Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Smile of God

I've always been hesitant to quote cliches...especially those that aren't found in Scripture. One of these catch phrases is "The Lord works in mysterious ways." I guess this kind of coincides with the opening passage in the book of James, "2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." What? Consider it joy when we face trials? Are you sadistic or something? How in the world are we supposed to be happy about trials?
Last week we had one such "trial". At a regularly-scheduled doctor's appointment, Cindy and I found out that we had lost our baby some time during the last few weeks since our previous visit to the doctor. After having heard the heartbeat and seeing the ultra-sound and putting the ultra-sound picture up on the refrigerator, now all our hopes and dreams just came crashing down. This was our second miscarriage in the last 18 months, so we just had a lot of questions.
Well, the Lord is all about timing. You see, we had been planning to take a vacation on Friday, but found out on Tuesday that we had lost the baby and that Cindy would have to have a procedure on Wednesday to extract the baby and the tissue. "What in the world was God doing?", I thought. So we weren't even sure at this point if we'd get to go on our much-needed vacation. Well, long story short, we did get to go and had a wonderful time. It was as if God had his hand on us the whole time we were gone. Let me show you what I mean.
Because of our changing plans, we did not book a hotel room until the day we left. The picture above is our room in the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. Friday morning, we booked the Adolphus (a historic hotel where each of the last 15 presidents has stayed and goes for $350-$500 a night) for three nights at $65 a night. Using some vouchers I had gotten for taking our youth group to a Ranger game, we paid $6 for a child's ticket and parked for $5 because it was a Friday game. That's an $11 Ranger game not counting food. We also took in a day at the Dallas World Aquarium, Ft. Worth Zoo, Ice Age 3 at the historic Inwood Theater and a day at Splash Kingdom water park in Canton, TX. Thanks to some gift cards we had, we also ate at Texas Roadhouse for $13.
Our much-needed vacation was like a big hug from God saying to us, "It's going to be all right." It takes faith to see that God is doing things. I didn't realize what was going on until we pulled up to the hotel and realized what a swanky joint it was. But God is good and he gave us a precious gift by allowing us to enjoy the blessings we DO have. So, yes, the Lord does work in mysterious ways!

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