn’t remember hearing it that week. The underlying Scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:11, began to serve as a wellspring of encouragement for me.

I wanted a journal to record the acts of kindness and love we’d received in the weeks after Blake’s birth. The hot meals brought to our doorstep by neighbors and friends. Churches praying for us in nine different states. The handwritten cards and phone calls wishing us strength and peace.

In all, Blake spent 100 days in the NICU. During those weeks, I began looking for an empty journal. I knew a plain composition book wouldn’t do the trick; I needed a special keepsake.

One day, I walked into a gift shop at the hospital complex and began browsing the journals. I found one with the very words “God makes all things beautiful in His time” written on the cover, next to images of clay flowerpots filled with blue, red, and yellow petals.

My heart pounded against my chest. I grasped the book, held it tightly, and knew it was the one. I couldn’t wait for my husband Erik to see what I’d found. Best of all, I knew God had placed it in my hands at just the right moment. It felt like confirmation that we would bring Blake home eventually. We did … in His time.